Narasimha is a half-man and half-lion avatar taken by Vishnu to defeat the demon king Hiranyakashipu. The story goes that the demon king had been blessed with a boon that he couldn’t be killed by anything that was born, or any man or any animal, or by any instrument living or dead, in day or night, in the earth or in the sky, indoors or outdoors.
The parameters of the demon king arise at twilight, when Narasimha emerges from a shattered pillar with a terrifying roar in this monstrous form. The creature which is neither man nor animal drags the demon king to the threshold of the house, places him on his lap and tears him apart with his claws.
When going through dance poses from Bharatanatyam, I came across one that seemed to emulate the rage and fury of this avatar perfectly, while also combining the grace and beauty of the dance form itself. My first draft had more oranges and reds, but I wanted to find a subtler way of showing the mood. Hence I settled on an ashen tone for his skin with the violent reds and oranges in his clothes and mane.