Dance (Natyam) is the confluence of rhythm, melody, and human emotions. Bharata Natyam developed centuries ago as the dance of the deities in south India. Later, it was banned during British colonial time and in the past 70 years has been revived by artistic pioneers. 2nd-Gen Indian communities around the world have soaked up this traditional art form and its curriculum of dances that lead up to hour-(or more!)-long graduation performances.
If you can tap into your local Indian community to learn about annual performances, I guarantee you won't be disappointed. The outfits are specially stitched from two-tone saris laced with gold thread; the jewelry sets include "16 elements of beauty" and the dancer's feet ring with the sound of a thousand tiny bells which accent the rhythm and melody of the Karnatic music (often played live!!). Bollywood glitz pales in comparison to this gorgeous, very personal experience.