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padam

padam

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a particular type of musical form or composition (sabhaa gaanam), meant for dance, that brings out the relationship of naayaka-naayaki (hero and heroine) as well as tOzhi (close friend) to tell important truths. The words are written through the mouth of the naayaka, naayaki or tOzhi, explaining the joy, sorrow, and other feelings of love. They indirectly refer to god, since the naayaka is said to represent the “paramaatma” (Great Soul, God), the naayaki represents the jeevaatma (human soul, man), and the tOzhi represents the guru (teacher), so the words of each is thought to help the audience reach mOksha (heaven). In Telugu, padams often have Lord Krishna as the naayaka, while Tamil padams often have Lord Subramanya (Murugan) as their naayaka. Padam has pallavi, anupallavi and at least one caraNam (all with the same pattern of swaras), with few sangatis and with easy prayOgams, while still bringing out the swaroopam of the raaga. Some padams begin from the anupallavi. Performed mainly in dance concerts, they may also be at the end of vocal and instrumental concerts. The first padams in Sanskrit were composed by Vasudeva kavi who adorned the court of king Sarfoji of Tanjore. In dance, padams include more graceful movement than footwork. They require slower-moving grace, expression, and emotion, involving the hand gestures, eyes, and face for expression rather than fancy steps.

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