Bharatanatyam is that authentic form of Indian art, the history of which dates back to the age of the veda hyms. Bhava(expression), raga(melody), tala (rhythm) are the triple pillars of bharatanatyam. The relationship between the Guru and sishya is vital in this art. The word guru is from gu (darkness) and ru (one who dispels darkness). The present form of bharatanatyam is about 2000 years old. We are deeply indebted to the Tanjore quartette (Chinnaiah, Ponnaiah, Sivanandam and Vadivelu) who refined and evolved this dance form to what it is today.
Though the sands of time have passed long by, the distinctive imprint remains unscathed adapting itself to the changing times. Many a man and woman have toiled to keep this art form alive and nourished. The revolutionary work of pioneers like Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale deserve special mention for the eradication of the erotic stigma attached to this art. Gone are the days when this dance form was scorned as a dance of the devadasi's. It is now being propagated and taught as a unique dance form in every part of the civilized world.
Bharatanatyam, the art of aesthetic perfection is the language of the soul. It is through a disciplined approach that this art puts forward a dedicated quest for philosophical insights. Music and poetry exist in time. Painting and architecture in space. But dance is the only "time–space art". Dancing involves unique movements, which, impinge upon the nerves with an incomparable strength through which music is made visible and poetry read aloud.