A Never Ending Journey
This ancient Indian dance form was originally believed to be performed by the god Shiva and apsaras, or celestial beings. It was then passed down to mortals (especially men), who engraved its many poses on temple walls and was only performed in them. It was forgotten for centuries, but has resurfaced as one of the many wonderful classical dances today, and is showcased worldwide.
The basic steps of Bharatanatyam are called adavus. Next comes many simple steps, which can be combined to form jathis, or rhythmical patterns. Finally, dramatization comes into play. Many dances can be choreographed out of these, including pushpanjalis, krithis, jathiswarams, varnams, padams, thillanas, and devotional slokas.