Arangetram is a tamil word.Aranga meaning raised floor or stage and Etram meaning climbing or ascending, meaning Ascending the Stage.. It is also called Rangapravesha in Kannada, another south Indian language, Ranga meaning Stage and Pravesha meaning Enter. Ideally this should be the first public performance of an artist. After learning bharatanatyam under the guidance of an accomplished guru, this is the occasion for the proud guru to present her disciple to the public.

This is the testing time for both the guru & the shishya (disciple) as the guru's knowledge & the disciple's talent both are judged by the public Hence, the guru will decide when the disciple is ready for public appearance. At least 10 - 12 years of training is necessary to give a commendable performance.

In olden days, disciples were not allowed to wear jingles till their first public performance. In their first performance, they were made to worship the jingles, wear them & then perform. Accompaniments play a major role in the making of a memorable dance performance.

Basic accompaniments are a Singer, Mridangam player, Violin player and of course the Natuvangam. Veena, Flute and other instruments are optional

In a Bharathanatya Arangetram, a complete Margam will be executed.

Margam is a complete series of Bharatanatyam items that are performed in a recital as follows:

Pushpanjali (Meaning – offering respects with flowers. This is the opening piece in which the dancer offers respects to the lord, teacher and the audience and (s)he does Namaskaram).

Alaripu (Which is the opening item and is made up of footwork and uses head gestures and eye gestures).

Jathiswaram (This is a pure dance item with intricate foot work and does not involve any Abhinaya or expression of moods).

Shabdam (This involves footwork and for the first time the dancer introduces some Abhinaya).

Varnam (This is the most important piece in any recital and involves Jathi Korvais and Theermanams and a theme is elaborated with Abhinaya depending upon the Varnam chosen).

Padams (These are songs of different composers chosen for Abhinaya. They involve very little footwork and mainly use Mudhras and facial expressions to bring out the mood in the song).

Tillana (This is the culminating pure dance item with complex rhythmic patterns executed in the form of Korvais and has a short piece of Abhinaya).

Mangalam (The dancer ends the recital with Managalam- meaning an auspicious ending.