Kamini, one of the member of the saree dreams team, is an expert Bharatnatyam dancer. She is a true Narthaki as described in Sage Bharataa’s comprehensive treatise on dance Natyasastra, because she is clever, courteous, conversant in sixty four arts and crafts and excels in beauty and youthfulness and this post is dedicated to her.
First of all, The word ‘Bharata’ is made up of three Sanskrit terms: Bhaav meaning emotion, Raag meaning music, and Taal meaning rhythm. The word Natyam means drama. The two words together describe this dance form. Bharatanatyam, it is said, is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion.
It would be wrong to say that there are 108 poses, because there are infinite number of them; but there are 108 karanas, sort of like pauses or transitions. Most dancers master about 50-60 of them and each parampara (tradition) of Bharatnatyam is distinguished by which of these karanas are emphasized.
So, how is a woman to remember all these poses? Well, thats where the saree comes in.
This silken work of art is a celebration of the oldest Indian dance form, the Bharathanatyam. Sage Bharataa’s comprehensive treatise on Indian dance, drama and music, the Natyashastra, describes 108 karnas in all. This work has inspired the sculptures on the columns of a number of temples, in and outside India, including the Natraj Temple in Chidambaram. Captured on this magnum opus of a saree are all 108 Karnas inspired by the Chidambaram Temple.
Click for a better view.
Gorgeous saree from RMKV silk.