Tāla is a common term used across several kalās in India: music, dance, visual arts, and architecture. It can mean the span (of the palm), the floor (height) of a building and the musical beat (time measure).
In Classical Music—both the Hindustani tradition in the North and the Carnatic tradition in the South, tāla brings definition to the dimensions of time and strength in the musical expression as expressed through meter and volume.
In dance, tāla establishes the foundational meter within which the dancer moves with various rhythmic patterns that complement the musical arrangement.
In art, tāla or tālamāna is a special scale, which is considered to be the span of the palm and length of the face. It ensures symmetrical beauty and imparts divinity into the structure of the form. Using precise measurements, based on the ancient śilpa śāstra texts along with traditional techniques, the artists are able to bring divine forms into being.
In this session of Vedic Threads, friends and colleagues– artist Drdha Vrata Gorrick and artist/dancer Vinay Srinivasan join Drs. Ramkumar and Claudia to share how tāla brings meaning as well as definition to their practice of their respective kalās.