Type of Classical Music Concerts planned

 
Bharatanatyam
 
Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers. Sadir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms that include some acrobatic karanas. Bharatnatyam is usually accompanied by Carnatic music. It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of: 'Bha' - Bhavam (means expression), 'Ra' - Ragam (means music), 'Ta - Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil.
 
A possible origin of the name is from Bharata Muni, who wrote the Natya Shastra to which Bharathanatyam owes many of its ideas. This etymology also holds up to scrutiny better since Bharathanatyam is pronounced with short (kuril) forms of "bha", "ra" and "tha" whereas each of "bhavam", "ragam" and "talam" contain the long (nedil) forms. Hence the initialization proposed above is more probably a backronym.
 
Bharatanatyam is a reworked dance-form from the traditional "sadir" known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.
 
 
Dance tradition
 
Surviving texts of the golden age of Tamil literature and poetry known during the Sangam Age such as the Tolkappiyam (தொல்காப்பியம்), as well as the later Silappadikaram(சிலப்பதிகாரம்), testify to a variety of dance traditions which flourished in these times. The latter work is of particular importance, since one of its main characters, the courtesan Madhavi, is a highly accomplished dancer. The Silappadikaram is a mine of information of ancient Tamil culture and society, in which the arts of music and dance were highly developed and played a major role.[8] But, we cannot be sure that these references are to "sadir."
 
In ancient times it was performed as dasiattam by mandira (Hindu temple) Devadasis. Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharatnatyam dance postureskaranas. In fact, it is the celestial dancers, apsaras, who are depicted in many scriptures dancing the heavenly version of what is known on earth as Bharatnatyam. In the most essential sense, a Hindu deity is a revered royal guest in his temple/abode, to be offered the "sixteen hospitalities" - among which are music and dance, pleasing to the senses. Thus, many Hindu temples traditionally maintained complements of trained musicians and dancers, as did Indian rulers.
 
In Kali Yuga, the center of most arts in India is Bhakti (devotion) and therefore, Bharata Natyam as a dance form and carnatic music set to it are deeply grounded in Bhakti.Bharatnatyam, it is said, is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion. Dance and music are inseparable forms; only with Sangeetam(words or syllables set to raga or melody) can dance be conceptualized. Bharatnatyam has three distinct elements to it: Nritta (rhythmic dance movements), Natya (mime, or dance with a dramatic aspect), and Nritya (combination of Nritta and Natya).
 
The Tamil country especially Tanjore, has always been the seat and centre of learning and culture. It was the famous quartet of Chinnayya, Ponniah, Sivanandam and Vadivelu of the Tanjore Court during the Marathi King Saraboji’s time (1798–1824) which made a rich contribution to music and Bharatanatyam and also completed the process of re-editing the Bharatnatyam programme into its present shape with its various forms like the Alarippu, Jathiswaram, Sabdham, Varnam, Tillana etc. The descendants of these four brothers formed the original stock of Nattuvanars or dance teachers of Bharatnatyam in Tanjore. Originally, they formed a community by themselves and most of them were Saivite non-Brahmins.
 
Dance tradition
 
Bharatnatyam is considered to be a fire-dance — the mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human body. It is one of the five major styles (one for each element) that include Odissi (element of water), Kuchipudi (element of earth), Mohiniattam (element of air) and Kathakali (element of sky or aether). The movements of an authentic Bharatanatyam dancer resemble the movements of a dancing flame. Contemporary Bharatanatyam is rarely practiced as Natya Yoga, a sacred meditational tradition, except by a few orthodox schools (see Yoga and dance).
 
Bharatnatyam proper is a solo dance, with two aspects, lasya, the graceful feminine lines and movements, and tandava Ananda Thandavam (Tamil) (the dance of Shiva), masculine aspect, which is identical to the Yin and Yang in the Chinese culture.
 
Spiritual symbolism
 
Bharatnatyam is the manifestation of the ancient idea of the celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the material body. Some Bharatanatyam techniques can be traced back to the Kaisiki style. The Natya(I.44) reads, "... I have seen the Kaisiki style during the dance of the blue-throated lord (Shiva). It consists of elaborate gestures (Mridu Angaharas, movements of limbs), sentiments (Rasas), emotional states (Bhavas). Actions (Kriyas) are its soul. The costume should be charmingly beautiful and love (Sringara) is its foundation. It cannot be adequately portrayed by men. Except for women, none can practise it properly".
 
Apart from the Kaisikii style, Bharatnatyam imbibed some others. These reflect other yogis of spiritual revelations, such as the vision of two sages, Vyagrapada and Pathanjali in Chidambaram. In Hindu mythology the whole universe is the dance of the Supreme Dancer,Nataraja, a name for Lord Shiva, the Hindu ascetic yogi and divine purveyor of destruction of evil. The symbolism of the dance of Shiva (in the form of Nataraja) is represented by the attitude called "Ananda Tandavam". Also known as the cosmic dancer, he is here the embodiment and manifestation of the eternal energy in five activities (panca-kriya): creation, pouring forth, unfolding; maintenance or duration (sthiti); destruction or taking back (smhara); concealing, veiling, hiding the transcendental essence behind the garb of apparations (tirobhava); and favoring, bestowing grace through a manifestation that accepts the devotee (anugraha). Shiva is depicted dancing on the dwarfish body of the demon Apasmara purusa, "forgetfulness, loss of memory" called in Tamil Muyalaka (PRIT) -- who represents ignorance, the destruction of which brings enlightenment, true wisdom, and release from the bondage of existences.
 
Medieval decline
 
Bharatanatyam in Serfoji II's period
 
Local kings often invited temple dancers (devadasi) to dance in their courts, the occurrence of which created a new category of dancers --rajanarthakis—and modified the technique and themes of the recitals. A devadasi had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and offered herself (surrendered) to the Lord, but the rajanarthaki's dance was meant to be an entertainment.

The Natya Shastra-based margi elements, such as karanas, that were meant to spiritually enlighten the spectators, were gradually replaced by desi karanas which were later replaced by adavus. The Bharatanatyam recitals and ballets started more and more popularly viewed as a form of desi entertainment.
 
The quartet of Chinnayya Pillai, Ponniah Pillai, Sivanandam Pillai and Vadivelu Pillai of the Tanjore Court, during the rule of Maratha King Saraboji II (1798–1832), made a rich contribution to music and Bharatnatyam and also completed the process of re-editing the Bharathanatyam programme into its present shape with its various items. The descendants of these four brothers formed the original stock of Nattuvanars or dance teachers of Bharatnatyam in Tanjore. Some of the well known Nattuvanars wsere Guru Meenakshisundaram Pillai, Guru Muthukumara Swami Pillai, Guru Ramaiah Pillai, Guru Kittappa Pillai, Guru Kubernath Tanjorkar, Guru Dandayudhapani Pillai and others. The fall of the Hindu kingdoms in the South marked the eventual decline of Natya, as the Muslum invasion in the North has completely wiped out Natya there. The sacred dance, one of the constituents of the Sodasa Upacharam, was replaced by rice offerings.
 
Modern rebirth
 
Bharatnatyam is the manifestation of the ancient idea of the celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the material body. Some Bharatanatyam techniques can be traced back to the Kaisiki style. The Natya(I.44) reads, "... I have seen the Kaisiki style during the dance of the blue-throated lord (Shiva). It consists of elaborate gestures (Mridu Angaharas, movements of limbs), sentiments (Rasas), emotional states (Bhavas). Actions (Kriyas) are its soul. The costume should be charmingly beautiful and love (Sringara) is its foundation. It cannot be adequately portrayed by men. Except for women, none can practise it properly".
 
Apart from the Kaisikii style, Bharatnatyam imbibed some others. These reflect other yogis of spiritual revelations, such as the vision of two sages, Vyagrapada and Pathanjali in Chidambaram. In Hindu mythology the whole universe is the dance of the Supreme Dancer,Nataraja, a name for Lord Shiva, the Hindu ascetic yogi and divine purveyor of destruction of evil. The symbolism of the dance of Shiva (in the form of Nataraja) is represented by the attitude called "Ananda Tandavam". Also known as the cosmic dancer, he is here the embodiment and manifestation of the eternal energy in five activities (panca-kriya): creation, pouring forth, unfolding; maintenance or duration (sthiti); destruction or taking back (smhara); concealing, veiling, hiding the transcendental essence behind the garb of apparations (tirobhava); and favoring, bestowing grace through a manifestation that accepts the devotee (anugraha). Shiva is depicted dancing on the dwarfish body of the demon Apasmara purusa, "forgetfulness, loss of memory" called in Tamil Muyalaka (PRIT) -- who represents ignorance, the destruction of which brings enlightenment, true wisdom, and release from the bondage of existences.