Malleable makeup | Daily News


Malleable makeup

Eight Indian classical dance forms have their own and unique type of facial make-up. Among the seven Indian classical dance forms, the South Indian classical dance forms are strong and rich in make-up rather than in other Indian classical dance forms. Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali use a lot of makeup.

The facial make-up for Bharatha Natyam and Kuchipudi is almost the same. But the drama based South Indian classical dance form kathakali’s facial make-up is entirely different from that of the other six classical dance forms. Certain Indian classical dances have very light and simple facial make-up. Some have heavy and strong make-up. Whether it is a classical or folk dance form, each has its own type of make-up.

For Kathakali colourful and a variety of facial make-up is used. The selection of different colour make-up is adopted for different characters in Kathakali. Different colours are chosen for diverse characters. For instance, green is selected for Satvica nature and specifically for Lord Krishna. For the anti-heroes, both sides of the nose are painted with red and white. For the cruel Rakashatha character, a half-moon shape red or white beard is firmly tied around the chin.

To depict forest dwellers and demons, black colour is adopted for the facial make-up which is called Kari. Minnuku is another colour always adopted for certain characters like messenger, wrestler and charioteers. Different colour pigments are used for diverse characters. These different characters have diverse names. In Kathakali make-up Chaylam means red, Manayloa means yellow and Mashi means black paste. Natural herbs are often used to prepare the make-up paste and powders.

Applying make-up for the dances is a unique art. Each dance has a particular type of make-up. Applying make-up has been developed as a separate and unique branch of study in the modern cultural field. Besides, this is an inborn talent and exceptional skill of the individual make-up artist.

In Bharatha Natyam, a new branch was developed in the latter part of the 20th century. It is called dance drama. Unlike classical Bharatha Natyam, dance drama consists of different characters.

Classical Bharatha Natyam has a standard and unique type of make-up. But in dance drama, each character has its own nature. `To reveal the different nature of characters a different variety of facial make-up is used. For instance, for a god’s character, the make-up is different from that of a demon’s character. In a dance drama the make-up of Lord Shiva is distinctive as compared to Lord Krishna’s facial make-up. Similarly, the make-up for Rama is entirely different from that of Ravana. The colour shades of the characters also differ from one character to another in dance dramas. For instance, for Lord Krishna and Lord Maha Vishnu, a bluish colour is used. On the other hand, for Lord Shiva, a yellowish colour is often used. For Goddess Kaali a bluish-black colour is used. Meanwhile, for Goddess Luxshmi a golden yellowish colour is used.


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