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Ballet Costume in Akbar's Time

Title:Ballet Costume in Akbar's Time
Author:Fabri, Charles
Publication:Marg
Enumeration:Vol. 7 Issue no. 1; December 1953, p. 17-22
Abstract:The dancer's costumes, as evident in various miniatures, show that the short-lived staggered multiple ballet skirt (similar in structure to the tutu) in the time of Akbar gave way to a diaphanous skirt soon after Jehangir's accession. The Akbari ballet-tutu is seen in a miniature from the Akbar-nama in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and a Rajasthani miniature illustrating the Raga Megha, but it is an oddity. The completely transparent skirt of Jehangir's time is evident on a leaf of the Rasikapriya and as late as 1750 in Lady Rothenstein's miniature. The dancers' costumes help in the dating of miniatures -- thus, the Rasikapriya leaf is dated here closer to 1620 than 1610, while Archbishop Laud's miniatures are tentatively put 10 years earlier than Karl Khandalavala's date of 1625. It is also suggested that the diaphanous skirt was worn only by dancers in the 18th century.

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