1. There actually is a WordPress bharatanatyam blog! It gives some good history, including more detailed descriptions of things that I related in bits and pieces earlier. The blog does seem kind of new and not really fully formed yet. I hope to see more here in the future.
2, There is a list of 1000 public ratings of Bharata Natyam dancers! If anybody needs more names of dancers to look for, I guess this is the place to go. People who only know the filmi dancing (among whom I counted myself until a very short time ago) should still recognize a couple of names here. I noticed Vyjayanthimala at number 5 (which I assume would mean the contemporary 70-something Vyjayanthimala, or else she’d be number #1?) and Shobana Chandrakumar at about number 9. I wouldn’t take the rankings too seriously – probably they’re deliberately underrating the dancers who are famous in films. (That’s what I think, but what do I know?) It’s still a very informative list.
3. YouTube itself. There are tons of bharatanatyam clips. I’ve been looking at a lot of them during the past week, when I haven’t had any movies queued up and didn’t want to get to other things, as a “time pass.” I also find these dance clips can cheer me up or soothe me. (And it’s been a pretty hard week – don’t ask; you don’t want to read about it all here!)
So now I know about a bunch of contemporary bharatanatyam dancers who’ve never been in films.
One nice YouTube source is the classical Indian dance enthusiast Minaiminai. I’ve already borrowed from her site a few times to post Shobana clips. Here’s another bharatanatyam dancer she posted whom I enjoyed watching, Apoorva Jayaraman: