What we currently recognize as Bharatanatyam comes from Sadir Natyam, sometimes referred to as Chinna Melam, Dasi Attam, or just Sadir. According to Meduri (2004), the word “Sadir” started in the seventeenth century with the Maratha crowned heads of South India. Seemingly, he meant that this is the way dance is portrayed in the courts. The term Dasi Attam, the Devadasis dance as an aspect of temple worship, is elicited as a more significant function of dance. An artist who was devoted to serving in a temple was a devadasi whose name implies Dasi (servant) of the deva (divinity). The devadasi dance was part of the ceremonial adoration. They continue these practices from ages to ages assisted by the Royal Sponsorship of the devada families who are training in the arts of dance and music and with the dance masters (nattuvanars).
Sculptural and the written proof show that Bharatanatyam dances, which are centered on Natya Shastra, have been used across India as temple worshipers (Meduri, 2004). This classical tradition of dance was weakening in the north by constant invasions by foreigners and was replaced with mixed dance styles. Luckily in the south of India, the custom of dancing remained the patron saint of the Kings and retained it through the devadasi method (O’shea, 1998).
It is not to suggest that Bharatanatyam’s tradition was stagnant throughout the previous century during the Natya Shastra era. Indeed, as stated by Meduri (2004), it has evolved, and geographical variations have occurred in dance elements. The introduction of the current format of the Bharatanatyam recital was a significant step in this progress. This happened at the end of the eighteenth century in possession of the Thanjavur quartet, four brothers. They were Subbarayan nattuvanar’s four sons: Sivanandam, Vadivelu, Ponnayya, and Chinnayya. They have also transformed the music of the musical genius Muthuswamy Dikshitar, who certainly inspired them as their music mentor (Ramnarayan, 2006). Such innovations have molded Sadir into what we know today as Btyam.haratna