Do you know how much effort goes into making myself look hideous before i get on stage? Bharatanatyam is a a very old and expressive art form, and it requires us to wear stage make-up, i.e- over exaggerating every feature of your face so that your expressions are visible even to the last person in the theatre.. And this process is a long and tedious one!
First comes a layer of pancake to cover your natural complexion with a fake “fairer” one.. then powder and some more pancake.. and then more pancake! This takes like 30 minutes to complete! Phew. Then the eyes.. Eye liner and mascara are applied in such enormous amounts so that you start looking like Dracula. Lastly are the extra fittings.. eye-shadow and blush and then the horrendous magenta lipstick! And finally you are done with make-up.
Then the hair (long fake-hair plait with tassels and flowers), jewellery and the costumes.. by the time you are ready, you’re already tired and you haven’t even started dancing! Of course, here in Singapore I have to do this all by myself but its a different story back home. Mummy dearest used to come unfailingly for every show and do me up from head to toe, and I just had to sit back and relax. Missing all that now!
Taking off all this from your face after the show is over will require a good hour atleast.
There is so much preparation that goes into just a ten-minute performance, but when we start practice for any show, we never seem to think about all this tedious work.. because the satisfaction you get after an awesome dance makes up for all of this. 😀