Based on Natya- Shashtra- a treatise on dance. It is taught with a passion for symmetry and perfection, expression and rhythm to bring out the beauty of the dancer within.
Sage Bharata- the Master of Science and drama put together a Veda text called the "Natya Veda" wherein he endowed great attributes from the already existing four Vedas, The Rigveda, the Saamveda, the Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda.
The Natyaveda was thus born out of the four Vedas and the following characteristics from each were drawn into it.
From Rig Veda- the Pathyams i.e. Recitals.
From Saamveda- the Gitam i.e.-music
From Yajurveda- the Abhinaya ie histrionics & gestures.
From Atharvaveda- the Rasas i.e. the Emotions/ Sentiments.
Since it is Bharatamuni who initiated this form of dance it is called Bharatanatyam. It must be mentioned that this treatise is the holy book for all dance forms and that Dances of India branched out from this book of knowledge but regional influences of language, costume weather etc played a big role in creating different styles of dance.
Bharatanatyam dance in its complete sense is an expression of the song and mood created by it through the use of limbs, eyes and Mana- the mind to portray the composition to the Rasikas or the audience.
The costume is a beautiful ensemble of vibrant colours in silk, temple jewellery made form Panchdhaatu (five metals) and fresh flowers to intoxicate the air during a performance.
The Aarangetram- the first performance on stage is a commendable moment in a dancer life and shows the determination and grit, the dedication and desire of a dancer to finish what he/ she started. A new beginning!
The accompanying artists are musicians playing the following instruments Mrudangam, Flute, Violin and the Guru doing the Nattuvangam.(striking cymbals or a stick on a plank) Last but not the least a singer.
A melting pot of all the artist's creates the crescendo and a reason a performance is a success. Come the Dance of India- Bharatanatyam taught traditionally at the Institute of Traditional Arts.