Bharata Natyam is a 3000 years old dance tradition from south India, which combines together emotion (bhava), melody (raga) and rhythm (tala).
It is one of the subtle, sophisticated and graceful dance arts in the world. It involves work with one’ s body, mind and soul. Bharata Natyam is seen also as a form of Yoga as it seeks to reach the higher spiritual state through physical body. During the dance the body is used as an instrument to get united with the God within; this union is Yoga.
Bharata Natyam originally was a temple dance, which was performed to worship gods and goddesses and to bring good luck. Nowadays Bharata Nataym has evolved as a stage art; however it still holds it’s devout nature.
Bharata Natyam dances can be divided in 2 groups: technical dances and dances which tell some story.
Technical dances consist of decorative elements and sculptural postures. Similarly like there are ornaments, patterns on textile or temple walls, the dancer draws mobile, moving ornaments in space, which create harmony and positive mood.
In dances with plot, the dancer with the help of hand gestures and facial expressions, describes the events from god’ s lives, praise their qualities and ask for their blessing.