Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form of south india. It originated in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India. It is the most ancient of all classical dance forms in India. Bharatanatyam is a ‘natyam’ (dramatic art dance) which involves Bha – Bhava (expression), Ra – Raaga (music), Ta – Taala (rhythm).
The center of all arts in India is Bhakti (devotion) and therefore, Bharatanatyam as a dance form and carnatic music set to it are deeply grounded in Bhakti. Bharatanatyam, it is said, is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion. Dance and music are inseparable forms; only with Sangeetam (words or syllables set to raga or melody) can dance be conceptualized. Bharatanatyam has three distinct elements to it: Nritta(rhythmic dance movements), Natya (mime, or dance with a dramatic aspect), and Nritya(combination of Nritta and Natya).
Bharatanatyam is based on ancient Hindu mythology, and communication of these mythological concepts is done through Bhavabhinaya or facial expression and Hasthamudras or hand gestures. There are mainly 6 different styles of Bharatanatyam:
The Kalakshetra style of dance, which has evolved as the most popular style of Bharatanatyam today, is a combination of Tanjavur and Pandanallur styles.
Kalaanjali School of Arts provides instruction in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam.