The famous temple of “BRIHADEESWARAR” ( Lord Shiva) was built by Raj Raja Chola in 1010 CE in Tanjavur,Tamilnadu which has the longest Tamil Inscription which also gives details of his having employed 640 Nattuvanars, Dancers & Musicians to perform during daily rituals and festival processions during that time.
Varnam is the centre and most important piece of the Bharatanatyam repertoire.
Earlier and during the ancient time of Maharaja Serfoji of Tanjavur, the Varnam was very long, it begun after sunset and continued till late in the night and sometimes all night long and the same was keenly and enthusiastically enjoyed by people at that time.
Right from the time of Acharya Bharatamuni, the importance of interest of shrota / prekshak (audience) was noted and the art of dance in which expression of various moods / emotions of men and women was known as “LOKDHARMI NRITYA”.
In “LOKDHARMI”, the audience was attracted to view the different types of customs and feelings in day to day experience of our life. Acharya Bharatamuni has stressed importance of this in his “ NATYASHASTRA” that any artist who did not present his art form with this peculiar quality, he/she was not considered authority for the presentation. In case of Bharatnatyam also if the presentation by any artist is not in line with this, it is not a perfect/proper presentation.
The original style of Bharatnatyam always include the basic concept of LOKDHARMI along with NATYADHARMI. Guru Kubernathji and his family always followed this principle and composed items which always brought interest and spiritual upliftment to the audience and the dancer.