Asian Dance, 2nd Edition (World of Dance) by Elizabeth A. Hanley

By Elizabeth A. Hanley

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These include anudrutam, a fixed anga of one beat marked by hand clap (abbreviated A in the examples to follow); drutam, a fixed anga of two beats marked by a clap and a wave (abbreviated D); and laghu, a variable anga marked by a clap plus finger counting (abbreviated L, f). There are five patterns, or jatis, of these laghu: tisra: clap plus two finger counts caturasra: clap and three counts khanda: clap and four counts misra: clap and six counts (3 beats) Lff (4 beats) (5 beats) (7 beats) sankirna: clap and eight counts (9 beats) Lfff Lffff Lffffff (ends with pinky finger) Lfffffff (ends with middle finger) THE 35 TALA SYSTEM There are seven categories of tala, each composed of a different arrangement and number of angas.

This same principle applies to the dancer’s foot rhythms in relation to the drummer or both of them in unison in relation to the other instruments. This is particularly integrated into Kathak dance, where both drummer and dancer can echo or improvise upon the other’s musical voices. Tisra eka tala; tisra jati counting threes: chant “ta ki ta”. 1 • • • 2 • • • 3 • • • (Dots indicate subdivisions of the pulse into four parts) L f f (laghu, first speed) Ta • ki • ta • (chanting the Tala speed) Ta ki ta Ta ki ta (second speed, “doubled”) Ta ki ta Ta ki ta Ta ki ta Ta ki ta (speed 3, tala redoubled) 1 2 3 (Tala count/clap underlined) INDIAN DANCE LEXICON India’s classical dance lexicon requires the dancer to be emotionally expressive and physically adroit, as well as highly rhythmic.

Tisra eka: 2. Caturasra eka: 3. Khanda eka: 4. Misra eka: 5. indd 39 L+f f (shortest tala) L+f f f L+f f f f L+f f f f f f L+f f f f f f f f 3 beats 4 beats 5 beats 7 beats 9 beats 12/11/09 3:17:08 PM 40 ASIAN DANCE Triputa tala: composed of one laghu and two drutas (two units of organization) 1. Tisra triputa: 2. Caturasra triputa: L+f f+D+D L+f f f+D+D 3. Khanda triputa: 4. Misra triputa: 5. Sankirna triputa: L+f f f f+D+D L+f f f f f f+D+D L+f f f f f f f f D+D 7 beats (3+2+2) 8 beats (4+2+2) (Popular for dance, called Adi Tala) 9 beats (5+2+2) 11 beats (7+2+2) 13 beats (9+2+2) Jhampa tala: composed of one laghu, one anudrutam, and one drutam 1.

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