Generously utilise the beauty of the Hamsasya and Dola hastha in Mrudula and Tharuni Charis

We began this part of the series with the introduction to the charis in Mohiniyattam and how these stylised foot movements add to the enchanting movements of this dance form. We described the nuances of Valayam, Namitha, Natha,Dakshinaparshwa, Unnatha Alolitha and Dhrutha charis. Continuing our lessons on charis in Mohiniyattam, we explore the beauty and the variety in the Mridula and Tharuni chari.


Rhythm: Thei Thitha Tha Thei

Stand in the quarter-sit position with the Hamsasya gesture in both hands with the palms facing each other close to the chest. For the beat Thei, hit the right foot slightly towards the front right diagonal direction.

While doing this, move the right hand circularly towards the bottom with the Ardhachandra gesture and bring it close to the right foot. Bring the body also forward along with the hands. Bend towards the right and look at the hand. And, as the hands move, the dancer should progressively move from quarter sit position to half-sit position and back.

For the second beat Thitha, hit the left foot slightly towards the back on the same side and simultaneously bring the hand back to the original position near the chest with the Ardhachandra gesture still intact. The body should also move back to the original position mirroring the forward movement accompanied by the movement from quarter-sit position to half-sit and back. The eyes should move along with the hand.

For the beats Tha Thei, hit the toes of the right foot twice behind the left foot. Raise the right arm from the chest and bring it parallel to the head in a half-bent position with the Ardhachandra gesture in the hand with the palm facing upward. Eyes and the body should bend slightly towards the right side.
Repeat these movements on the left side also.


Rhythm: Thei Thitha Thathei

Start with the quarter-sit position with the hands let loose as in a Dola hastha. Hold the Mushti gesture in the right hand held close to the neck facing upwards. For the first beat Thei, hit the toes of the right foot slightly behind the left foot.

Bend and look towards the left side while doing this. For the next beat Thitha, hit the left foot bringing it close to the right foot. For the next beat Thathei, hit the right foot as Vaishnavam and sit in half-sit position while moving the right hand circularly above the right shoulder and let it loose in Dola hastha again. Body and the eyes should be held straight.
Repeat these movements again on the left side.

Photo Courtesy: Natanakairali Archives : Artist Meenakshi Menon.
Video Clipping: Mohiniyattam artist: Bindu Rajendran

Assisted by Sreekanth Janardhanan

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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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