Nattuvangam & Nattuvannar

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Nattuvangam & Nattuvannar

If you notice the live orchestra group of a bharatanatyam concert, you would definitely find one person who sits and plays the simplest of the instrument among the rest of the ones. That instrument is a set of round plate like stuff held on both hands and the person shall be tapping it in different angles to represent the sound of the dancer’s feet when they make contact with the ground.This set of cymbals are called the Nattuvangum and the person who plays it is called the Nattuvannar. The most important person in the bharatanatyam orchestra group is unarguably a Nattuvannar. A well trained Nattuvannar reproduces the alternate hard and soft beats resulting in a synchronized pattern of the talam.He enhances the intricate foot works and energetic movements of the dancer.  Nattuvangam is used in classical and light music recitals as well but the one used for bharatanatyam is a heavier one. The one held on the right hand is made up of brass that makes a treble sound and the one held on the left hand is made up of iron that makes the bass sound. In ancient days, the nattuvangam was made out of panchaloham (pancha means five and loham means metal). The Nattuvannars believe that a heavier one maintains a steady tempo and they prefer that. But nowadays, because of the less demand and escalating costs they are made lighter. Also they were hand made in the earlier days and this practice is also not there as people started making in dies as technology improved

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