Bharatanatyam is one of the most ancient forms of Indian classical dance, expressed through Nritta or rhythmic movements, Nritya or expression, and Natya or mime. This art form has its origins thousands of years ago in the Natya Sastra, a comprehensive guide to the intricacies of dance, drama and music, written by the sage Bharata.
Bharatanatyam is an artform in which the dancer is considered as worshipper of the divine. The supreme divinity is glorified in the most pure form through our physical body, mind and intellect. Thus the dancer experiences the joy of the art and more so when it is done as a 'Nrithyanivedhanam' meaning , dance as an offering of prayer to all the gods!
The name “Bharata Natyam” symbolizes the most important components of this dance form: “Bha” for Bhava or expression, “Ra” for Raga or melody, and “Ta” for Tala or rhythm. This dance form is unique in its geometric precision, rhythmic complexity, and distinctive language of gestures. By combining these elements with music, Bharatanatyam exquisitely expresses the yearning of the human soul for union with God. In South India, this classical dance was nurtured in the temples of Tamil Nadu, where dancers performed this art as a form of worship to the temple deities.
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