States of India
Bharata Natyam, which originates from the state of Tamil Nadu in South India, is one of the oldest and most popular dance styles in India. The word itself is a combination of .
BHARATA NATYAM = BHAVA (expression) + RAGA (musical mode) + TALA (rhythm) NATYAM (dance)
This style is a direct descendant of devotional dances performed in the temples of South India from the tenth century to the middle of this century. The art of Bharata Natyam has been carried by 'nattuvanars' and ritualistic dancers called devadasis, in the temples of south India.
Bharata Natyam is poetry in motion. Exploring its history in the Natya Sastra, written by the great sage Bharata, it is a highly traditional & stylized dance form. Bharata Natyam has been immortalized in successive generations, as much by the grace of great dancers as by the nimble fingers of renowned sculptors who have demonstrated the perfection of Bharata's technique.
Bharatanatyam's blend of the abstract & the emotional is derived from its fusion of two prime elements, nritta (pure dance or dance without interpretive meaning) & nritya (expressive dance). Bharatanatyam derives much of its intense, dramatic impact from the juxtaposition & contrast with which both elements are utilized. Nritta comprises adavus, which are the basic dance units of Bharatanatyam. Each adavu contains 3 essential elements, a basic standing position (sthanaka), movement of the legs & feet (chari) & decorative hand gestures (nritta-hasta).