The duration of
the programme can vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours as the time may permit.
Each Talavadya programme is set to a thala, which in this case is Adi, a thala
consisting of eight beats.Well, the performance begins with all the instruments
playing together to reach a crescendo. This is followed by a musical piece set
to the same thala and will be played by the artists who
would provide melodic support. Then all the instruments in exclusion to the
Mridangam start the solo rounds. After the Mridangam, the kanjira takes over,
and then the Pakhawaj, then Ghatam and Dholak take their turns. Each of the
instruments perform solo for around three minutes each, where each instrument
tries to produce as many variations as possible during their time. The first
round is based on the Chatusra Gati, which is the normal base. Then the second
round, similar to the first takes place, but this time the nature is Thisra,
something like Waltz. The third round takes place in Kanda Nadai, i.e., bringing
five beats in a unit time, and then, the fourth round is in Misra Nadai, ie,
seven beats in a unit time.
Some more rounds follow these rounds in which, each following round is shorter
than the preceding one, till the rounds are as short as about two beats per
instrument. After this shortening, the rounds have reached the point where no
shortening would be possible and then all the instruments coalesce for the
finale. The finale starts with the instruments playing common compositions with
the speed increasing to reach a magnificent crescendo.
In the end, a Korvai preceded by a Mora is played to announce the end. The
Korvai is the last piece of the concert as well as the Solo rounds.
Overall, the performance tries to bring out the different aspects of the instruments used and display the versatility with which they are endowed.
So many percussion instruments come together in Indian music only in Talavadya
and percussion ensembles and not in other concerts. These concerts have, for a
change, centre stage being occupied by percussion instruments.
When the nadai changes the dancers as well as the melodic instrumentalists would
perform these nadais in the corresponding jathis in the particular dance and art
form, which would signify the switch over of the percussionists from one nadai