Indian Classical dance in India is based upon and influenced by the Natya Shastra. With so many unique and beautiful dance forms-each with a different purpose and message-it is hard to keep up with Indian classical dances.
In the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam is the most ancient dance forms. Originating in the temples of Tamil Nadu, today it is the most popular and widely performed of all the classical Indian dance styles. Considered to be a fire-dance, the movements of the Bharatanatyam dance resembles a dancing flame. Traditionally, this dance is a solo dance form that can be performed by male or female dancers and is characterized by different features—lasya for feminine movements and tandava for the masculine aspect. In more modern times, this dance has been performed by groups.