Bharata Natyam (Tamil: பரதநாட்டியம்) (Telugu: భరత నాట్యం) (Marathi: भरतनाट्यम),also spelled Bharatanatyam, is a classical Indian dance form that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu. This dance form denotes various 19th- and 20th-century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers called Devadasis. It was described in the treatise Natya Shastra by Bharata around the beginning of the common era. Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Lord Shiva is considered the God of this dance form. 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.
The name Bharata Natyam is of relatively recent origin when performers like Rukmini Devi revived the dance in the 20th century. The original names of Bharata Natyam were Sadir, Chinnamelan and most commonly Dasi Attam. A possible origin of the name is from Bharata Muni, who wrote the Natya Shastra. The meaning of the word Bharatnatyam is “Bhavam” means expression, “ragam” meaning music, “thalam” meaning rhythm and natyam meaning dance.