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Courtesy: Daksha Sheth Dance Company

30th November, 2014

It was an evening of flamboyance & theatre, with women twirling, swirling and celebrating their femininity in vibrant TAANBAAN, handspun organic cotton and silk sari collection, revived by Rta Kapur Chisti. The lobby of the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre foyer, at NCPA, Mumbai, was buzzing with childlike wonder and excitement, as women magnetised towards ten sensuously draped women. This was a last minute inspiration for Rta. I was one of the ten women, invited to wear any of her beautiful handspun saris, in the drape that inspired me from the previous morning’s Sari workshop. Most women were draped with the help of the swift and gifted hands of Pallavi Verma, the beautiful and dainty assistant of Rta Kapur Chisti. I draped myself in the Odissi-dance style for which I chose a vermillion, sindhoori-red, handspun Khadi sari strewn with brilliant golden lines of varying width. This festive loom once was an exclusive bridal sari for the rural women of Jharkhand. After the gasps and sighs of the crowds marvelling at our drapes and saris settled down, we were led into the beautiful theatre to attend the evening’s dance recital.

What unfolded before my eyes, will remain forever etched in my heart as one of the most extraordinary dance productions, I’ve attended in my lifetime. The sensitivity of the live music at the hands of ten gifted musicians; The simplicity and starkness of the ivory hued cotton saris & dhotis chosen for costumes; The ten skilled, agile, sensuous dancers; The play of light, and the refined sound design; All of it left me with a fragrance that still lingers in my being like an aroma from an ethereal mystical world…

{‘SARI, The Unstitched’, a production by the Daksha Sheth Dance Company:

Sari initiated by Rta Kapur Chisti, co-author and editor of Saris -Tradition and Beyond’, is directed by Composer Devissaro and choreographed by Daksha Sheth. The show was conceived to re-kindle the lost playfulness and individuality of the Sari. Through the art of draping, a woman reveals her demeanour and her regional identity. This union of the Sari and the wearer exudes the sensuality of dance. The performance highlights the stages in the journey from cotton pod to a magnificent fabric, draped in a range of wearing styles.}