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25 Indian Dance Costumes & How to Plan Them

A good Indian group dance is incomplete without well-co-ordinated, colorful and traditional Indian outfits. Indian dance costumes or American Indian dance costumes or something referred as Indian fusion dance costumes, like ethnic Indian fashion, represent our culture. They should also flaunt elements like detailed embellishment, lustrous fabrics and colors! To understand better how costumes impact the outcome of a performance, let us look at some that rocked the stage.

Dancing and celebrating go hand in hand for Indians. Our country bears a legacy of larger-than-life life celebration when it comes to occasions or festivals. We also come from a land of rich culture and every Indian province has a dance form of its own! Dancing makes every occasion, every festival more vibrant, energetic and enjoyable!

From dancing for fun during wedding-related functions like sangeet, baraat, haldi, mehendi etc to putting up well-rehearfsed performances to celebrate festivals like Diwali, Durga Puja, Hindu New Year etc – Indian dance always warms up the spirits.

 

25 Dance Costumes that Rocked the Stage

1. Colorful Ghagras

Colorful Ghagras - Indian Dance Costumes@leenabollywooddancer

If it’s an Indian Bollywood number and it concerns women dancers, ghagras are the safest options to go for. Lots of colors, lots of zari embroidery, lots of sequin detailing – perfect to dazzle the stage and represent the cultural vibrancy of the country.

2. Floral Fusion Dance Costume

Floral Fusion Dance Costume@elenabeloved

Floral motifs look really striking on stage! Think Indian dance costumes and it’s all about bright colors, zari, a lot of glitter and floral motifs that look really grand! These girls look beautiful in these fusion dance costumes.

3. Five Bright Colors

 Floral Fusion Dance Costume@mohini.dance.group

Your outfits don’t necessarily have to be color-co-ordinated. These girls are wearing a similar outfit in similar embellishment pattern but in five different shades. Silver zari embroidery over the colorful fabrics look beautiful.

4. Pink and Gold Indian Dance Costume

Five Bright Colors@mohini.dance.group

Simple yet striking – this beautiful combination of a bright pink ghagra with a gold choli and gold zari work will make the dancers shine on stage!

5. Bharat Natyam Dance Costume

@naratangdancegroup

Originating in the south of India, Bharat Natyam is one of the classical forms of dance. This dance requires wearing a saree in a particular manner and teaming it up with traditional jewellery. The classical Indian dance costumes for Bharat Natyam is usually a silk saree in a bright and vibrant color with a rich gold border.

6. Kathak Dance Costume

Pink and Gold Indian Dance Costume@kahani.dance.group

These dancers are sporting pinkish purple anarkalis with blue jackets, blue dupattas and blue and gold belt. This a perfect Indian fusion dance costume for Kathak dance which an age-old traditional Indian dance form.

7. Indian Dance Costumes for Kids

Bharat Natyam Dance Costume@Itrdance

When it comes to Indian dance costumes for kids, it is always a good idea to go for bright colors like green, pink and gold. This gorgeous Kids Lehenga has  gold borders and detailing make these kids look even more cute and beautiful.

8. Warm Orange and Yellow Ghagra

Kathak Dance Costume@indian_centre.uz

For any dance performance in the outdoors, in the light of the sun, warm colors look really good. These costumes use a warm and rustic shade of orange paired with bright yellow dupattas.

9. Bollywood Fusion Dance Costume

Indian Dance Costumes for Kids@leenabollywooddancer

A mix of matte gold, glittering silver and maroon – the costumes of these dancers are really creative and well thought-out. These fusion outfits look very good with peppy Bollywood songs and also look appealing on stage.

10. Color Riot

Warm Orange and Yellow Ghagra@grupaindriyas

Dance connects people and brings together cultures. These girls are not Indian but they look amazing in these Indian fusion dance costumes. Colors have been used to their full potential for this group. The dancers’ dupattas don’t match with the color of their skirts yet together they look colorfully vibrant!

11. Odissi Dance Costume

Bollywood Fusion Dance Costume@tundekutsera

Odissi is one of the most ancient classical dance forms of India originating in the state of Odisha. It is a form of temple dance. The dancers wear traditional ikkat sarees – a weave native to the state of Odisha. Along with that the accessories are unique – silver kamarbandh, silver jewellery and a white headgear quite distinctive to this form of dance.

12. Manipuri Dance Costume

Color Riot Dance Costume@joshila_hijam

Manipur is a state nestled in the north eastern hills! The dance form originating from there is a true expression of grace. Manipuri dance concerns various types of costumes. This one is one of them.

13. Fusion Fashion in Dance

Odissi Dance Costume@natyamsisters

Fusion Indian dance or creative Indian dance concerns adopting mudras from traditional dance forms like Bharat Natyam or Odissi, and mixing them with modern steps. Indian fusion dance costumes may also be described as a mix of the traditional and the modern. In case of this group, the dancers are flaunting orange and gold dhotis which they have teamed with black full sleeve tops and red dupattas.

14. Mingling of Kathak and Odissi

Manipuri Dance Costume@sneha_dev.12

In what seems like the beautiful juxtaposition of two traditional dance forms, the dancers on one side wear orange and teal Odissi dance costumes and those on the other don blue and green anarkali style flared kurtas. If looked closely, both costumes are not entirely traditional and have one or two new elements added or a traditional one subtracted.

15. Fusion Dance for Mahalaya

Fusion Fashion in Dance@sanchari_pal_

These girls perform a creative fusion dance on the morning of Mahalaya which marks the beginning of Durga Puja. They are wearing Bengal cotton handloom sarees which they have draped like dhotis below and pleated the palluand brought it over the shoulder to one particular side. They have teamed up the saree with full-sleeve, colorful tops and silver belts.

16. Kerala Style Dance Costume

Kerala Style Dance Costume@technoparktoday

These techies have really thought about a creative costume for their dance performance for Onam. While the women wear white and gold kasavu sarees, the men have teamed up their colorful shirts with traditional Kerala-style lungi or mundu.

17. Handloom Weaves for Traditional Dance

Handloom Weaves for Traditional Dance@natananjai

These beautiful dancers are flaunting traditional handloom woven Indian sarees in beautiful hues! Their dance showcases the nine different avatars of Goddess Durga. Though the outfits are not co-ordinated, there is something strikingly beautiful about authentic Indian ethnic wear.

18. Orange and Purple South Silk Sarees

Orange and Purple South Silk Sarees@niruthyanatyalayam

South Indian silk sarees come in gorgeous shades with ornate borders! These Bharat Natyan dancers are sporting a color combination that will look simple mesmerizing on stage! The dark orange silk is lustrous and the bright purple border with a gold band makes this traditional Indian dance costume even more attractive.

19. Bright Cotton Sarees

Bright Cotton Sarees@indianartgallery

Another creative costume for fusion dance! These dancers are wearing cotton handloom sarees in contrasting shades – orange saree with a duo-tone blue-purple blouse and yellow saree with dark red blouse.

20. Semi Classical Indian Dance Costume

Semi Classical Indian Dance Costume@monika_kalurkar

These dancers are wearing a beautiful outfit consisting of a sky blue kurta with white thread work shararas and white net dupatta with gold border and gold bootas. This is the perfect outfit for a semi-classical Kathak-inspired dance performance.

21. For that Groovy Bollywood Number

For that Groovy Bollywood Number - Bollywood Dance Costume@nakhra_india

A flared and layered white skirt with gold border and bootas, paired with full-sleeve crop tops – that is all one needs to jazz up the look for that groovy, sensuous dance performance on the most popular Bollywood number.

22. Twirling Red Indian Dance Costume

Twirling Red Indian Dance Costume@karthikarajagopaal

The stage is on fire as these girl effortlessly show off their elegant dance moves in these ravishingly red and gold anarkali style dance costumes.

23. Effortless Synchrony

Effortless Synchrony with gorgeous dance costumes

Not only are the dance moves of these kathak dancers perfectly synchronized, their ghagras in off-beat colors and gold zari detail look so well-co-ordinated and beautiful on stage that the sight of these dancers are enough to impress the audience.

24. Mustard Yellow Fusion Dance Costumes

Mustard Yellow Fusion Dance Costumes

These dancers perform a semi-classical form of the dance. So unlike traditional and heavy classical Indian dance costumes, they flaunt a sleeker version of the traditional Kathak dance costume! The mustard yellow costumes are only slightly embellished in silver zari.

25. Green Classical Indian Dance Costume for Kathak

Green Classical Indian Dance Costume for Kathak

Reminiscent of Madhuri Dixit’s outfit in one of the popular songs from the film ‘Devdas’, these dancers look mesmerizing in their green anarkali Kathak dresses. As they twirl, the flare of the outfit is showcased. Imagine how beautiful this would look on stage!

Fabrics to Consider While Choosing Dance Costumes

Indian dance costumes with always have some amount of embellishments. On stage, it is all about the glitz and the glamour. So choosing a heavy fabric would not be a good idea as it would be difficult to dance with the weight of the fabric plus the weight of the embellishment.

At the same time, the fabric can’t be dull or else it will look bad on stage. So the best options in fabrics for Indian dance costumes, fusion Indian dance costumes, American Indian dance costumes etc are fine silks, light brocades, satin, brightly colored chiffons and starched cottons.

As for classical Indian dance costumes, the rules come from a different book altogether. South Indian silks with heavy borders for Bharat Natyam, Ikkat weaves in silk and cotton for Odissi, hand woven cotton more Manipuri, real Benarasi brocades for Kathak – these are the traditional weaves and fabrics that are used for classical Indian dance costumes.

Fabrics to Avoid in Dance Costumes

As mentioned earlier, heavy fabrics are a strict ‘no no’ for Indian dance costumes.

For example, velvet would be a really poor choice as it is heavy and added embellishments will make it even heavier.

Also synthetic brocades would be another bad choice. Not only are they heavy, they tends to make the wearer sweat more!

Fabrics that have a tendency to poke the skin because of a rough weave would be a bad choice. Crepe or wool are examples.

Sometimes the zari-woven motifs in Chanderi or Benarasi fabrics or other types of brocades have the tendency to poke or irritate the skin, making the wearer highly uncomfortable.

These are fabrics that need to be avoided. Also, it is a good idea to keep away from fabrics that might look dull on stage like some kind of cottons, raw silk etc.

Accessories to Go with Indian Dance Costumes

There is no hard and fast rule regarding this except in case of classical dance forms! Some types of jewellery like kamarbandh, bajubandh, nose rings, headgear of a specific type etc need to be worn with traditional dance forms like Bharat Naytam, Odissi, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri etc.

Again is certain types of Indian classical dance forms like Kathakali or Chhau, the dancer needs to wear an ornate mask! These accessories are innate part of the culture and tradition associated with the dance and the region it originates from.

But when it comes to fusion, creative, semi-classical or Bollywood dance, there is no rule! You might want a specific type of jewellery that goes well with the outfit.

You may also decide the accessories based on the theme of the dance. For example, a mythology-inspired dance performance should have the appropriate accessories.

Often, dancers wear a band around their waist. This may be a piece of cloth tied at one end or an ornate belt. This not only looks good but also keeps the outfit in place during the performance.

Be it Indian dance costumes or American Indian dance costumes or classical Indian dance costumes or Indian fusion dance costumes or Indian dance costumes for kids or even accessories to go with these costumes, you can count on expert advice from us. We can help you with the designing and manufacture of co-ordinated Indian dance costumes for your entire dance group. Co-ordinated and well planned out costumes really take the dance performance one step further.

 

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