An ancient traditional art form with its origins steeped in divinity, Bharatha Natyam reflects the culture of India at its best.
The performer (male or female) is usually a soloist accompanied by a minimum of two musicians and usually four for a full-scale concert. The dancer uses the space as her own sacred temple and brings the audience into her magical circle as she performs and acts out stories with Gods and Goddesses from Indian mythology, folk tales and stories with emotional content. Being a living art form it has continued to enrichen itself changing with the times yet keeping its pristine beauty and nature intact. Linear geometrical patterns, a perfect balance of the body, eloquents of expression, and precision of footwork to intricate mathematical rhythms are the hallmarks of this dance.
The dance originated 5000 years ago and comprises of several arts like sculpture, painting, theatre, literature, music, dramaturgy, and poetry. Young girls were dedicated to the temples at the early age of eight years where they underwent a strict discipline in the above related arts to fully understand, comprehend and evoke the sentiments required of them as dancers. Their tutelage was conducted under eminent performers of the arts who were either the established temple dancers known as “Devadasis” (Servants of the Gods) or ‘Rajadasis’ those who were the courtesans of the state and kingdom. The art form originated in the southern part of India in the state of Tamil Nadu and flourished greatly under the patronage of several kings some of whom were composers of the poetry and musical compositions that the dancers performed to and have handed down this rich tradition by word of mouth.