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Costume designer Sandhya Raman’s exhibition to chronicle three decades of dance costuming

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NEW DELHI, April 19: Having dressed renowned performers like Mallika Sarabhai, Astad Deboo, Aditi Mangaldas and Geeta Chandran, designer and textile activist Sandhya Raman will chronicle her three-decade-long journey in the field of dance costume design with an exhibition at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai.
“To Stitch or Knot”, scheduled from April 25-29 at the Dilip Piramal Art Gallery, will feature 10-12 costumes from Raman’s repertoire, alongside an array of approximately 50 photographs, and five installations.
“At ‘To Stitch or Knot’, an exhibition that chronicles my three-decade-long odyssey in the realm of dance costume design, visitors will have the opportunity to delve into the intricate relationship between textiles, nature, and the performing arts. From Bharatnatyam to Kathak, Sattriya to Kuchipudi, this exhibition celebrates the diverse tapestry of dance forms that have shaped my work,” Raman said in a statement.
Inspired by the five elements and senses, the exhibition will project a vivid picture of Raman’s approach to costume design – “where Earth meets texture, Fire intertwines with taste, Wind merges with smell through lighter fabrics, Sound resonates with water, and Light harmonises with space”.
“I emphasise the connection between dance and drape, fabric and form. Through this showcase, I will bring to light the unseen and the complex relationship between textiles and the senses, attempting to draw inspiration from the heritage of weaving,” she added.
An alumna of the National Institute of Design (NID), Raman added that design for dance remains a profession that has yet to gain significant recognition in India.
“With more than 1500 design schools in India, most students tend to pursue fashion design due to its inherent glamour. However, artists are slowly recognising the importance of dance costuming which involves a great amount of understanding of the dance form, the ethos, the culture, the parameters and the boundaries of the field. I am confident that the younger generation will soon find meaning in it, inspiring a sea of change,” the 56-year-old said.
Raman will also host an interactive workshop on April 28, offering a glimpse into her creative process. (PTI)


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