4 comments on “Bhanupriya Dancing in Swarna Kamalam (Telugu, 1988)

  1. I watched it today and found it charming. I grew up hating bharatanatyam; it seemed frozen in time with the same themes, jerky awkward poses and gymnastics. It also seemed a sort of preserves of the elites. But Bhanupriya’s whatever it istakes over, there is at least some grace, informality and joy of life like in the dance

    I may be prejudiced. After all I should be liking some thing Indian which foreigners like. May be part of this recent letter may explain my attitudes:
    “I am not in to ‘classical’ dances. I was exposed to ‘classical’ south Indian music and dances early (through my mother who used to practice music and train students in some dances, one of them
    a Kamala Lakhsman dance from an early Tamil film around 1947. But I donot thnk that she was conversant with classical dance). The reason that I did not like was that often they seemed like gymanstics. It is not clear to me what classical is. Some seems to have been creations of the elites in the early twentieth century either for reasons of nationalism or exclusiveness. It is not clear what the situation was before. There was certainly court patronage. I would think that devadasis though wedded to temple, had much interaction with common people and there might have been elements which appealed to ordinary people. In addition, there were bhomam melaalu ( possibly meant for the rich) and proaly other forms of street entertainment with elements of dance, music, abhinaya. Whatever there were, the situation changed with films, I think. They necessarily had to appeal to common people and either diluted the ‘classical’ dances or adopted the folk forms with change of format to shorter duration, and choosing more appealing and graceful parts etc. Proably there were influences from the west,
    Persia, Pasi and Marathi theatre. I think that Cinema was the great
    equalizer which to some extent ( I do not know how much) broke the
    hold of the elites though some of the film makers themselves were
    elites. I understand that AIR banned film songs for a while. The
    continued appeal of some of the stuff from Russis to Nigeria to some of the urban educated in countrieslike USA suggests that there may be some enduring universal forms in this material. Apart from stray thoughs like this,of which I would like to satidfy my
    curiosity to some extent but it is not a main priority, I enjoy some
    of these, particularly songs (without worrying about the raagas) and
    some dances which seem natural and graceful to me.
    L.Vijalakshmi inher second interview blurts out at one stage ‘classical kaanigraceful’. My reaction is somewhat similar.”
    Any thoughts that will improve mu understanding of these matters are welcome.

  2. 3 Female singers who have sung in this movie are P Susheela, S Janaki and SP Shailaja (SP Balasubramanyam’s sister). Chithra has not sung in this movie.

  3. Swarup, thank you for calling my attention to that. And once you did, I was able to see that the video for this old post disappeared (as one would expect after seven and a half years), so I replaced it. I don’t know why I never answered your long comment above. I’ll look at it again tomorrow and see if I have any thoughts about that, four years after you wrote it. :)

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