Baratha Natya Special

Bharatanatyam (Tamil : "????????????") also historically called Sadir, is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu.[1][2][3] Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance that was performed exclusively by women,[4][5] and it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism.[1][6][7]

Bharatanatyam's theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text by Bharata Muni, Natya Shastra,[6] its existence by 2nd century CE is noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram, while temple sculptures of 6th to 9th century CE suggest it was a well refined performance art by mid 1st millennium CE.[5][8] Bharatanatyam may be the oldest classical dance tradition of India.[9]

Bharatanatyam style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands, eyes and face muscles.[8] The dance is accompanied by music and a singer, and typically her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art.[1] The dance has traditionally been a form of an interpretive narration of mythical legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu texts.[4] The performance repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like other classical dances, includes nrita (pure dance), nritya (solo expressive dance) and natya (group dramatic dance).[4][10]

Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century.[8] It was banned by the colonial British government in 1910,[11] but the Indian community protested against the ban and expanded it outside the temples in the 20th century.[8][11][12] Modern stage productions of Bharatanatyam have incorporated technical performances, pure dance based on non-religious ideas and fusion themes.[5][8]


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