Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In Natya Shastra we see great emphasis laid on the rules of the costumes and make-up (nepathya). The performers and dancers use costume and makeup along with gestures to complete their representation of the characters they portray. Though Indian dance and dance drama productions laid greater importance on expressional and gestural acting by the performers to convey the situations within the productions. For example ‘ Lord Ram hunting for the golden deer’ in the epic Ramayan was indicated by the dancer or actor portraying lord Ram using hand gestures and body stances to convey the hunting . Though the limitation of realism was realized by the ancient Indian theater, use of Model work was not completely rules out. Today we will take look at the first kind of costume and makeup as indicated by Bharat Muni ‘Model Work’ (pusta).
Model Work (pusta) is further divided into three types -
1. The Joined Object (sandhima): These consist of cutouts made up of mat, cloth, skin and the like. We see the use of the joined object even in today’s modern production. In fact we see extensive use of sets in larger than life productions of Indian classical dance in modern era. As seen in the clip below, the use of Sandhima in the production of ‘Maya Ravana’ by Kalarpana.
2. The Indicating Object (Vyuima): These consist of model work which is made by means of mechanical device. In today’s modern time, the use of projection screens as a backdrop can be classified under the indicating object. Often the screens are used to project colors and pictures for dramatic effect during a dance production. I saw beautiful use of this being made in the dance production ‘Dawn of Indian’ by Kathak guru Smt Uma Dogra.
3. The Moving Object (cestima): These consist of the model work which can be made to move. It can consist of wrappings on a framework.
We thus see how developed the Ancient dance and drama theater productions were. We even find this rules still widely used in today’s productions. In fact we see this rule of ‘Model Work’ universally applied in many dance productions around the world in some form or other. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this series based on Decorations.