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BHARATANATYAM

South Indian Classical dance form

Bharatanatyam is the classical dance form from the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India.  One of the oldest forms of Indian Classical Dance, its origin is traced back through the ccenturies to the temples of ancient India, where it was performed as a ritualistic form of worship.  It is intricately bound with Hinduism, in particular with Hindu myths and customs. Visually, it is a dynamic style of dance, yet innately graceful.  
The three main elements of Bharatanatyam are nritta (pure dance), nritya (interpretative dance), and natya (dramatic dance). In Nritta, the dancer uses, hand gestures, feet and body movements to form intricate and complex patterns of movement that are decorative with emphasis on rhythm and technique. In Nritya, the dancer performs to a song with lyrics and interprets the meaning of the verses through the use of facial expression, hand gestures and body movements. Natya, is story telling, where the dancer takes on the role of characters and enacts the story using dance techniques.