Skip to main content

Bharatnatyam – what is it?

Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form that originated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest and most popular dance forms of India, with a rich cultural heritage dating back over 2000 years. The Bharatanatyam dance style is characterized by its graceful movements, complex hand gestures, and rhythmic footwork. This dance is performed on classical Indian music, which includes the melodious voice of the singer and the tune of the percussion instrument. Baratanatyam has a strong spiritual and religious background and is often performed in temples and other religious places.

Looking for classical dance classes for kids? Or for yourself? Have you tried Bharatnatyam dance classes? From being a form of entertainment for rulers to becoming a pan-Indian and global classical art, Bharatanatyam has indeed grown rapidly in the last century and has managed to hold pride of place among the eight glorious classical dance forms of India.

Brief History of Bharatanatyam

It is believed by legends and many others that Bharatanatyam dance was revealed to Bharata by Lord Brahma, who codified the dance style in the Natya Shastra. Bharatnatyam includes nritta, nritya and natya. Nrita involves pure dance, hand and foot movements, and gestures. Dance involves emotion and Natya involves drama. The dancers are accompanied by music, a singer, and a guru who directs the performance and gives instructions to the dancers.

Where did Bharatnatyam originate?

First found in the Natya Shastra written by sage Bharat Muni, Bharatanatyam is the oldest dance form of India. You will find various sculptures and paintings dating back to between the sixth and ninth centuries, depicting Bharatanatyam as a sophisticated dance form of the second century AD. This beautiful dance originated in Tamil Nadu where women known as Devadasis used to dance in temples. The dances included stories from ancient devotional stories.

This practice continued till the 19th century after which the contribution of the Tanjore brothers further popularized the dance form through stage productions. Only then did it acquire the modern form that we follow today with universal themes and ideas.

Why is this dance so popular despite the presence of many other art forms and cultural activities in a heritage-rich country like India? After all, there is no dearth of online classical dance classes in India. The unique grace and beauty in the movements and expressions of Bharatanatyam dancers are undoubtedly attractive reasons. But is there something more to it? Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of learning Bharatnatyam dance.

Bharatnatyam Arangetram is a milestone in the journey of a Bharatnatyam dancer, read more on this blog

Benefits of Bharatnatyam

Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form that is beneficial in many ways. It provides many health benefits. People across the country are fans of classical dance forms like Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, and Bharatnatyam. Classical dances have earned their name not only in India but also abroad due to their positive effects on the body. Some benefits of Bharatanatyam are given below.

Improves flexibility

Mudras are an important part of Bharatanatyam. Various parts of the body produce these and improve flexibility. Bharatanatyam uses expressions and gestures to express emotions and messages. The postures and expressions help to speak to the audience through dance and improve flexibility.

Advanced self expression

Bharatanatyam dancers are trained to be vocal and emotional; They have strong storytelling skills and the beauty is that it’s all non-verbal! With their hand gestures and facial expressions and, indeed, their entire bodies, dancers can convey powerful emotions and evoke strong emotions in the audience. For your quiet, introverted child, this is a wonderful way of expression that creates interest and confidence in revealing their inner self – where they subconsciously share that latent feeling they were struggling with. So, look no further, Bharatanatyam classes are the ideal dance classes for kids.

Increases stamina

Like various other dance forms, Bharatanatyam also consists of several movements that strengthen the muscles. Sometimes these activities are strenuous, and the posture needs to be held for a few seconds. Bharatnatyam is no less than yoga or gymnastics, so a few hours of practice and movement of the limbs will help in increasing stamina.

Improves balance

Bharatanatyam dance involves a variety of poses, postures, and movements. Balance is improved through various physical activities called karana. For example, standing on one leg for a few seconds can improve balance. Both Yoga and Bharatanatyam are beneficial for the body.

Keeps the heart healthy

You can keep your heart healthy by dancing. It circulates and pumps blood faster. Like many other dance forms, Bharatanatyam requires a lot of energy and ultimately increases blood circulation. Fitness and dance go together.

Improves concentration

While dancing Bharatanatyam, one must remember Mudra, Karana, and Hasta to perform them well. It requires a lot of concentration and attention to remember all this properly. A dancer has to memorize various movements, steps, rhythm, rhythm, and expression during a performance. Ultimately, Bharatnatyam helps in improving mental abilities, concentration, and mental alertness.

Better career prospects

The National Education Policy (NEP) has promoted music and dance as it has included the arts holistically in the curriculum. Therefore, students can now systematically take up music and dance like Bharatanatyam and make an active career in them. So learning these creative activities is not a coincidence. Schools and colleges will offer alternative courses. Apart from being a professional dancer, you can also be a dance teacher, dance director, and choreographer. Since dance involves innumerable expressions, the world of theater is also an option.

Everything in life has a rhythm – from your heartbeat to the ticking of a clock, and dance helps you connect to that rhythm. Moving with this rhythm and flow ensures a harmonious path in the journey of life. Come, explore this journey with Bharatanatyam classes at SaPa – the home of music, musicians, and dancers!


What is Bharatanatyam dance?

Bharatanatyam is an Indian classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms recognized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and expresses South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly Shaivism and Hinduism in general.

What is the importance of Bharatnatyam in Indian culture?

Bharatanatyam is a dance from Tamil Nadu in southern India. It originates from the Natyashastra, an ancient treatise on theater written by the mythological priest Bharata. Originally a temple dance for women, Bharatanatyam is often used to express Hindu religious stories and devotion.

How long does it take to learn Bharatanatyam?

The amount of time it takes to learn Bharatanatyam depends on the individual’s dedication and commitment to the art. Becoming proficient in Bharatanatyam usually requires many years of training and practice.

Enroll Now- Online Bharatanatyam Dance Classes


Leave a Reply