Schedule For Getting Dressed For A Bharatanatyam Performance

I will have a how-to category for all things related to “how-to’s”!

This will be a general overview of the morning of a performance.

As I was getting ready for the Texas Folklife Festival 2010, I had a schedule I followed. I needed to be at the Institute at 4:00 for the performance which began at 4:30. And of course, I wanted to be there 30 minutes earlier (3:30 pm) to ensure nothing went wrong, and because I had friends with me so this would ensure that weren’t late because of parking and helping my friends figure out how to get around. So I began to get dressed about 5 hours before I was schedule to leave @ 2:45 pm.


10:00 AM – Showered & Towel Dry Hair

10:30 AM – Get everything for hair ready and put hair in initial position with some watered down gel

11:00 AM – Hair (You need even more time if you are doing a braid or are doing it yourself)

12:30 PM – Makeup (Take time to do your makeup so that you don’t sweat through your makeup or mess it up)

01:30 PM – Put on costume and bells

02:00 PM – Jewelry (Belt, necklaces, etc)

02:30 PM – Relax and think about your dance

02:45 PM – Pack the car with the stuff I need and LEAVE

Maybe I am a bit too organized, or maybe it’s just the way my family is, but without good planning, getting dressed for a performance is usually chaotic. Even with all this planning and lots of hours to do everything I needed to do, I ended up running behind schedule. But because it was all planned out and I had planned to leave early, we made great time and got to the Institute of Texan Cultures at 3:30 PM, thirty minutes ahead of schedule and exactly the time I wanted to be there. This extra time gave us the opportunity for me to be dropped off, my friends to find parking in the hassle of downtown, walk all the way back to the festival, find me and the stage in all the hallaballu, and get great seating to set up the video camera! It made my life a lot easier and I was able to stake out a nice cool indoor spot to beat out the heat until the performance.

And to let you know what happened and why I was off schedule. Of course, doing hair is hard. And I have pretty short hair (only shoulder-length) so we had to do just a bun. So, my mother trying to figure out how to do my hair caused some arguments and a lot of frustration. On top of that, we had to start over at one point and my head jewelry wasn’t all fitted with strings. It was a bit of poor planning on my part, but because I was organized ahead of time, when I fell behind with the hair time, and the makeup time, and rushed to put my costume on, I was still dressed before my friends even showed up on my doorstep. 🙂


Getting Ready to Take the Dive

So, tomorrow will be my first bharatanatyam performance in a very long time

To get ready, I am doing many things.

  1. Obviously Practice!
  2. I tried on my costume to make sure everything fit properly. Turns out the blouse didn’t, so I just borrowed a blouse from another. It doesn’t look very professional, and I know other dancers will be confused. But it is a primarily non-Indian audience, so I think I can get away with it 😉
  3. I ironed my costume tonight to make sure everything looked spectacular.
  4. I got all my dance makeup ready (will post further information on getting dressed tomorrow!)
  5. I charged my cameras and made sure I had room on the card and extra dvd’s
  6. I packed a bag of extra clothes so that after the performance I can just take them off!
  7. I have directions and a map of downtown for parking and the streetcar
  8. I put my backup CD with my extra clothes
  9. I have a copy of the emcee program sheet 🙂
  10. I made sure my cash, my entrance ticket, and everything else was already in my bag
  11. And of course I set out my costume with my timeline for getting ready

I just wanted to put all that not only because I wanted to show how much work actually goes into pulling off a simple 6 minute piece at a festival, but to show how much can go into any dance performance.

I can’t imagine what the night before an arangetram must feel like. All this planning but sooo much more.

A little extra thing I did: I played with my point and shoot camera. I don’t have a SLR or DSLR (as much as I would like one), so I have to make the most out of what I have. I know enough about digital photography that I know what I want. So I tested out my camera on my dogs. I think I got a few nice pictures in actually 🙂

I think I like this because it is soft focus, Bella looks just so darn adorable, and the natural light is pretty 😉

And I love silhouette shots. This isn’t quite there, but one day I will get a great one… still like it 🙂

The texture, the lack of grain, the clarity, the dark background… ❤      I could do without the glare in her eyes 😦

Pic Spam! Just a few more pics I liked and some closeups of my crazy getting dressed for bharatanatyam table

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June 2018
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