Bharatanatyam Costume – Make up And Ornaments

Bharatanatyam Costume:

Bharatanatyam costume is very beautiful and colorful. In olden days the dance performed on special occasions, at king’s courts and in the temples during the festival days. According to ancient texts and sculptures, the original costumes of the dance do not cover most of the dancer’s body. There are several varieties of Bharatanatyam costumes, wear according to the theme of the dance and comfort for the dancer movements. The style of the costumes was the same. Nowadays the eminent dancers changed the wearing of the costumes of the dancers.

Bharatanatyam Costume Variety:

bharatanatyam costumeGenerally, the costumes of Bharatanatyam have two types. They are Pyjama style and another skirt style. These two styles of dresses are artistic and comfort to the dancer to perform the gestures according to the ‘Tala sounds’. The costumes of Bharatanatyam are prepared by stitching embroidery with different religious motifs and designs. Although, in olden days people used the threads of Gold and Silk to stitch the costumes of Bharatanatyam. The pleats of the sari stitched with zari work of beautiful designs and motifs. When the dancer performs the symbolic posture like Muzhu mandi, which is a sitting pose and a half sitting pose, the pleats of the sari opens out beautifully and brings the look of the dance to enrich.

Bharatanatyam Costume For Women:

Bharatanatyam costumes for women resemble Indian traditional sari. But the sari is not a single piece; it is the combination of many varieties of cloth pieces. Hence, the dress prepared to wear easily and to give performance comfortably. While the dancer performing various movements, the fan attracted very much to watch the dance. The color of the costumes is very bright and attractive. The border of the costumes prepared with various pieces of sari and stitches it with various patterns to decorate the dancer’s form. The ‘choli’ seems very tight and same color of ‘dhoti’.

Bharatanatyam Costume For Men:

bharatanatyam costumeThe traditional Bharatanatyam costume for men is very simple. The dress covers the lower body of the dancer and upper part cover with a simple jewel, do not use the garments for the upper part of the male dancer. The dhoti stitched with rich embroidery and silk threads use to stitch to farm the designs on dhoti. The male dancer uses very less jewelry than women. Makeup is the same to women and men. Carefully apply makeup to the dancers before the performance.

Bharatanatyam costume and Ankle Bells:

The ankle bells are an essential item in Bharatanatyam dance. In response to the ‘Tala’ sounds, the dancer makes the right rhythmic footwork. The talent of the dancer judged according to their style and presentation. The judges depend on rhythmic sounds of anklet bells to give their judgment. The beginners wear 2-row bells, the intermediate dancers wear 3 rows and talented dancers wear 5 rows bells. The ankle bells treat sacred objects and worshipped on special occasions. The dancers never wear them casually.

Also Read: Traditional Costumes of Men in India


Bharatanatyam dancers wear a unique set of a jeweler, very attractive in the focus. The set of Jeweler called ‘Temple Jewelers’, such are bangles, earrings, necklaces, and wristlets. The bun or plait of the hair decorated with a semi-circle of flowers. The forehead applied with impressive ‘tika’ or ‘dot’. The important jeweler ‘thalaisaman’, which called ‘headpiece’ worn just above the flowers in the hair. The ‘chandrasuryam’ kept on either side of the heads. The beautiful earrings hanged to the ears, a longer chain hanged to the neck. The chain designed in peacock or floral designs, studded the red, green and pearl stones. ‘Vankies’ are ties to both sides of the upper arm, broad ornament belt, snake decoration for the long plait.

Make-Up for Bharatanatyam:

Makeup to a Bharatanatyam dancer is very unique, should display the theme of the dance on face movements. Heavy lines are drawn around the eyes and darken and extended outwards the eyebrows. The total Bharatanatyam performance is mostly based on the movements of the eyes and eyebrows. So eyebrows decorate to visual the movements clearly, then the spectators easily attach to the dance. A red dye applied to the tips of the toes, fingertips, and soles of the feet. The color also applied in the palm in a solid circle. The red color decoration to legs and hands emphasize the movements of hands and legs.