Thursday, February 2, 2017

Alta, the red color dye in Indian Classical Dance


Alta is the bright red color liquid ink applied on the fingers and feet of an Indian Classical dancer. 

Most of the Indian classical dance forms have many meaningful mudras which are symbolic hand gestures used by the dancer to explain and express. 

Please see below some pictures where Altha is used in hand and feet of an Indian dancer.

Painting the hands and feet with Alta brings out the beauty of and expressiveness. It is a common practice to paint traditional designs on to hand and feet during festivals, Indian weddings and Hindu poojas.

Alta in olden days was made from betel leaves. It was replaced with artificial products like Sindoor and Kumkum to create similar liquid. In today’s time, the mostly available Alta is made out of chemical colors and is banned in some countries as it can cause severe allergies. Modern dancer use high quality red markers, which are convenient to carry and use. These are safe permanent markers of specific brands and easily washable after the program or ceremony.