Bharata Natyam is one of the purest and oldest forms of dance in India. The state of Tamil Nadu in south India is the origin place of this beautiful classical dance. Bharat Natyam has a glorious history and it was evolved during ancient times. This dance was performed in temples of Lord Shiva.
Learning this dance is a tough task because this dance has its own conventions and strict codes. It’s a specialized dance that requires amazing skills and rigorous practice. It is said that, dance has three basic elements of Mood (bhava), timing (tala) and music (raga). Bharat Natyam incorporates all the basic elements.
This is a highly skilled dance with technical details. There are 64 principles of synchronized face, body, hand, and foot movements which are performed in Bharat Natyam. During the initial days, this dance was performed by temple dancers or also known as Devadasis. Nattuvans are known to be inheritor of this art who have exclusively performed this art since old days. Bharat Natyam was performed at the time of worship and on other festivals. With the passage of time, Devadasis started to perform in the courts of kings and rulers also.
Bharata Natyam is based on a highly developed technique and is the most accomplished classical dance of India. One can also trace its roots in the ‘Natya Shastra’ written by Bharata Muni. Rukmini Devi Arundale is a famous dancer and scholar who is credited with giving this art popularity and visibility. Kalak-Shetra is a classical dance school in a village named Tiruvanmiyur (Tamil Nadu) that has been started by her. Many aspiring Bharat Natyam dancers join this school which has the reputation of producing quality Bharat Natyam Dancers.
Mridangam and a pair of cymbals are the primary music instruments in this form of dance. Other instruments that are often used in Bharat Natyam are; ghatam, veena, flute and violin etc.