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Bharatanatyam Workbook 1
- Lavanyaa Surrender

July 7, 2022

Bharatanatyam Workbook 1

SERIES: Listen. Read. Choreograph
TITLE: Bharatanatyam Workbook 1
AUTHOR: Dr. Pranitha J Kamat (
YEAR: 2020
PUBLISHER: Vedathek Publishing House, Bangalore, India
ISBN: 978-81-9467-750-5

The 'Bharatanatyam Workbook 1' from the 'Listen. Read. Choreograph' series by Natya Chittra is an A5 sized book with black and white pages. The crisp foreword highlighting the importance and advantages of the concept in the book is written by Acharya V.P. Dhananjayan. The introductory sheets are short texts on the purpose, how to use, scope and limitations of the workbook. Before diving into the workbook, the author gives an illustration on how to use the book, a chart referring to transliteration of the terminologies used and also an adavu guide that briefly summarizes all the Bharatanatyam adavus.

A quality recording of 'Pushpanjali and Ganesha Sloka' song is provided with the workbook. The workbook delineates the laya in the provided song, in the form of a detailed and yet simple to follow table. The jaati in which the nattuvangam is played is indicated along with suggestions on the type of adavu that can be executed. Every avartana is prefixed with a time stamp to enable marking the choreography process. Thus the workbook provides the student with all the information about the music thereby enabling the student to understand the given music and choreograph for it.

Dance books can put the language of the art form into words and images, as well as the passion of the dancers. While there are many dance books in general, there are very few activity books for young aspiring dancers. There is an avalanche of content on the internet. Sometimes the hamster wheel system values volume over quality and the creativity is stuck. One of the oldest clichés I can remember is reading “An exercise for the mind”. Natya Chittra especially focuses on analytical approaches to present Natya. For ardent dance learners, this might be an active engagement process of building images, thoughts and choreography. The students would be using critical thinking and logic to process the information in order to understand the concepts and ideas passed by the author.

The Natya Chittra book can be used as a supplementary tool to aid the aspiring Bharatanatyam learners in the process of self-choreography at early stages. The mathematical calculations have been explained clearly. This is a great initiative and would be successful if the teachers let the students have a first-hand experience in attempting their choreography. Research says 6 minutes of active reading slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles. This is by far the best way to relax, allowing the mind to concentrate and escape into a literary world. This book definitely helps children escape into a world more than merely a distraction but an active engagement of the imagination that stimulates their creativity.

I wish Natya Chittra continues to come up with amazing ideas for serious dance learners.

Lavanyaa Surrender
Lavanyaa Surrender is a Dancer / Curator / Arts & Cultural Director, committed to developing a happy community through Arts. Ultimately, to contribute to shaping the future of arts + culture, creating new ways of storytelling, new voices and developing artistic talent in a new virtual world, Lavanyaa is committed to innovation and revolution of the arts sector for the benefit of all.

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