Thursday 7 November 2013

Ah… Aah.... Aharya! - Lakshmi Vishwanathan

In Bharatanatyam as in Odissi or Kathak, the costume is a distinct statement of identity. Looking at the costume one need not have any doubts about the style of dance. When I danced Kuchipudi, I made that costume which had a particular design with a ‘Kachan’ visible at the back, indicating a distinct Telugu echo of the nine yards saree worn by the rural women. Suddenly, Bharatanatyam dancers also started wearing this ‘Kachan’ type of costume, except that the front fan was the one commonly seen in Bharatanatyam. I don’t think this innovation was necessary for the success of the dance.
The hugely popular Yamini Krishnamurthy raised the hemline of the regular costume in her heydays to show more legs, and wore blouses with what was known as an attached ‘Kachai’ dispensing with the ‘davani.’ It suited her dance and her personality. Rukmini Devi also wore a draped ‘Kachai’ in her early costumes which suited her personality.

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