Bharatanatyam dance is one of the popular classical dances in South India, especially the dance performed in the temples during festivals and auspicious days since 2000 in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states.
Origin of Bharatanatyam Dance:
The dance has a rich history of its style, which almost dates back to 2000 years. Lord Brahma created Panchamaveda or Natya Veda. He adopted references from the four Vedas, Pathya(words) of Rigveda, Abhinaya(Communication from the body movements while performing) of Yajurveda, and Geetham(Music) of Atharvaveda. The devotees believe Lord Brahma revealed the Bharatanatyam dance to Bharata, a famous sage. Later, he wrote Natya Shastra in Sanskrit, which explains the dance’s style, performance, and principles.
Bharatanatyam Dance Steps:
Dance is the form of Bhava, Raga, Tala, and Natya. In this dance, there are two distinct forms performed. They are Nritta, which means focus on hand gestures and movements, another one is Nritya, which means performing with depicting emotional expressions, mudras mean hand signals and body language with steps. Another name for this dance is Daasiyattam. Earlier devadasis(the gods’ servants) were performed in the temples to appease God. This tradition is generated from one generation to another. After some decades, Raja Nartakis served in the Royal Courts to give joy to the kings.
From 1800A.D to 1830 A.D quartet, chinny Pillai, Ponnaiah Pillai, Sivanandam Pillai and Vadivelu Pillai from Tanjore re-edited dance programs into their present shape by adding various gestures and items. In Modern times E. Krishna Iyer popularised Bharatanatyam dance worldwide and raised the social status of Classical dance. Later Rukmini Devi Arundale founded Kalakshetra near Chennai city and promoted the students in the classical dance of Bharatanatyam. And so many noted classical dancers, in their way, serviced to flourish the dance for a long time.