6 comments on “Eeena Meena Deeka (from Aasha, 1957)

  1. I have this but haven’t watched it yet…I got it just for this song though :-)

  2. Yeah, the movie itself is not completely at the top of my list of movies I have to pick up (which list is getting pretty long now :) , though I’d like to see it sometime. Today, I might go back to the store on 28th Street in Manhattan to pick up that copy of Howrah Bridge that I saw last week on the sale rack (if it’s still there). I’ll probably be getting that for the song (or two songs now). But that one looks a little more interesting to me.

    I’ve finally added the “Indian Rockabilly” category that I’ve been thinking about, now that I have three clips to include. But this is the only one so far that doesn’t feature Helen. I didn’t know until I stumbled upon this the other day that Vyjayanthimala did a swinging, rocking rockabilly dance a year before Helen ever did. And it was a big hit!

    Sometimes when I see either of those women dancing, I think about that great competition from Prince that I saw a while back in which Vyjayanthimala played the square. (Or that’s what I got from that scene anyway.) But obviously, she could be even hipper than Helen back in the ’50s…and still be one of the best bharatanatyam dancers, probably in the same film!

  3. Howrah Bridge is a wonderful movie :-) You’ll like it!

    Indian rockabilly is something I will have to check out :-) Vyjayanthimala is a great dancer, although Helen surpasses her IMHO…even in Prince although I admit I am unable to take my eyes off Shammi ;-)

  4. I’d hate to have to say which one is better than the other. Though I will say I have become very partial to South Indian dancers trained in bharatanatyam. IMHO, overall, Helen is a great dancer, but she doesn’t surpass Vyjayanthimala.

    Now, there is one dancer I can think of who, IMHO, surpasses Vyjayanthimala ;) ….

  5. Helen is not as good as VJM. VJM dances even till today in her seventies. Infact the best dancers in classical forms were the Sai Subbulakshmi sisters, Kamala Lakshman, The Travancor Sisters comprising of Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, then comes Vyjayanthimala, EV Saroja and L Vijayalakshmi from the South. Later of course Hema Malini, Jayapradha, Meenakshi Seshadri also from the South. From the North, Asha Parekh, Rajshree, Sandhya, Waheeda Rehman, Madhumati and Helen and later Madhuri Dixit too. Sridevi deserves a mention here although no formal training, nevertheless a superb dancer. And of course now Aishwarya.

  6. Thanks, Tony. I completely agree with your assessment of the best dancers in the classical forms!

    I have a “Filmi Favorites 1946-1971” list linked to at the top of this blog (which I put together quite a while after I wrote this post)… Some of my choices might seem a bit offbeat, based on personal preferences and my own selective viewing, but I think the dancers list is probably closest to an objective “best.” Right now it goes like this:

    1. Padmini
    2. Kamala Lakshman
    3. Vyjyayanthimala
    4. Ragini
    5. Minoo Mumtaz
    6. Gopi Kirshna
    7. Helen
    8. Sandhya
    9. Kumkum
    10. Waheeda Rehman

    I had Sai-Subbulaxmi up there before, but I let them drop off because I’d seen them in so few film scenes (maybe a handful?), I just wasn’t sure if I should give them the same praise I gave to a couple of other dancers whom I’d seen in many more dances. (It gets kind of tough limiting it to 10 dancers!)

    Probably, Minoo Mumtaz wouldn’t be up there if this were just an assessment of classical dancing abilities, though I think she is great in general. You didn’t list Kumkum, but I think she must belong in the top 10, especially with the sort of dancing she did in Kohnoor. Gopi Krishna too – there are at least a couple of men worth mentioning, though they might not grab our attention as much as some of the women. (I think Kamal Hassan, whom I just talked about with someone on another blog, belongs in the list of the later dancers.) And I really haven’t looked at the dancing of L. Vijayalakshmi or E.V. Saroja enough, but I plan to look for them more, especially since you mentioned them in such a fine list.

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