Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hand Gestures and Meanings in Indian Dance

The Indian Dance Bharatnatyam is an ancient form of dance which is said to have originated since the time of the Gods. Bharatnatyam consists of a combination of expression through facial, body and hand movements. Each of these categories are further divided into numerous other categories and then further into sub categories.

In terms of the hand movements alone the expressions can be broadly classified into two categories :'Asamyuta Hasta' - Single hand gestures and 'Samyuta Hasta' - Double hand gestures. In my project I will be using a combination of these two most likely. There are 28 Asamyuta hastas & 24 Samyuta hastas. Below I have mentioned only the few gestures that are relevant to my concept and my project. However I will be consulting either a Bharatnatyam instructor or student about the gestures and how to hold them in order for me to carry out my photo shoot succesfully.


Shukatunda Hasta-To Shoot an Arrow, Weapon, Saying Cunning things, Showing Fury.



Alapadma Hastha- Pain of seperation, Mirror, Full moon, Beautiful things,wind, water , anger.


Kartarimukha-the separation of man and a woman, opposition/ 
turning or rolling, the corners of the eye, death, to show differences, lightning, sleeping alone, sorrow, downfall, creeper.


Chatura hastha- Wetness, Sadness, Taste, Eye, Differentiate colors, Promise, Romance, Slow movement, Breaking,Seat, Melted Butter, Oil.


Mushti -to show wrestlers in combat mode.



Pasha-To fight with others, rope, chain.

2 comments:

Veena said...

Hi Deviyani,
I think you have the kartarimukha wrong. You need to fold both your ring and little fingers, hold them with your thumb and then separate the index and middle fingers as much as possible. The middle and index fingers should form a V when looked at from the side.

Charlotte said...

hi Devi,i think this is a very helpfull blog,i am doing dance home work on indian dancing.this is the only good blog on this topic.