Shima Mahdavi breezed in backstage on Tuesday night for her performance which was over an hour away.
But there were preparations to make.
It takes time for a Kathakali artiste to don the costume though the make-up can be done earlier.
Shima has been learning Kathakali for some years at an international Kathakali institute in Delhi.
She also learns Bharatanatyam in Chennai, from Kalakshetra's Haripadam.
She cannot perform in Iran where dancing in public is banned. But she can participate in theatre which is how she gets to perform what she learns as a Kathak and Bharatanatyam dancer in India.
"I alternate between the two forms in theatre shows," she says after her short recital here - though it was late, she should have been allowed at least 30 minutes what with the effort at preparing for a recital.