Dances of the World – Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular and widely practiced classical dance styles of India, with sculptural evidence dating back nearly 3000 years. A highly spiritual and dedicatory dance form, Bharatanatyam‘s roots go back to the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu in South India. The dance moved from temples to theaters over time, but has retained its characteristic devotional component, expression of human emotions and stylized storytelling. The flexibility of the Bharatanatyam framework lends itself well to both traditional themes as well as modern day subjects and also can be performed by soloists or in groups.

Bharatanatyam is comprised of three main aspects:

  • NRITTA – Technical dance, with a sophisticated base vocabulary used to build intricate combinations and rhythmic patterns that does not convey any specific meaning
  • NRITYA – Expressional dance, using facial expressions, highly stylized gestures, postures and body language to convey any mood
  • NATYA – Dramatic storytelling

Princeton Studio – Wednesdays, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., October 16, 23 & 30.

Clothing: Comfortable clothing is advisable, such as T-shirt and leggings. Please bring a cotton stole to tie around the waist. Hair should be tied up in a ponytail or bun.