After exploring Folk and street theatre forms of Tamil Nadu, I move on to Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form that is famous all over the world. Bharatanatyam is reminiscent of the divine cosmic dance performed by the Hindu God Shiva as Tandav. The dancers, both male and female, dress in resplendent silks and jewellery and perform both steps (Adavu) to set notation and mime songs are well. The emotions are brought about by poses (Karanas), hand gestures (mudras) and facial expression (bhava). Read on to learn more about the Bharatanatyam necklaces in the Marabu collection.
Bharatanatyam and Rukmini Devi
The current form of Bharatanatyam may have been developed by Rukmini Devi Arundale and several of her contemporaries in the 20th century. Arundale drew from existing forms of dance in Tamil Nadu then, particularly Sadir Attam to redefine and classicalise the form we know as Bharatanatyam. Eventually, Bharata Natyam or Bharata’s dance was attributed to the the Sage Bharata, an exponent of the arts. Natya Shastra which could have been codified by Bharata approximately between 500-300 BCE is a template guide on dance and drama including poses, staging, choreography, sets, lighting, costumes and makeup. Arundale used the text to systematise and create a “refined” art form.
In this manner, the identity of dancers moved from being “Nautch girls” courtesans and Devadasis (independent dancers turned sex workers) to artisans and performers. Several others dance forms followed the Kalakshetra model to achieve the classical status. While this legalisation had its pros, it had its cons as well. There is a beautiful article by Aranyani Bhargav on the Friday Review of The Hindu paper, Chennai edition on 27th Feb problematising the institutionalisation and classicalisation of Dances.
Making Bharatanatyam necklaces is not new to me. I have worked with kemp jewellery and dance jewellery several times in the last 4-5 years. I had previously used kemp focals with fabrics (reminiscent of the dancer’s dress) in my sold out Patinam collection here. In a recent post on Custom jewellery design, I showed the dance necklaces that I created as Bharatanatyam arangetram gifts. While I was wondering about a new take on the same topic, I figured that I could do one necklace on Lord Shiva as Nataraja and two using a dancer’s silhouette as his disciples.
The Hindu God Shiva, the performer of Tandav or the cosmic dance is considered to the creator of all forms of dance. As Nataraja – the king of dance he is worshipped by dancers before a performance. He is their foremost teacher. The particular image in this pendant of Nataraja is that of bronze sculpture from the Chola period (1000 CE). I created this necklace following the principles of repetition in terms of both colour and form. Notice how the bezel amplifies the metaphor of the circle of life. This Tandav necklace – NP1217-DG with Glass and agate beads and Nataraja pendant is available for sale.
For some strange reason, images are not showing up on this particular post on mobile phones. So I am posting them as a gallery. I am not sure what the issue is though!
Bharatanatyam dancer pendant necklace – Golden
Once I create the print of the illustration for this pendant, I was driven to hand colour it. I was planning to use red and green kemp focals with it so I went with those traditional colours. Later, I changed my plan and created a long looped bead necklace in red, green and gold to match the pendant. This necklace is available for sale. Please contact me to buy. You can take a look at my instagram page to see me wear it.
Bharatanatyam dancer pendant necklace (sold)
Using the same the outline of the same illustration as above, I created another pendant necklace. It is a pink and peach bead necklace with Bharatanatyam dancer pendant and silver tone findings. I am so happy that this piece has been bought and worn by a Bharatanayam performer and entrepreneur Madhu.
Those are the Bharathanatyam necklaces at this point in Marabu collection. I maybe tempted to create more based on hand gestures in the future.
I hope you found it interesting