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Query from: yasodhara, london, 11/05/06
Topic: FASHION      Submitted on:
Subject: How To Wear Sari For Bharatanatyam

I remember seeing girls wear a normal sari for bharatanatyam recitals, and i m about to start learning to dance too and really want to know how to do it that that i dont have to buy the stitched one...i think the normal sari looks far better than the stitched one...please please someone outthere tell me how to do this....THANK YOU so much!!!

Rate = 3 (Rated by 7 Council Members)
[ This query closed ]
Response from: Ti Ti,   
Council Member on
Hi, Check this site.…='How%20To%20Wear%20Sari%20For%20Bharatanatyam'

Rate = 1.5 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

Response from: Tenali Srikanth,   
Council Member on
dear yasodhara, Bharatanatyam (also spelled Bharathanatyam, Bharatnatyam or Bharata Natyam)

Bharatanatyam dance costumes --This costume of BharataNatyam dance have undergone many a metamorphosis, but the most commonly used styles include the Skirt/Sari style and the Pyjama Style .The knife pleated fan which is either knee length or mid calf length opens up during particular postures and enhances the beauty and richness of the costume. Bedecked with ornaments, bells and flowers, the dancers hold us spellboun

The Bharata Natyam dress is made from a rich Kancheevaram silk sari. The sari is usually very heavy with elaborate golden borders and a pallu. The color of the dress and the border are usually contrasting so that the dress stands out. The colors vary from shades of yellow to green and red/ blue. The style of the dress is called Pyjama and consists of the bottom pants, the blouse and the pallu. Even though they are separate pieces, the outfit still gives the general appearance of a single six yard sari wrapped around the dancer in a neat and graceful fashion. This style of dress gives the dancer more freedom to move. Bharata Natyam is a very complex, but graceful dance that lets the dancers express the unique culture of India Dressing Tips (for the dancer):

Here are a few tips collected from the experiences of several arangetram dancers:

* Padding between your bells and your ankles: cut the feet off a pair of cotton crew socks and discard the feet. Wear the cut-off anklets under your bells. Skin color socks make them almost invisible to the audience. This keeps the bells from chafing on your ankle. * Padding the top of your foot: wear a skin-colored band-aid on your foot, just where the bells make contact with your feet. This prevents the repeated pounding of the bells on your feet from chafing.Use the above two ideas during your long practice sessions as well, not just on arangetram day. * Underarm sweat pads: if you are getting your costumes made in India, have the tailor sew them into your blouses. For those traveling from the US, cloth diaper material works well (available in most cloth stores). My daughters swear by them! * Pinning that necklace down: To pin your necklace to your costume (and keep it from flapping around) tie small loops of heavy-duty thread to your necklace so it can be easily safety-pinned to your costume. One to three loops, each 3/8" or 8 mm in diameter works well. * Bobby pins? or not: use curved scuni clips instead of bobby pins -- their curved contour hugs your head better and fastens better too. It is less visible too. * Decreasing hair woes: Get your braid made of false hair and get the flowers/ jewels/decorations done well ahead of time. Tie your own hair in a pony tail, then divide and braid into two braids. Fasten the false-hair braid with ribbons under your own braids, tying it above the pony-tail tie. Twist your own braids into a bun. Tie the hair-piece (rachudi) onto the bun. Cover with a hair net. Then fasten flowers onto your hair. This process will keep the long braid from tugging on your own braids. Experiment with how much fastening is needed so the braid does not fall off.

Rate = 2.5 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

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Response from: Maggie J,   
Council Member on
Hi Yasodhara, If you're asking how to wear just the regular nivi style sari's I have a couple websites that will give you great step by step instructions as well as pictures to follow along with. I hope these help.…………

Rate = 2 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

Response from: NEERAJA NAVEEN,   
Registered Member on Ask Agent
You can tie just like a regular saree but a little higher.. may be tack it to the right height before the program and pin the pleats in place in advance. You would be better off tying the saree on a separate tape rather than directly on the pyjama.

The weight of the saree, whether it is double sided border (you could put the pleats out instead of in if the reverse design is pretty) and the length of the program all make a big difference in this decision.

I think it is best to stick to costume if you want to be at peace and keep your mind on the dance. Hope this helps.

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Response from: Bindu P,   
Council Member on

Here is one best site which shows how to tie the sari for dance along with pics.

Measure fabric for the fishtail Find the adjusted center point Tie a waistband at center Put left side section of fabric under left leg Pleat left end Tuck pleated end into front of waistband Tuck upper border of sari around left side of waist Wrap right side around right leg Pleat right end and pull pleats to end of the fishtail Fold and tuck into waistband…

Check out this site which writes about different types of sari wraps for bharatanatyam.…

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Response from: Priya Kartik,   
Registered Member on
Hi yasodhara,

I've worn sarees for bharatnatyam. There are 2 ways you can do that.

Option 1

Wear a silk saree in a normal way with the following adjustments:

1. Wear it a feet above your ankles - Don't use a new/rough saree because it would irritate your hips. (A feet above ankle would mean good amount of it going inside!)

2. The fleets should be smaller in size

3. The pallu should be bit longer. You have to bring it around your waist (with a small twist to make the jari visible). You could either fold it in three and let it hang in the side with 2 pins - it will not disturb while dancing) or else you could pin it in the centre and open it like a 'v" shape - this will be good for contrasting border sarees.

- Also make sure that the choice would depend on the type of dance, because some steps in "snake dances" are real tough to do in saree. You might get catious about it while dancing. If your perfoming a light routine there wouldn't be a problem

Option 2

This one is wearing a saree to make it look like the pants. You have to get a different kind of blouse. This looks like a proper dress. But it works only if your slim and really young. Let me know if you are interested in this and I can go ahead and describe it for you!


Rate = 2.5 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

Response from: Jay G,   
Registered Member on
The sari is a very long strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from five to nine yards in length, which can be draped in various styles. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat and a low-cut, short-sleeved, midriff-baring blouse known in north India as a choli. Office dress codes usually prohibit cropped, sleeveless cholis; similarly, women in the armed forces, when wearing a sari uniform, don a half-sleeve shirt tucked in at the waist.

Styles of Draping

Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.

North Indian/Gujarati – this style differs from the nivi only in the manner that the loose end is handled: in this style, the loose end is draped over the right shoulder rather than the left, and is also draped back-to-front rather than the other way around. Having formerly lost ground to the nivi, this style now represents a fashionable alternative for non-traditional wearers to use on social occasions.

Maharashtrian/Kache – This drape (front and back) is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Dravidian – sari drapes worn in Tamil Nadu; many feature a pinkosu, or pleated rosette, at the waist.

Madisaara style – This drape is typical of Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu and Kerala Kodagu style – This drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari. Gond – sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body. the two-piece sari, or mundum neryathum, worn in Kerala. The nivi drape starts with one end of the sari tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. The cloth is wrapped around the lower body once, then hand-gathered into even pleats just below the navel. The pleats are also tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. The pleats form what is called, in Western culture, a kick-pleat; they make walking easier. They also create a graceful, decorative effect which poets have likened to the petals of a flower. Older sari styles secured these pleats with a knot (possible only with extremely finely-woven cloth, for which India has always been famous). After one more turn around the waist, the loose end is draped over the shoulder. The loose end is called the pallu or pallav. It is draped diagonally in front of the torso. It is worn across the right hip to over the left shoulder, partly baring the midriff. The navel can be revealed or concealed by the wearer by adjusting the pallu, depending on the social setting in which the sari is being worn. The long end of the pallu hanging from the back of the shoulder is often intricately decorated.

few tips several arangetram dancers:

Padding between your bells and your ankles: cut the feet off a pair of cotton crew socks and discard the feet. Wear the cut-off anklets under your bells. This keeps the bells from chafing on your ankle.

Rate = 2.5 (Rated by 8 Council Members)

Response from: S.Rathinam Subramanian,   
Council Member on
With reference to your mail kindly visit the following links



Rate = 2 (Rated by 8 Council Members)

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Response from: eswaram ng,   
Registered Member on
Hi Yasodhara,

my daughter is learning dance, so I know a bit. You have to fold the saree a bit and make sure that you wear not upto your feet but in between your knees and feet. Make sure that you wear a dark colour gym (3/4) pant inside to avoid any unpleasantness. Hope this helps

Rate = 1.5 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

Response from: shashikala kataria,   
Featured Member on Ask Agent
wear the saree in dhoti style and then make a seperate pleated flower to be worn on waisteither of same saree or matching one.

Rate = 1.5 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

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