Bharatanatyam dance, one of the popular classical dances in South India, especially the dance performed in the temples on the occasion of festivals and on auspicious days since 2000 years in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states.
Origin of Bharatanatyam Dance:
The dance has a rich history of its style and almost dating back to 2000 years. Lord Brahma created Panchamaveda or Natya Veda. He adopted references from the four Vedas, they are Pathya(words) of Rigveda, Abhinaya(Communication from the body movements while performing) of Yajurveda, Geetham(Music) of Atharvaveda. The devotees believe that Lord Brahma revealed about the Bharatanatyam dance to Bharata a famous sage later he wrote Natya Shastra in Sanskrit, which explains the style, performance, principles of the dance.
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, means performing with depict emotional expressions, mudras means hand signals and body language with steps. Another name for this dance is Daasiyattam. Earlier devadasis(the servants of Gods) performed in the temples to appease the God. This tradition generated from one to another generation. After some decades Raja Nartakis performed in the Royal Courts to give joy to the kings.
During 1800A.D to 1830 A.D quartet, chinnayya Pillai, Ponnaiah Pillai, Sivanandam Pillai and Vadivelu Pillai from Tanjore re-edited dance programs into its present shape by adding various gestures and items. In Modern times E.Krishna Iyer, who popularised Bharatanatyam dance all over the world 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 in a long time.