Bharatanatyam, a 2000-yr-old dance form, although native to the South and more particularly to Tamilnadu, is easily the most popular dance form in India. It was originally peformed by dancing girls dedicated to the temple.

It's claim to antiquity rests not only on its association with the Natya Shastra but also on the overwhelming literal, sculptural and historical evidence available. It is essen-
tially a solo dance comprising in its poses, the chiselled perfection of ancient Hindu temple carvings. There is a certain timelessness about it which enshrines the eternal craving of mankind for heavenly fullfillment. Nimble movements and the purity of expressions, helped by the intrinsic charisma and irrepressible cheerfulness, create spellbinding magic, holding the watcher in thrill.

Stories about Bharatanatyam are steeped in legend. It is believed, for example, that the gods were bored and needed an activity that encompassed all art forms. And Bharatanatyam was born. Hence, this dance form combines literature, painting, poetry, dance and music.

Another story is that the word "Bharata" came from the sage who created this dance form. His name was Bharata and that is why he named the dance "bharata natyam." "Natyam" is to perform. And some people say that B H stands for "bhava," which means mood or emotive. R A stands for "raga," which means melody, and T A stands for "tala," which means rhythm.

...more bharatanatyam and great links!

Mudra ||  4000 years old! ||  Dance of Shiva ||  Bharatanatyam ||  Kathak ||  Kuchipudi ||  Kathakali || 
Mohini Attam ||  Odissi ||  Manipuri ||  Bibliography ||