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The commonly used styles in Bharatanatyam Costumes are the the Skirt (Saree) Style or the Pyjama Style. Dancers wear costumes made of silk sarees with gold zari embroidery designs. The pleats in these costumes opens beautifully when the dancer forms a particular posture especially arai mandi (half sitting) and muzhu mandi (full sitting).
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Types of Sarees for a Bharatanatyam costume
1. Kanchipuram Silk Saree - The Kanchipuram Silk Saree is hand-woven. It is made of dyed silk yarn with interleaved designs made with 'Zari'. The silk thread used for weaving a saree is made of three single threads twisted together and because of this reason, Kanchipuram sarees are expensive than other types of silk available in South India. Kanchipuram sarees are more stronger than Dharmavaram or Arani silks generally.
2. Dharmavaram Silk Saree - Apart from Kanchipuram, there are other places in Tamilnadu which produce silk sarees, they are- Dharmavaram, Arni, Salem & Tribhvanam. Even though sarees of these areas are good, Kanchipuram excels in quality and intricate designs.
3. Semi Silk Saree - Costumes are also made of semi silk sarees which costs much less than kanchivaram and Dharmavaram silk sarees. This type of saree is cost effective for group performances where for example, many costumes are stitched at a time.
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