Padams are abhinaya items, usually love lyrics and are rendered in a slower tempo. The various moods and emotions of the Naayikaa are executed by the dancer giving immense scope for the expression of variegated sentiments and shades of emotions.
Unless the dancer has understood and experience the meaning behind the words, she can never express fully the song. The naayikaa is longing for her naayaka symbolising the longing of each individual soul for union with the universal Divine Spirit. Seperation (Vipralambha) and Union (Sambhoga) are the two aspects of love that dominate this item in which the dancer can surrender herself to God, forget her own self in utter renunciation and begin to experience awareness of the highest truth. The Padams of Kshetrayya and the Ashtapadis of Jayadeva are frequently chosen for the performance besides others.
Javalis are also love lyrics based on shringara rasa like padams but they are shorter and executed in faster tempo. They have a touch of folk music. The javalis are in a lighter mood than the padam. The nritta and abhinaya portions of the dance are also not demarcated .
Kirtanams are compositions which are in praise of God which begin with pure dance steps performed on rhythmic syllables (shollus) followed by abhinaya on the sahitya (lyrics) of the song. They are executed in madhyam kaala , that is in a medium tempo.