KARANAS

Karanas


Karana, a Sanskrit word which meaning ‘doing’ is basically transitions in the classical Indian dances. It is described in the Natyashastra as “hastapaada samaayogaah nrttsya karanam bhavet”. It is a combination of three elements, namely nritta hasta (dance movement of the hands), sthaana (a dance posture for the body) and a chaari (a dance movement of the leg). The karanas form the basis of the adavus. Therefore, each karana was practised as a movement and not as a mere posture, as often misunderstood. The karanas are said to be numerous, however 108 have been codified in the Natyashastra. They are found depicted in the stone carvings on the passage walls in the gopurams of the Nataraj temples of Chidambaram, as Lord Shiva is said to be the originator of the Karanas. They have found to have influenced all the classical and folk dances of India, as well as bear resemblance to Egyptian, Thai and Indonesian dances.
The 108 Karanas are as follows:

  1. Talapuspaputam
  2. Vartitam
  3. Valitorukam
  4. Apaviddham
  5. Samanakham
  6. Linam
  7. Swastikarechitam
  8. Mandalaswastikam
  9. Nikuttakam
  10. Ardhanikuttakam
  11. Katicchinnam
  12. Ardharechitakam
  13. Vaksahswastikam
  14. Unmattam
  15. Swastikam
  16. Prsthaswastikam
  17. Dikswastikam
  18. Alaatakam
  19. Katisamam
  20. Aksiptarecitam
  21. Viksiptaksiptakam
  22. Ardhaswastikam
  23. Anchitam
  24. Bhujangatrasitam
  25. Urdhvajanu
  26. Nikuncitam
  27. Mattalli
  28. Ardha Mattalli
  29. Recita Nikuttitam
  30. Padapaviddhakam
  31. Valitam
  32. Ghurnitam
  33. Lalitam
  34. Dandapaksam
  35. Bhujangatrastarecitam
  36. Nupuram
  37. Vaisakharecitam
  38. Bhramarakam
  39. Caturam
  40. Bhujangancitakam
  41. Dandakarecitam
  42. Vrscikarecitam
  43. Katibhrantam
  44. Latavrscikam
  45. Chinnam
  46. Vrscikarecitam
  47. Vrscikam
  48. Vyamsitam
  49. Parsvanikuttakam
  50. Lalatatilakam
  51. Krantam
  52. Kuncitam
  53. Cakramandalam
  54. Uromandalam
  55. Aksiptam
  56. Talavilasitam
  57. Argalam
  58. Viksiptam
  59. Aavartam
  60. Dolapadam
  61. Vivrttam
  62. Vinivrttam
  63. Parsvakrantam
  64. Nistambitam
  65. Vidyudbhrantam
  66. Atikrantam
  67. Vivartitakam
  68. Gajakriditakam
  69. Talasamsphotitam
  70. Garudaplutakam
  71. Gandasuci
  72. Parivrttam
  73. Parsvajanu
  74. Grdhravalinakam
  75. Sannatam
  76. Suci
  77. Ardhasuci
  78. Sucividdham
  79. Apakrantam
  80. Mayuralalitam
  81. Sarpitam
  82. Dandapadam
  83. Harinaplutam
  84. Prenkholitam
  85. Nitambam
  86. Skhalitam
  87. Karihastam
  88. Prasarpitakam
  89. Simhavikriditakam
  90. Simhakarsitam
  91. Udvrttam
  92. Upasratakam
  93. Talasanghattitam
  94. Janitam
  95. Avahitthakam
  96. Nivesam
  97. Elakakriditam
  98. Urudvrttam
  99. Madaskhalitam
  100. Visnukrantam
  101. Sambhrantam
  102. Viskambham
  103. Udghattitam
  104. Vrsabhakriditam
  105. Lolitam
  106. Nagapasarpitam
  107. Sakatasyam
  108. Gangavataranam