Bharatanatyam finds its origins interlocked with classical Indian dance that mimics one of the basic five elements of life. Which when performed is a hypnotizing dance that resembles a flame, to honor Lord Shiva-supreme lord of dance. Traditional dance jewelry worn during the Bharatanatyam dance is known as temple jewelry, which was originally made from gold with rubies, emeralds and pearls. Used by the Devadasi girls as they danced in the temples to honor Lord Shiva original dance.
Artisans created theses authentic masterpieces for centuries in the southern part of India. Even today people revere and covet temple jewelry for its unique beauty and craftsmanship. Bharatanatyam temple jewelry, combine with the silk multi-functional costume, which becomes enhanced with bells that allow each foot gesture to have a voice. Which seduces and captivates the audience in a mystic trance, As the performer goes through the motions of the dance the costume flows with them. Stimulating the audiences eyes with broad colors, while using body language and hand gestures to portray the ritual dance.
Originally, temple jewelry beautified the gods and goddesses in the temples during the 9th century. Later, women of the South India adopted a liking for the jewelry, which terpsichorean use in their routine to pay respect to their heritage.
There are 10 jewelry pieces that make up the set to do a Bharatanatyam dance: Choker, Long Chain, Mattal, Nath, Bullakku, Ottiyanam, Jimikki, Bangels, Rakkodi, Chandran/Sooryan and Nethichutty. A beginner can get by with a head set, necklace, and belts. Every piece of the Bharatanatyam performer is essential to the routine even the performers hair dressed with a Chandra (moon shaped) and Surya (sun shaped) ornaments.
The Saree skirt style or Pyjama style which have gold Zari embroidery designs on the skirt. Open when the dancer performs a special posture known as a arai mandi (half-sitting) and muzhu mandi (full sitting). Ever aspect of the beautiful performance ties together giving the audience a breathtaking display meant for a king or god.