Patterning a new collaboration
- Roopa Murthy, Bangalore

June 7, 2012

Standing at 5’3” I could only wish I was taller by 4 more inches as I looked at the display of the long and flowing ghaghras and other fashion garments in front of me, each one unique, giving a whole new meaning to beauty. This was yet another one of the Natya and STEM Dance Kampni’s endeavours to find connections with allied fields through the expressive medium of dance.
The Kampni collaborated with Lata Puttanna, one of Bengaluru's best-known textile and fashion designers and also an active revivalist who works with crafts persons in Kalahasti and other areas. As I entered the stage for our first sequence in a colorful patchwork top to trace movements from Indian martial arts, I felt nothing short of empowered! The next sequence brought on the display of our very traditional yet fashionable lehengas. In various rich colours, they added that ‘little bit’ to the swift pirouettes. The intricacy of the embroidery, the texture, the cuts and the patterns, added value to our movements. The joy of performing was manifold as the couture moved brilliantly, lending support to the artistry in the choreography.
The third sequence saw the designer's signature style brought on to the stage by the choreographer Madhu Nataraj through her subtle rendition of “Ab ke sawan” where she portrays a woman awaiting her lover as the rains intensify her yearning.
In the  ‘Taandava’ sequence, the sarees were draped tastefully by the male dancers as dhotis. The vigorous movements showcased the craftsmanship of the designer and the garment’s creative usage by the dancers. The morning also saw the display of the flowing anarkalis while the sequence reflected our belief, that dance transcends all boundaries. 

The sequence that brought the morning to a close highlighted the masculine and the feminine, the Shiva and the Shakti. The costumes in this piece also resonated the same philosophy. 
The complete experience and the ambience created by this combination of classical and contemporary idioms, with the handiwork of Lata Puttanna, was indeed resplendent.
Roopa Murthy is a principal dancer and Communications Head at Natya & STEM Dance Kampni, who gave up a career as a Chartered Accountant to pursue her passion - dance.