Saturday, February 09, 2008

When dance mirrors life

O-Kayyyyyyyyy. For those who know me, here's that photo of me in a funny orange turban, posted by popular demand.
For those who don't know me, no, I *don't* look like this on a daily basis! So why the turban and special effects? The photo is from a dance drama that I was part of. On Jan 28, students from my dance school enacted the story of Maharashtra's 800-year old Bhakti tradition. I had a small role in it as a Warkari pilgrim.
If you want to see what Warkari pilgrims really look like, check this out. The Warkaris go on a pilgrimage twice a year to the Vitthal temple at Pandharpur. As part of our research for this dance-drama, I went with my guru to check out the pilgrims. We wanted to study Warkari costumes, to incorporate it into our dance-drama. I think we did a pretty good job, what say?
Here's another photo, of us carrying a palki of Lord Vithala. That's my neice Ramya, she played a much bigger role than me in the dance.
Here's another photo from the dressing room - this beautiful lady is my dance guru Jayashree Rajagopalan.
She got a lot of appreciation from the audience for not just the concept of the show, but also the painstaking research she did for authenticity, and the final beauty of the production.
If you click on the photo for a better view, you can see the make-up kit that is part of the dance preparation. Brushes, eye liner, foundation, rouge, nothing "traditional" I'm afraid! With a total of 30 performers in the dance, we had a whole army of people in the dressing rooms, including harried mums fretting over safety pins and unruly wisps of hair. That's me in the background, photographing everyone.
My parents came to see the show, so did my aunt. And I was very pleased to see in the audience, two of my school teachers. When I greeted them, they were pretty surprised. Let's face it, what with the turban and the extra kilos, I wasn't really the skinny kid they knew in the 80's!


Haddock said...

some shades of Ghashiram Kotwal in the costume ?

Tabitha said...

This is my first time on your blog; and I must say I absolutely love the concept of a 3 generation blog. (And to think of it, my mother runs 3 miles away from laptops. They scare the s**t outta her.)

The post makes for easy reading, and it compelled me to do my own research on the Warkari pilgrims. Way to go, Deepa. Keep up the good work.