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By definition, tillana is a musical composition used profusely in bharatnatyam. The pallavi and anupallavi use only solkattu and occasionally swaras. At the end, there is usually a short charanam in praise of a king or God. It is generally performed towards the end of a recital.
It is the concluding piece of any bharatnatyam recital and is purely a nritta number ending with a short line of Sahityam. In terms of movements, Tillanas have designs in space along straight lines, diagonals, triangles and rectangles. The outstretched arm positions, leg extensions, bhramaris, the pirouettes etc give the tillanas a certain dynamic quality. The use of periya adavu, the dance unit covering the space is quite eye cayching. All the tempos are used in the tillanas with dance cadences which give the impression of a mobile sculpture.
The pallavi and anu pallavi of a tillana are composed of the jatis with a charanam. In the first half of the charanam, there is a asignature of the composer and the name of the deity or patron. The second concluding half is composed of jatis. At the end of the tillana, the sahitya suggesting the place and the deity and the namamudra, are enacted with the hastas and appropriate facial expressions. Finally, in the fast tempo, the dancer ends the number with a concluding movement or by a quick exit. It livens up the mood of the onlookers.


  • Tat dhim tanata dhim tana Tirana, Tirana tirataani


  • Tat dhim tanata tadara taani, dhim tanata tadara taani
  • Tat dhim tanata tadara taani, dhim tanata tadara taani
  • Tat dhit talangu takatiku tadinginatom
  • Dhit talangu takatiku tadinginatom
  • Talangu takatiku tadinginatom

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