From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Bharata was an ancient Indian musicologist who authored the Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on ancient Indian dramaturgy and histrionics, dated to between roughly 400 BC and 200 BC. Indian dance and music find their root in the Natyashastra. Besides propounding the theory of three types of acting Bharata has discussed in detail classical Indian vocal \ instrumental music and dance since they are integral to Sanskrit drama. The classical dance form Bharata Natyam is codified in the Natya Shastra. Bharata classified Sanskrit theatrical forms (Natya\Rupaka) into ten types; what is known to the west as drama is but one among these, namely, Nataka.
The Natyashastra comprises 36 chapters and it is probable that it was a creation of many more than one scholar. Bharata is considered as the father of Indian theatrical art forms.