Tham Tha Ritha Dhintha and its variation are used in many Mohiniyattam choreographies.

Tham Tha Ritha Dhintha and its variation are important adavus in the Sammishram group of adavus.

Tham Tha Ritha Dhintha 1:

Stand in Aramandalam with the arms held In Muzhuvrittam; both hands held in Hamsasya hastha mudra in front of the chest. Stamp the right foot on the spot for ‘Tham’, while lifting the left foot off the ground, making a soft horizontal arc with it towards the right and placing it in front of the right foot. Shift the body weight onto the left foot allowing the right foot to be on its toes at this time.

The ‘Tham’ is extended for two rhythmic beats while saying the chollu. During this time the right palm is opened and the palm rotated inwards (facing up) and returns to Hamsasyam mudra. For ‘tha’ remain in the position. Open the right palm to Ardhachandran mudra and shake it ever so slightly for ‘Ritha Dhintha’. Do a dhi thi thei here by placing the right foot out on its heel, stamping the left foot on the spot and placing the right foot back next to the left.

Repeat the whole this as is to the left side for ‘Dheem Dhimi Tha Dhintha’.
For the next ‘Tham Tha Ritha Dhintha’ repeat the same movement to the right but move diagonally forward towards the right corner (not to the ‘side’ as done previously). For ‘Dheem Dhimi Tha Dhintha’ come back initiating the movement with the left arm and foot and return to centre. Repeat the entire sequence to the left side, first to the left, then right, then diagonally forward to the left corner and finally ending the sequence back in the centre.

Tham Tha Ritha Dhintha 2

Commence the adavu by standing in Aramandalam with the arms held in front of the chest in Hamsasya Hastha Mudra in Muzhuvrittam. As in the previous adavu, ‘Tham’ is extended and said for two rhythmic notations in the chollu. For the first beat extend the right foot out to the right side with knees bent and the foot placed on its heel. Move the right arm in an arc and open the mudra to Ardhachandran facing downwards towards the right knee. Next place the left foot in front of the right and bring the right arm back to Hamsasya mudra in front of the chest.

At the same time extend the left arm up and behind while changing the mudra to Ardhachandran as shown in the image. The torso must be swivelled to look at the left palm. The right foot must have its heel lifted and placed on its toe behind the left foot at this time. For ‘Tha Ritha’ bring the left arm downwards in an arc and back in front of the chest changing the mudra to Hamsasyam. Place the right foot next to the left and bend the knees deeply into aramandalam while doing this movement. Rise onto the toes and bend back again into aramandalam for ‘Dhintha’. Repeat the entire sequence to the left side.

Assisted by Sreekanth Janardhanan

Photo Courtesy : Natanakairali Archives

Artists : Ms. Bindu Rajendren

Video Clipping : Ms. Anju Peter


Guru Nirmala Paniker is a danseuse, choreographer and researcher of repute. She established Natanakaisiki, the dance research and training wing of Natanakairali.

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