Such developments saw decline of various classical dance forms which were subjected to contemptuous fun and discouragement including Bharatanatyam that through the 19th century remained exclusive to Hindu temples.
Despite the fact that Hindu temple dances were being suppressed due to laws enforced by the colonial British government, many artists like American dancer Esther Sherman came from the West to learn Indian classical dance forms.
She came to India in 1930 and not only learnt classical dances but also adopted the name Ragini Devi and became a part of the ancient dance arts revival movement.
According to Russian scholar Natalia Lidova, ‘Natya Shastra’ elucidates several theories of Indian classical dances including that of Tandava dance, standing postures, basic steps, bhava, rasa, methods of acting and gestures.
One of the five great epics of Tamil Literature, ‘Silappatikaram’ (~2nd century CE) has a direct reference to this dance form.