Bharatanatyam originated in southern India in the state of Tamilnadu. It started as a temple dance tradition called Dasiyattam (the dance of the maid-servants) 2000 years ago and is perhaps the most advanced and evolved dance form of all the classical Indian dance forms.
The name Bharatanatyam is a simple derivation from the four most important aspects of dance (in Sanskrit). These are: Bha from Bhava meaning emotion, Ra from Raaga meaning music or melody, Ta from Taala meaning rhythm and Natyam meaning dance. Thus Bharatanatyam is the dance that encompasses music, rhythm and expressional dance or Abhinaya and strictly adheres to the Natyashastra (the scripture of classical Indian dance).
This dance style is characterised by a linear form of the body without any pronounced movement
of the upper body and linear spatial patterns, which make the dance form extremely dynamic and powerful.