Those desirous of knowing more about the details of this subject may read authentic books on the technology of Sculpture/Iconography. Iconography is the science of identification, description, classification, and interpretation of symbols, themes, and subject matter in the visual arts. Therefore, this subject is as important as the techniques of the Vaachika, Aamgika and Saatvika modes of acting.

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Stage lighting, Stage setting & Greenroom Lighting

Face Makeup and rest of the decorative materials are seen by the audiences in the stage lighting. The same may be set in a steady or variable manner. Different colour lights may be used as and when necessary. Basically our stage art forms are designed to be observed in the light provided by oil-lamps within a sphere of darkness.Lighting also plays an important role in creating an environment to present unearthly figures and situations. With the help of different types of electric lamps and filters, it is possible to create an environment quite similar to the one created by oil-lamps. The distance at which audiences are seated and their number are also to be considered. Therefore, it would be useful for the artists who work on face Makeup and other components of Aahaarya, to have an awareness of the kind of Stage Lighting. Otherwise, the errors in the artist’s work would adversely affect Aahaarya and in turn Nruttha & Abhinaya also. For the Bharatanaatyam, Mohiniyaattam & Kuchipudi styles a steady lighting that simulates an environment created by oil lamps would be ideal. It is possible to create it by using white light and light with Amber filters. The amount of light and angles of light sources can be adjusted to get the desired intensity and tone. In stylized Naatya also, a group of performers with the same style of face Makeup enact the role of different characters or create different situations. In such instances different lighting techniques indicated above could be used. All the spectators may not be sufficiently well-versed in the techniques of acting. Experience reveals that to such people the lighting techniques become helpful. Other colour filters can also be used to mix light, to get desired effects. Even with a properly set small lighting system, there are such varying possibilities. Therefore, the artists who work on Aahaarya and the stage performers must know the kind of expected stage lighting. Accordingly, the lighting in a greenroom can be adjusted. Only those matters that are related to Face Makeup and other components of Aahaarya have been mentioned here. The points very briefly mentioned here belong to a vast subject which one can learn if desired so.

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Stage setting is as important as the matters mentioned above.The term ‘Stage setting’ in this context does not indicate stage properties like backdrops, curtains etc. as used in dramas. Here it refers only to the way the stage is prepared for the show. In the styles of Naatya under discussion here, through the process of acting, the environment needed for a situation is synthesized. Heaven, Hell, Forest, Ocean, Hutment, Palace, Day Night etc. are created only by the body language of the performer on stage and reached to the audiences through specific movements of the different components of Aahaarya. Therefore, any material not suitable for the situation viz. pictures, banners etc. would adversely affect the entire stage performance.

Colours and the Effects (Feelings) they produce

The effects produced by colours and their combinations, is a subject called ‘Theory of Colours’ which is vast and demands extensive study. In this brief note, only those important factors practically related to Aahaarya and the Stage-lighting are mentioned. The different colours used on the face must match with each other. And, the total colour effect of the face must match with the colours used in the other units of Aahaarya.

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Yellow, Red & Orange are ‘Warm Colours’. To an observer they create the feeling that they are coming closer (closer compared to other colours) or advancing towards them. Blue, Green & Violet are ‘Cool Colours’. They create the feeling that they are going away (away from other colours) or moving away; or are on the rear aspects of the relatively warm colours. In general relatively, lighter colours have ‘Warm nature’ and the darker ones have ‘Cool nature’. Artists must know precisely the visual impact they would create on the spectators if they come closer or away from each other. These brief , yet important facts should make one realize that it is safer to use very judiciously, the colours of Eye-shadow, Blush, Lipstick, Shades used (if necessary) on the nose etc. All such details must be decided by the artists who work on Aahaarya, also taking into consideration the details of the Stage Lighting and related parameters.


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