Bharat Nãtyam, the Indian Classical Dance from South India-Tamil Nadu, has been one of the oldest and the richest classical dance of India. It's antiquity lies about 3000 years ago with a mythological as well as a historical origin. It was initially known as Sadir-attam (court dance) and also Dãsiattam (performed by the daasis-the servants of God).
In its popular connotation, the name Bharat Nãtyam is understood in two ways:
- It is the dance (nãtyam) , that beautifully blends the three elements - 'Bha'-Bhãva (from expressions), 'Ra'-Rãga (from musical melody) and 'Ta'-Tãla (from rythm).
- The name 'Bharata' is after the great author of the treaties, "NATYA SHASTRA"(an encyclopedia on Dance, Drama and Music).
As in any classical dance form, BharatNãtyam requires total dedication, vigorous practice and full concentration. A basic training of minimum 6 years is required to present a full recital on stage. It requires a mastery over the technique of movements to achieve grace, balance, suppleness, physical endurance and a faultless sense of rhythm.