The Alarippu (Tamil: அலாரிப்பு; meaning flowering bud) is traditionally the first dance piece that Bharatanatyam dancers learn and perform in this type of classical dance recital. It is an invocation piece, symbolising the offering of respects to both God and the audience.
It is a dance ritual accompanied by a nattuvanar (verbal percussionist) and a drummer. The act is entirely based on rhythm and is focused on relaxing the body of the dancer, thereby relaxing her mind and symbolizes her awakening.
The alarippu is done at the beginning of the performance and is done in three tempos. Alarippu means blossoming of body and mind, and is also known as Alarisu. Alarippu is first done in samabhangi, aremandi, purnamandi, intricate adavus and ends with mukthayas. This nrutha item symbolises offering prayer to God, to the stage and solution to preceptors and elders. It belongs to the nritta category. It is usually of a duration of 4 to 5 minutes. It exercises the whole body, from the head to the toes.
- Faubion Bowers (1953). The dance in India. Columbia University Press. pp. 48–50.
- Roy, Sujoya (June 15, 2005). For Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles. iUniverse, Inc. p. 219. ISBN 0-595-34556-5.
- Ragini Devi (July 1, 2002). Dance Dialects of India (3 ed.). Motilal Banarsidass Pub. p. 56. ISBN 81-208-0674-3.
- Vatsayan, Kapila (June 15, 2003). The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts. Abhinav Publications. p. 81. ISBN 81-7017-362-0.
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