What’s the most desi-est way to celebrate BTS’ ninth anniversary if not to create crossovers between K-pop and Indian culture? 34-year-old graphic designer Tina Dominic, who raises money for charity annually through her art, has one thing in common with BTS – a passion for dance.
Granted, the K-pop industry is strict with its choreography, demanding insane in-sync and complex dance moves. But there’s another field that is equally determined and stringent with details – Bharatanatyam.
As a Bharatanatyam dancer, watching BTS’ powerful choreography reignited Dominic’s passion for classical dance. Currently working as a freelancer and graphic/set designer, she is also the creator of Being Mrs. Ninja, a webcomic.
She chose to blend her passions as part of her yearly art theme. She created a unique Bharatanatyam X BTS series in celebration of the K-pop group’s ninth anniversary.
Dominic’s series is about each BTS member representing one Navarasa, the nine expressions of Bharatanatyam – Shringaram (Love), Hasyam (Laughter), Karuna (Compassion), Raudram (Anger), Veeram (Courage), Bhayanakam (Fear), Bhibhatsyam (Disgust) ), Adbhutha (Surprise), and Shantham (Peace).
The We are Bulletproof event’s flea market, organized by thehallyustore, was the perfect venue for Dominic to put her prideful creations on display. The event provided K-pop fans, irrespective of any restrictions, to be themselves and flaunt their love for BTS unabashedly.
With purple-colored unique products dominating, Dominic’s stall stood out among the sea of pop-up stores at the event. Wearing a BTS rap line-inspired UGH! T-shirt, she flashed a wide smile as I approached her stall.
In conversation with SK POP’s Afreen Khan, Dominic discussed attending her first BTS event, how she became an ARMY, the stories behind the Being Mrs. Ninja comic, the Bharatanatyam X BTS series, and more.
Being Mrs. Ninja creator Tina Dominic talks about her Bharatanatyam X BTS merchandise, how she became an ARMY, how the K-pop group reignited her passion, and more
Q) Hello! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Tina Dominic: My name is Tina Dominic, and I’m the designer behind the BeingMrsNinja store. It’s called BeingMrsNinja after a comic strip I created a long time ago. It eventually became a page for art.
Q) Right now, we’re in Mumbai at the We are Bulletproof BTS anniversary event organized by thehallyustore. How did you learn about it, and how did you get here?
Tina Dominic: I learned about the event online. The event’s theme was Indo-Korean, and the designs I did seem to perfectly define Indo-Korean because it is a unique crossover between Bharatanatyam and BTS. I used to be a Bharatanatyam dancer and listening to BTS got me dancing all over again. So through art, I wanted to depict nine years of BTS and the Navarasa, the nine expressions in classical dance. I thought it’ll be an exciting aspect to provide for the stalls that come here. We’ve got coasters, postcards, and more.
Q) How long did it take you to design the series?
Tina Dominic: I did one (Navarasa) artwork a day for nine days. I took it as a challenge to post daily on Instagram. The products came later.
Q) A blend of BTS and Bharatanatyam, especially Navarasa, sure does look creative and excellent. How did your BTS journey start?
Tina Dominic: I got into BTS when my brother first told me, ‘Hey, why don’t you listen to this song called Mic Drop, After listening to it, I couldn’t stop for some reason. Then, I became interested in other aspects of the group, like their videos and dance. Most importantly, it made me want to dance again.
I used to be a classical dancer but hadn’t danced in a while. But listening to these guys and watching them perform made me want to dance again. Also, by profession, I’m a designer, so I thought this would be a fun way to integrate that same idea and maybe share it with others with the same interest.
Q) Please tell us more about the Being Mrs. Ninja account and Bharatanatyam X BTS products. How has the reception of the series been as of yet?
Tina Dominic: It started as a page for my webcomic series Being Mrs. Ninja, which expanded to calendars, and now, BeingMrsNinja, is like a DM-to-order kind of page. I post about my products over there for anyone interested. These products make unique gift items too.
The best part about the Bharatanatyam X BTS merchandise was that it also interested those who are not into BTS. People thought it looked pretty because it had a classical look. Some didn’t know about the BTS aspect and still liked it.
Q) Lastly, how did the Bharatanatyam X BTS series come about? What was your inspiration behind it?
Tina Dominic: The story behind this (the creations) is that every year, I design calendars and sell them to raise money for a chosen charity. My theme was ‘Dance’ this year, featuring the Bharatanatyam and BTS fusion art. We raised a lot of money for the UN World Food Program, over 30K, and donated it. Clearly, BTS was special, a lucky charm; people started showing interest in the art, so I thought, why not create something not just for the year but for use throughout the year. And that’s how the Bharatanatyam x BTS coasters, postcards, and bookmarks came to be.
Tina Dominic (continued): There’s a lot of detail that goes into the art. For Navarasa, the nine classical expressions, each rasa or expression, are inspired by a BTS member and a BTS song. So in each one, there are details that depict the members and the songs. The nine artworks also come together to form a ‘Love Yourself’ heart in the background. So it’s like a complete set.
Dominic’s Bharatanatyam X BTS series has incredible amounts of detail and will definitely give any ARMY a tough time figuring out who’s who. Only veteran ARMYs might be able to pass.
Each Navarasa contains one member, one expression, and a defining key factor. These defining factors can be anywhere from V’s ON face tattoo to RM’s black goggles and buzz-cut hairstyle in No More Dream, The series contains bookmarks, a set of eight coasters (also sold individually), postcards, and a calendar.