Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest and the most widely practiced classical dances of India. More popular in Southern India, this dance is based on Natyasastra, the treatise on Indian classical dances written by Sage Bharatha.
The term Bharathanatyam was first coined by Purandara Dasa, the master Carnatic music composer. The origin of this dance can be traced back to Dasi Attam, a dance form which once had been performed by the women dancers of the temples of South India.
Bharatanatyam is considered to be the fire dance, the mystic manifestation of the element of fire that is present in the human body. The movements of a well versed Bharatanatyam dancer do resemble the flames of fire.
The dance is a combination of both the rhythm and the expression. In performing stories from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, the element of dramatization is also involved. An extremely traditional dance, it is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, statuesque and sculpturesqe poses.
Performed in the video is Anita Ratnam, one of the most recognized dance icons of the country. In her career of three decades, she has performed in 15 countries and has made immense contributions to this classical dance.