Bharatanatyam is the dance form of which state?

Bharathanatyam from Tamil Nadu

Bharatanatyam is a popular dance form in Tamil Nadu, India. This dance form is also popular in other parts of India and the world. The word “Bharatanatyam” comes from the Sanskrit words “BHA,” meaning “embodiment,” “rata,” meaning “holy,” and “Natyam,” meaning “dance.” A classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu is Bharatanatyam. Based on the Natya Shastra, Bharatanatyam is an ancient treatise on dramaturgy. 

Devadasis traditionally performed Bharatanatyam or temple dancers dedicated to a deity in a Hindu temple. It is a classical dance form that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu. The name Bharatanatyam derives from the four elements of Bharata’s Natya Shastra – nritta (pure dance), nritya (expressive dance), Natya (drama), and shastra (theatre). 

Female dancers traditionally perform Bharatanatyam, but male dancers may also perform it. The costume worn by Bharatanatyam dancers is a bright-colored saree with gold embroidery and their hair in a bun decorated with flowers.

Bharatanatyam is a highly technical and athletic dance form that requires years of training to master. The dancer should execute complex movements with grace and precision and express the emotions of the characters they are portraying through their facial expressions and body language.

Bharatanatyam performed in Carnatic Music, a classical music piece from South India. The origins of Bharatanatyam can trace back to the Natya Shastra, a treatise on dramaturgy written by the sage Bharata Muni. The Natya Shastra, written between 200 BCE and 200 CE, contains detailed instructions on how dances should perform. The dance form of Bharatanatyam developed from the Natya Shastra over the centuries.

Bharatanatyam was traditionally performed in temples by Devadasis or temple dancers. These women were considered sacred servants of the deity, and they would perform dances as an offering to the god or goddess. The Devadasis were highly skilled dancers who had undergone years of training. They were also knowledgeable about music, poetry, and literature, as these were all integral parts of their performances.

Over time, the role of the Devadasis declined, and in the early 20th century, they all disappeared. In 1930, Sundaram Pillai, a Tamil musician, and teacher, founded the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram (TNEM), dedicated to reviving traditional Tamil Music and dance. Sundaram Pillai’s student, Rukmini Devi Arundale, played a crucial role in popularising Bharatanatyam in the 20th century. She founded the Kalakshetra Foundation in 1936, an institution that taught Tamil culture and dance.

Rukmini Devi also worked to standardize the repertoire of Bharatanatyam dances and codified the Bharata Natyam Margam, or the traditional sequence of dances. It is still followed by most Bharatanatyam dancers today. In the late 20th century, Bharatanatyam began to gain popularity outside of Tamil Nadu, and it is now performed all over India and the world.

Devadasis of Bharatanatyam
Devadasis of Bharatanatyam

Carnatic Music

Carnatic music is the traditional music of South India. It is a type of classical music performed on violins, flutes, and other instruments. Carnatic music is all about ragas, which are melodic patterns that provide the structure for a piece of music. Carnatic music is compared to North Indian classical music, but several significant differences between the two styles.

Carnatic music is more complex and technical than North Indian classical music, and it places more emphasis on improvisation.

Carnatic music has its roots in the Vedic scriptures and was first mentioned in the Natya Shastra, a treatise on dramaturgy written by the sage Bharata Muni. The Natya Shastra was written between 200 BCE and 200 CE, and it contains detailed instructions on how dances should perform.

Carnatic music was most famous during the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 16th century. The Vijayanagar rulers were great patrons of the arts and encouraged musicians from India to come to their courts and perform. Carnatic music flourished during this period, and many new ragas and compositions were created.


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