A Glimpse of Kalakshetra in the Seventies

I just read a terrific article by a woman who studied bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra in the seventies -- as I did: Sleeping With Movie Stars, by Gitanjali Kolanad. My experiences were not exactly the same (I didn't sleep with any movie stars, for example), but she made me remember that time and place very vividly.

I also admired the dancer who played Lakshman, though I never tried to do anything about it. I also remember Rukmani Devi saying that a dancer is a dancer not only in class or on stage, but always... although I haven't benefited much from that piece of wisdom. Small kids called out 'vellakarchi' ('white girl') when I passed, as they did to her. I thought I might die before I completed the 'tat adavu' ...

Thanks to India Outside My Window for the link.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

am dying to know who that movie star is now...

Nancy said...

Heh, I also wondered about that -- it could be someone dull, though, like Jeetendra...

LaVieQ said...

Thanks for the link Nancy - the classroom photos at Kalakshetra brought back
memories of sitting cross legged on the floor, reciting math tables, while the eyes were preoccupied with whatever was visible through the bamboo lattice windows. Or runnning out to climb and swing on the trees when the "interval" bells rang. All of us boys dressed in the traditioal pajamas and kurtas, screaming up in the trees like white clad monkeys. :-)

Nancy said...

I remember those little boys very well -- I saw them sitting cross-legged in the dining hall opposite the girls, generally getting up to mischief. :)