Bharatanatyam originated around 2000 years ago, making it one of the most ancient of all Indian Classical Dances. It is performed along with south Indian vocal songs and with instruments like violin, flute, Mridangam (drums) etc. In the ancient times it was only performed in the temples and courts of South India.
Initially the dancer offers Namaskaram (Salutation) to the God, the Guru (Teacher) and to the audience. This represents both a blessing and welcoming. The dancer will change her facial expression and body language according to the sequence and moods of the drama.