27 September, 2020

First Light

Embodies the spirit of Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam in content, style and visual appeal

First Light
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The extraordinary contribution of Indian women in preserving and enhancing India’s heritage gets lost in the din of political discourse of a coarser nature. Their contributions are often softer, more philosophical, intangible, yet immensely important.

Leela Samson, well-known dancer, writer and now director of Rukmini Devi Arundale’s Kalakshetra in Chennai, gently unfolds the vast talents of her guru. Rukmini was a young Tamil Brahmin woman who challenged society by marrying an Englishman, George Sydney Arundale. He was 25 years older than her. Rukmini also became an ardent disciple of Annie Besant. She explored and gave new life to Sadir, a dance form then dedicated to the temple and performed only by Devdasis. This came to be known as Bharatanatyam. She drew upon Sadir’s purest ideas of spirituality and infused it with a highly aesthetic sensibility. She persuaded the best composers,  Sanskrit scholars and practitioners of classical music to enrich the dance form. It was a task requiring courage, energy, vision...

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