Nrityagram's Bijayini Satpathy spoke with students in a Costume Design class about the elaborate silk saris and silver filigree jewelry worn by the Odissi dance troupe. "When we perform, the stage becomes our temple, and so we dress traditionally out of respect for the art form. It takes us two hours to dress for a show; the final piece of ornamentation which we place on our head is a tiny silver temple, because we ourselves become part of this spiritual and sacred act." The dancers demonstrated how their costumes allow them to move freely with the many codified hand, arm, and leg movements and spoke about the Nrityagram Dance Village and the work it takes to become an experienced Odissi dancer. At the end of class, students had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the dazzling cloth and jewelry.
Photos by Sara Owen