Bharatanatyam is one of the most prominent and popular classical dance forms originated in Tamilnadu, India. It's foundations can be traced back to ancient work of Natya Shastra by Bharata Muni. This devotional song of dance which originated thousands of years ago was used mainly to express Bhakthi (Devotion) and Spiritual Themes in both Saiva and Vaishnava Sampradayas.
The performance repertoire include Pure Dance, Solo Expressive and Group Dramatic Dances namely Nrita, Nritya and Natya respectively. It follows well-established rules and sequences - Alarippu, Jatiswaram, Shabdam, Varnam, Padam, Thillana.
When the artist performs a song the expressions (Abinaya), hand gestures (Hastas), neck movements (Bedas) etc will unite the performer with the divine. It is truly an out of the world experience!
Bharatanatyam is strengthened and nourished by various styles - Pandanallur, Kalakshetra, Melattur, Tanjore, Vazhuvoor to name a few.
Preethi Sathyanarayanan was trained in Pandanallure style. She also had collaboration with Melattur and Kalakshetra styles. Pandanallur style was mainly attributed to Shri. Meenakshisundaram Pillai (1869–1964), a dance guru who lived in the village of Pandanallur, in the Thanjavur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Pandanallur style gives a lot of emphasis on Abhinaya. Stomping or strong tapping on floor is discouraged in this style. Instead, the focus is on expressive movements which makes the Salangai render melodious music and rhythm.