Bharata Natyam began as a ritualistic puja dance performed in our temples and blossomed into an exquisitely complex and incredibly expressive art form. It is one of the oldest dance forms of India, with a history as rich, ancient and fascinating as our culture itself. A form of self-expression that can be subtle and sublime ... as well as grand and magnificent. In Bharata Natyam, Nritta and Abhinaya complement each other to create an enchanting world. Nritta is fluid,flowing body movements,while Abhinaya is an equally telling body language ... combining mime, mudra and looks to convey feelings and ideas. Bharata Natyam 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 includes Odissi (water), Mohiniattam (air), Kuchipudi (earth) and Kathakali (sky). The movements of an authentic Bharata Natyam dancer resemble the movements of a dancing flame. Bharata Natyam is a dance, with two aspects - Lasya, the graceful feminine lines and movements, and Tandava ie. Ananda Thandavam - the dance of Shiva, masculine aspect.