The Indian culture is a heritage that goes back centuries and is so diverse because of its many influences that we, in the west are lucky enough to keep discovering new and exciting elements to this enchanting and intriguing country.
One element that is particularly engaging and world-renowned is the Indian classical dances and the exquisite designer silk saree costumes traditionally worn for these dances. This broad term originates from Natya and old Hindu theatrical performance styles that can be traced back to the Bharata Muni and Natya Shastra of 400 BCE.
These dances were originally described as ‘classical’ by Sangeet Natak Akademi (The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama) to express the Natya Shastra-based dance styles. These classical dance styles normally portray stories about good and evil.
The Natya Shastra, an ancient Indian treatise about dance, music and performing arts written between 200 BCE and 200 CE by Bharata Muni lists old traditional dance forms, Dakshinatya, Audramagadhi, Avanti, Pravrittis and Panchali. These dance forms do not feature in contemporary classical Indian dance repertoire.
The three dance styles, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam traditionally evolved from the Pravritti form called Dakshinatya.
The dance style that I will be focusing on is Bharatanatyam mainly because of the splendid designer silk saree costumes available for this dance.
Bharatanatyam is a dance that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu. The dance denotes 19th and 20th century versions of Devadasis. Bharatanatyam is known for its grace, pureness and stunning silhouettes. The god dedicated to this dance form is Lord Shiva. Today this dance is practiced all over the world by both male and female dancers.
The most common Bharatanatyam Costumes are the skirt saree style or Pyjama Style. Dancers typically wear silk saree costumes with gold zari embroidery designs. The costumes are designed so that when the wearer moves into a certain pose the pleats open and create a wondrous shape.
One of the types of sarees for Bharatanatyam costume is the Kanchipuram Designer Silk Saree, which is made of dyed silk yarn. The silk thread used to create this saree is made of three single threads twisted together.
The next saree is the Dharmavaram Designer Silk Saree, which is also produced in the region of Tamilnadu within Arni, Salem, Tribhvanam, and Dharmavaram. These sarees don’t have as high quality as Kanchipuram.
Lastly there is the Semi Designer Silk Saree, which is significantly cheaper than Dharmavaram and Kanchivaram silk sarees. This type of saree is perfect for group performances.
So if you want to buy the perfect silk saree for your dance performance now you know which one is the best quality. Have fun dancing!