'Bharatanatyam is a means of spiritual elevation - both for the dancer and the audience'.The most popular of the Indian Classical dance forms, Bharatanatyam, originated in Tamil Nadu and was inspired by the sculptures of the ancient Chidambaram temple.
The name Bharatanatyam is a combination of four words:
'bha' – Bhava or Expression
'ra' – Raga or Music
'ta' – Thaala or Rhythm
'natyam' – Dance
It is believed that Bharata Muni (Sage Bharata) wrote Natya Shastra - the ancient Indian treatise on performing arts – which forms the basis of Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam consists of three major aspects – Nritta, Natya & Nritya
'Nritta' is the rhythmic & repetitive elements
'Natya' is the rendition of abhinaya or expressions
'Nritya' is the combination of Nritta & Natya.
The music commonly used for Bharatanatyam is the Carnatic style Indian Classical music and the instruments accompanied include Mridangam, Veena, Violin, and Flute.