Bharatnatyam Dance Souvenir
A perfect gift for a Bharatanatyam Dancer!
India is one culturally rich country, where almost every state has its own language, cuisine, and dance forms. When it comes to dance, India has traditional, classical, folk and tribal dance styles and all are simply amazing. All the incredible classical dances originated in the country during the ancient times, Bharatanatyam being the oldest and one of the most popular ones.
Bharatanatyam, is the oldest Indian classical dance form originated in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu and regarded as the mother of many other classical dance forms of India. Firstly, it was initiated in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu and eventually flourished in South India. Believed to date back to the 4th century BC, the dance form is best associated with the Devadasi culture – an ancient tribe of women who served as courtesans and performers in Tamil Nadu’s great temples. So it started as a temple dance tradition called Dasiyattam (the dance of the maid-servants) 2000 years ago and is perhaps the most advanced and evolved dance form of all the classical Indian dance forms.
The name Bharatanatyam is a simple derivation from the four most important aspects of dance (in Sanskrit). These are: Bha from Bhava meaning emotion, Ra from Raaga meaning music or melody, Ta from Taala meaning rhythm and Natyam meaning dance. Thus Bharatanatyam is the dance that encompasses music, rhythm and expressional dance or Abhinaya and strictly adheres to the Natyashastra (the scripture of classical Indian dance).
Today, Bharatanatyam is most often performed by a solo female performer, as is tradition. The repertoire of the dance can be divided into three categories, including ‘Nritta’, ‘Nritya’ and ‘Natya’, with each encompassing different steps, speeds and patterns. With dancers performing in traditional Tamil Hindu bridalwear – including a colourful sari and leather belts for hanging jewellery – a performance of Bharatanatyam is a colourful, vibrant spectacle.
This dance style is characterized by a linear form of the body without any pronounced movement of the upper body and linear spatial patterns, which make the dance form extremely dynamic and powerful.