I guess the first one is more strictly bharatanatyam, but otherwise, I couldn’t help noticing the similiarities: South Indian women trained in bharatanatyam, dancing on objects that cut their feet, having the world spin around them, nearly passing out (but at the same time, oh so beautiful to watch – two of my all-time favorites – and maybe everybody’s)… Is this some kind of tradition? Or just a recurring theme? First scene is from Mohanambal’s Thilllana or (or Thillana Mohanambal) (1968), next scene is from Sholay (1975). [Note (much later): Actually, the first scene is a combination of a couple of scenes from Thillana Mohanambal – the original copy was wiped out, so I had to include this compilation version instead – but you can see what I mean at the end.]
P.S. By the way, I saw Sholay tonight. It made sense as a follow-up to all these other films I’ve been watching and writing about lately, considering at the very least the cast. (I’m going to have to write more about Dharmendra sometime.) Maybe that’s why it just jumped out at me when I saw it yesterday at the New York Public Library. (My first NYPL Bollywood checkout, strangely enough.) And I positively loved it! If I said recently that something was too much a western for my tastes, forget that – the thought didn’t even occur to me in this western. And I didn’t think for a minute about anyone’s bad off-screen politics, either.