Hand Gestures In Bharatanatyam

  • One of the most striking aspects of an Indian Classical Dance is the use of hand gestures, also known as Hasta Mudra (read: Huss-tha mu-dh-raa). In order to convey the meaning of what a dancer is performing, hand gestures are a significant __ to facial expressions. However, there are also Nritta Mudras, that are employed for the sake of beauty and decorative purposes while performing Nritta. So vast is the hand gestures that it covers almost all the aspects of human life and the entire universe. There is a hand gesture for every single thing in this universe. Some are performed with a single hand while some may require the use of both hands. Hence 'Mudras' bring unique poetic element while performing Abhinaya (expressions) and thus the language of the mudras enables the dancer to express practically anything and everything. Mudras are basically of two types


  • Asamyukta Hasta (or Asamyuta) (Single Hand Gestures)

  • Samyukta Hasta (or Samyuta) (Double Hand Gestures)


Asamyukta Hasta (read: Uh-sum-yook-tha Husstha) - It is done using a single hand. The Natyashastra mentions 28 Mudras. There are four new Mudras added to this list. These Hand Gestures are a Part of Angika Abhinaya.

Hand Gestures available



It is such an expressive dance form, where the complexities of saying a story are so high that it would simply leave an audience spell bound, with appreciation.




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