Topics: Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music, South India Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Bharatanatyam is the most popular Indian dance and belongs to the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. And also it is the oldest dance forms of India. It was nurtured in the temples and courts of southern India since ancient times and it was a part of the religious. Bharata Natyam is a concoction of complex rhythm patterns, dozens and dozens of hand movements, several graceful body moves and postures, and, perhaps most importantly, a dazzling variety of precisely drawn facial expressions. Indeed, the broad range of facial expressions are truly unique to Indian dance—no other dance style in the world deals with as many subtle states of emotion as Indian dance does. It presents a unique spectacle for the viewer because it depicts myths drawn from the ancient Indian texts—as well as from the collective Indian imagination—through the usage of expressive hand movements and striking foot patterns set to voiced rhythmic syllables. The abstract gestures render the beloved stories alive, so the facial expressions are imperative, unlike in the most other forms of dance.

The name Bharatanatyam is a simple derivation from the four most important aspects of dance (in Sanskirt). Bha from Bhaya meaning emotion. Ra from Raaga meaning music or melody, Ta from Taala meaning rhythm, and Natyam meaning dance. Thus Bharatanatyam is the dance that encompasses music, rhythm, and expressional dance. It is also an attempt to embody the divine beauty, charm, rhythms and symbols that exist in heaven. It is a means of spiritual elevation both for the dancer and the audience. The music of Bharatanatyam is based on Carnatic classical music. The instruments used are Veena, Flute, Mridangam and Violin. Songs are mainly in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages. The themes are from Indian mythology, the epics and the Puranas. The art was handed down as a living tradition from generation to generation under the Devadasi system under which women were dedicated to temples to serve the deity as...
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