Thunderous Footsteps

Thunderous Footsteps
Charcoal, October 2014

Bharatanatyam, an ancient classical Indian dance form, requires that dancers wear anklets of bells during performances. These anklets, typically with three or four rows of bells, chime with every step a dancer takes. They signify both the beat of the dance and the very presence of the performer. Pictured here is both the dancer buckling her anklets and the hardened callouses on her foot’s heel. My unblended charcoal style allows the orange paper to be seen past the roughness of the foot, displaying both the dancer’s skin color and the training she’s done. A dance of barefoot, rhythmic stamping, Bharatanatyam transforms the dancer’s feet, from the top of the foot, where the anklet rests, to the roughened bottom that meets with the stage. The anklets and feet together signify “I am here, and this is my dance.”


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