Bharatnatyam is one of the oldest documented classical dance forms in the world, dating back to 1500 BC. It originated in Tamil Nadu of India, spread to the neighbouring areas and developed into a national form. Temple dancers of South India were its early exponents.
A highly developed classical dance, Bharatnatyam (Bharatanatyam) blends pure lyric movement and pantomime drama. Modern performances sometimes last two hours without interruption and are performed by a single or a group of dancers.
Rigid traditions govern every movement of the dance that much training is needed to attain mastery of the dance form.