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Unspoken Reasons Why Bharatanatyam Is Mostly Danced By Indian Female Dancers

30th May, 2022

The diverse and vast land of India has been placed with numerous classical domains, be it for the genres of music, art, or even dance. Indian classical dance has been one of our prime areas of focus, and one of the major reasons why it has appealed to the masses is because of the visuals that it brings forward, along with the rich plethora of history as well.

Indian classical dance at the British Museum

Bharatanatyam dance is one of the most promising Indian classical dances, and if you are someone who knows even a tad bit about India would also know that we take immense pride in this particular form of dance as well. The beautiful Bharatanatyam poses, along with the rich heritage, are something that adds to the charm of the dance genre.

However, before we talk about the rich history of Bharatnatyam and how it evolved to where it is standing today, there is a common observation among people. It is that Indian female dancers who are specially trained with Bharatnatyam are more open to the field and are seen performing more vividly than the male dancers.

However, it might pose a serious question as to why females are seen more as dancers in the field than men? It is what we will try to answer in this segment.

What Makes Indian Female Dancers More Visible for Beautiful Bharatanatyam Dance Poses and Dance Form Than the Men?

Before we talk about the various factors that make sure that female dancers are seen more often performing than when it comes to Bharatanatyam, it is very important to understand that today this scenario is changing. There are a lot of male professional dancers who are learning Bharatanatyam online and adopting this dance form.

At the same time, the opportunities for male Bharatanatyam dancers are indeed opening up with every passing day, and today there are terms of successful professional male Bharatanatyam dancers in the field.

Having said this, it is also very important that we acknowledge that there is more visibility of female dances when it comes to Bharatnatyam, and that is what we are going to talk about now. The first thing which needs to be dressed is that there are usually a lot of factors that have contributed to this for a long period, some of which we are going to discuss.

History Of Bharatnatyam

To understand why a particular form of dance has certain features, the best thing to do is to analyze the history, and that is what has worked in favor of this discussion as well. Go through the history of Bharatnatyam. You will see that it was originally a device for the form of prayer offered to the Gods of temples in Southern India, specifically in the district of Thanjavur.

It was the female dancers who decked up in bright clothing and offered their prayers in the form of dance to the deities. Not only that, even the Natya Shastra, which is the oldest dance treaty, talks about the presence of female dances more than male dancers in the domain of Bharatanatyam.

Even if you see the temples where there has been a portrayal of Bharatanatyam dancers, it is usually the females who have been portrayed performing. It is primarily due to this reason that since the inception, there has been less involvement of men in the field of Bharatanatyam, and that continues to date.

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Form of Dance

Although today the gaps between dance forms and poise have been bridged, it can be said that until a very long time, it was not considered to be a masculine enough dance form to be pursued. As we all know, Bharatanatyam is a form of dance where we see a lot of grace and poise for the dancers to be portrayed.

Since the time the dance form was conceptualized, there has been a notion that these factors are only for women to be portrayed, and hence there was less involvement of men. It has always been a showcase that the more masculine forms of dance are right for men to be pursued; however, today, fortunately, this notion is changing.

Lack Of Acceptance

And lastly, when we talk about more female dancers being visible performing Bharatanatyam than male dancers, it has to be said that there is a lack of acceptance as well, which was prevalent for a very long time and has inhibited the growth of male Bharatanatyam dancers.

Society has always been quite conservative when it came to Bharatnatyam dancers who are male, and hence there was a very less practice of the same as well. The environment is one of the basic reasons for the lack of birth of male Bharatanatyam dancers.


Having said all of these, we must accept that the situation is changing, and today both male and female dances are given equal opportunities to realize their potential. If you do want to learn Bharatanatyam as a male dancer and want to get the best of training, then currently, some of the best academies hold the most prolific Bharatanatyam online classes. You can start learning Bharatanatyam online without any hindrances from today itself!

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