Dressed up for make-up | Daily News

Dressed up for make-up

Eight Indian classical dance forms have their own and unique type of facial make-up. Among the seven Indian classical dance forms, the South Indian classical dance forms are strong and rich in make-up rather than in other Indian classical dance forms.

Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali use a lot of make-up. The facial make-up for Bharatha Natyam and Kuchipudi is almost the same. But the drama based South Indian classical dance form Kathakali’s facial make-up is entirely different from that of the other six classical dance forms.

Certain Indian classical dances have very light and simple facial make-up. Some have heavy and strong make-up whether it is a classical or folk dance form, each has its type of make-up.

Diverse characters

For Kathakali colourful and a variety of facial make-up is used. The selection of different colour make-up is adopted for different characters in Kathakali. Different colours are chosen for diverse characters. For instance, green is selected for Satvica nature and specifically for Lord Krishna. For the anti-heroes, both sides of the nose are painted with red and white. For the cruel Rakashatha character, a half-moon shape red or white beard is firmly tidied around the chin.

To depict forest dwellers and demons, black colour is adopted for the facial make-up which is called Kari. Minnuku is another colour always adopted for certain characters like messenger, wrestler and charioteers. Different colour pigments are used for diverse characters. These different characters have diverse names. In Kathakali make-up Chaylam means red colour, Manayloa means yellow colour and Mashi means black paste. Natural herbs are often used to prepare the make-up paste and powders.

Applying make-up for the dances is a unique art. Each dance has a particular type of make-up. Applying make-up has been developed a separate and unique branch of study in the modern cultural field. Besides, this is an inborn talent and exceptional skill of the individual make-up artist.

Different variety

Within Bharatha Natyam, a new branch developed in the latter part of the 20th century. It is called a dance drama. Unlike classical Bharatha Natyam, dance drama consists of different characters. Classical Bharatha Natyam has a standard and unique type of make-up. But in a dance drama, each character has its nature. To reveal the different nature of characters different variety of facial make-up is used. For instance, for a god’s character, the make-up is different from that of a demon’s character. In a dance drama, the make-up of Lord Shiva is distinctive as compared to Lord Krishna’s facial makeup.

Similarly, the make-up for Rama is entirely different from that of Ravana’s. The colour shades of the characters also differ from one character to another in dance dramas. For instance, for Lord Krishna and Lord Maha Vishnu, bluish colour is used. On the other hand, for Lord Shiva yellowish colour is often used. For Goddess Kaali, bluish-black colour is used. Meanwhile for Goddess Luxshmi golden yellowish colour is used.

A professional make-up artist needs experience, involvement and personal interest in his chosen profession.

Earlier no professional make-up artist was engaged in the performing art field. But with the passage of time, the need for make-up artistes became inevitable. Today the role of the make-up artistes is earnestly needed for dancers, cinema actors; teledrama artistes dance drama artistes, cinema actors and street dance players.

Well trained

Today the make-up artistes are well trained and engaged in their profession. Each country has a variety of classical dances and folk dances. Each dance has its selective unique type of make-up. Earlier for all the dances, direct herbal products were used. But today readymade commercial products are freely available in different shades and different colour combinations at the market. These products are traded under different brand names. And some of these brand products have a long-standing reputation. And such products are very much popular among the performing artistes.

Facial features of the artistes also differ from person to person. Even skin colour differs from one artiste to another. Some dancers are very fair in complexion, others are medium in complexion while some dancers are dark, and some dancers are very dark.

Hence selecting suitable skin colour is a very difficult task for a make-up artiste. Sometimes two or three different shades are mixed to select the accurate skin colour of the artistes. Basic foundation make-up for the dancers is commonly known as a pancake.

Facial features of the artistes differ from one another. Some have sharp features and others have blunt features. Even the eye shape, eyebrow shape and the size of the eyes are also different from one and another. For eye make-up, a variety of eye make-up products are used. Eyetex, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and different colour eye shadows are used for this purpose.

Shaping up the eyes according to the type of the eye is a very difficult task and extraordinary artistic talent for a make-up artist.

Matured artistes

Appropriate lipstick colour should be selected for the artistes according to their skin colour. To outline the lips, the lipstick outliner is used. Even the nose shape also differs from one individual to another. At the same time, the make-up for small children is quite difficult and different as compared to the grown-up and matured artistes.

The shape and the size of the face also differ from one artist to another. Some have round faces others have broad faces. There are narrow faces and long faces. Hence make-up for the eyes, drawing the eyebrows and painting the lips depends on the face type of individual artistes.

To blush up and brighten the face, rouge is often applied by make-up artistes. Sometimes it is not suitable for all the performing artistes, especially for dark complexion dancers. Some modifications can be adopted in the costumes as well as in the hairstyle of the classical dance forms. But such modifications are done in the facial make-up. The job of the make-up artiste is not to put the facial make-up alone. They also decorate the nails with nail polish and paint the palms and foot with red ink.