Bharatanatyam is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in TamilNadu. Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance that was performed exclusively by women, and it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, but also of Vaishnavism and Shaktism. Yet another one of the eight dance form that traces its roots back to the Natya Shastra, it is perhaps one of the oldest classical dance forms of India.
The style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands, eyes and face muscles. The dance is accompanied by music and a singer, and typically her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art. The performance repertoire includes nrita (pure dance), nritya (solo expressive dance)and natya (group dramatic dance).