11 May, 2021

A Dancing, Prancing Ego

Nothing exciting out here, except some serious self-glorification and unengaging trivia

A Dancing, Prancing Ego
Among the many duties I had to perform as public relations officer of the Indian high commission in London following Independence was to ensure adequate media coverage for visiting Indian artistes. Of them, the most daunting was to rouse interest in classical Indian dancing. Few in England were aware that such a thing existed. For most of them, Indian dancers were nautch girls gyrating to the jingle of ankle bells. The only one who had established himself as a class dancer was Ram Gopal. He had a sizeable following in England’s gay circles. Then came Uday Shankar, his wife Amala Nandi and their troupe partly sponsored by our government. There were not many willing to buy tickets to see something they knew nothing about. We had to persuade the staff of India House to bring their families to fill at least half the hall. With Mrinalini Sarabhai it was slightly different. She came from the well-known Swaminadhan family of Madras and her mother was a member of Parliament. Her husband Vikram was on the make as a space and nuclear research scientist; he was also a Sarabhai of Ahmedabad,...

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