Sammisram adavus are the last category of adavus that are used for training young Mohiniyattam dancers.

In Mohiniyattam, the codified adavus – Jaganam,  Thaganam, Dhaganam and Sammishram are introduced to young students once they gain control and balance over their body while dancing. The in the last few series, we discussed the various adavus in Jaganam, Thaganam and Dhaganam categories. Here we are elaborating on the last adavu of dhaganam and the first one in the Sammisram or Sammishram. 

Dhaganam 10 (Dhanu tha Dhaja nu tha)

Commence the adavu by standing in aramandalam with arms held above the head in a circular manner in Mushti Hastha mudra as shown in image. For ‘Dhanu’ bend the knees deeply in either a muzhumamdalam or mukaalmandalam. For ‘Nu Tha’ release the deep bend and shift the weight on the bent right leg while extending the left leg towards the left side. Open the palms to Tripatakam as you extend the left leg out to the back. Repeat once more to the same side for ‘Tha Jhonu Tha’. The eyes look down and then up as the Mushti mudra is released to Tripatakam.

Repeat twice to the left side for ‘Tha Jhonu Tha, Tha Dhimi Tha’. This particular adavu is inspired by a bird taking flight. In fact there are examples of a few more adavus taking movements’ inspiration from nature.

Now we have finished the Dhaganam group of adavus. And we start with Sammisram / Vakram adavus. 

Sammisram Adavu 1 

Dhikki Dhinnam;Tha Dhinnam

Stand in Aramandalam with the arms held in Muzhuvrittam; the left hand in Hamsasyam and right hand in Pathaka. Stamp the right foot on the spot for ‘Dhikki’. For ‘Dhinnam’, step forward with the right foot followed by the left while still staying in Aramandalam. This movement must have a soft bounce to it. Stay in Aramandalam for ‘Tha’. For ‘Dhinnam’ stretch the right foot out on its heel (towards the side) with the knees still bent and then return it back, placed flat, next to the left foot in Aramandalam. 

This step is done to an offset rhythmic beat. During this time the right arm extends in a bent fashion towards the right knee with palm held in Ardhachandran and returns back in front of the chest. The mudra now changes to Hamsasyam. Repeat the above to the left side, starting by stamping the left foot and changing the left hand’s mudra to Patakam.

Assisted by Sreekanth Janardhanan

Photo Courtesy : Natanakairali Archives

Artists : Ms. Keiko Okano, Ms. Bindu Rajendran

Video Clipping : Mohiniyattam Artist:  Ms. Ameena Shanavas (Dhaganam 10), Ms. Bindu Rajendran (Dhikki Dhinnam;Tha Dhinnam)

Read articles by Nirmala Paniker here


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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