82 comments on “Sai-Subbulaxmi

  1. Thank you, Stella_1. This is good too!

    It helps to know that there’s another spelling to their name (which I just added to the list above), “Sai-Subbalaxmi,” which is recognized as the official spelling at the IMdB. Now I’ve been able to find a couple more movies that they were in: Naya Sansar (1959) and Bharosa (1963). Im thinking that this must be them in Bharosa (more grown up here):

  2. Sundar, thank you for the recommendation. I have heard of M.S. Subbulakshmi, and, in fact, I encountered this name quite a lot when I tried to search for Sai-Subbulaxmi. or Sai-Subbulakshmi. :) This is a very good clip, and I’ve seen it before. I am impressed that this film also starred the then-11-year-old Kumari Kamala, later known as Kamala Lakshman. (As you might tell from recent posts, I’ve been very interested in the history of Kamala Lakshman and her role in bringing bharatanatyam into the cinema before the rise of the Travancore Sisters.) It would be nice to find a a copy of this film, subtitled, but I don’t know if I will be able to…

    All that having been said, I admit that I am not as familiar with the singing of M.S. Subbulakshmi as I am with, say, P. Susheela, who is the one I think of whenever I think of old Tamil films; however, I’ll be happy to hear more.

  3. APLAM SAPLAM dancer sai of sai-subbulaxmi combo died on 26 JAN 2010 due to breast cancer. she is my sister-in-law. She is survived by a son Rakshagan, daughter-in-law and two grand daughters.

  4. Madhuram, I am very sorry to hear about the death of your sister-in-law Sai, of Sai-Subbulaxmi. I have been in touch with a number of people who’ve agreed with me that, 1) they were a great dance team, possibly the best, and 2) there is just not enough information about them out there. So, if you ever want to share any information, memories, etc., here, that will be greatly appreciated. And thank you very much for taking the time wo write in with the sad news.

  5. hi everybody sai on aplam chaplam is my auny she passed away on 26th jan 2010 due to breast cancer she is survied by a son and daughter in law and 2 grand daughter her favourite sister in law is my mon R. SUDHA who is daughter of RAGHAVAN V.S (first sound engineer in india and her MOM is R.PADMA who was heroine in many of tamil movies namely sabapathy ) we reside at T.NAGAR chennai being daughter in law of such great personality she was happy and her husband name is Santharam V.S Further any detail of these famous personality you can reach me on 09538882216

  6. Raghavendra, thank you for writing in and sharing all this information about Sai of Sai Subbulaxmi, and for providing the contact number. Very much appreciated!

  7. I do agree about these two legends. They were among the great dancers of india. I even admire the dances of Sandhya and Vyjantimala. They will remain in the hearts of people for their talents and contribution to indian cinema.

  8. I just want to know who is what. Which one of them is Sayee and which one of them Subbu. The tall one is Sayee or Subbu. Could any one inform me for my information?

  9. Hi all Sayee_Subbalakshmi Fans,

    I am Ratchagan son of Mrs.Sayee. I am the only one son of her. My mother and my Elder Mother Subbalakshmi were famous in Classical Dance (Bharathanatiyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak). Both were performed in Stage Appearances and acted in several films in 6 languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Singala). They have been awarded as “Bambara Sagodharigal” by Kalaivaanar Thiru N.S.Krishnan (Veteran Comedian Artist) and performed in front of Great Leaders like Thiru. Rajaji, Thiru. Kamarajar and several foreign leaders and delegates. They were the daughters of Smt. P.A.Periyanayaki, she was the first Playback Singer, who sung for the heroines performed in the films in those period (1940s). Because, in those period, most of the heroins were sung for themselves and she was the first who sung for the others (Eg. Films like Sri Valli, Sabapathy, etc). My mother and my elder mother Sayee and Subbalakshmi were familiar in Southern Language films and in Hindi films in the period of 1950s. Films like, Malaikkallan, Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum, Ratha Kaneer, Karpukku arasi, Arivaali, Akkiraamudu, Chori Chori, Barosa, etc.). My mother Sayee suffering with Breast Cancer for the past One and half year who expired on 26th January 2010. She was stayed with me and presently I am residing at Valasarawakkam Area, Chennai, South India. I am the only son of her, and I was also acted in Tamil films in the childhood age (Film names : (Tamil) Ranga, Rajnikanth Movie, (Telugu) Sandhya (Actress : Sujatha), (Malayalam) Kaalam (Actor : Ravinder and K.R.Vijaya), and her brother Mr. M.R.Sairam and his family were staying in Saligramam Area, Chennai, South India and his sons were also interested and related in Film Industry. My mother Sayee’s Mother-in-Law Smt. Padmavathy, was also a veteran actress who acted in Film Sabapathy as an heroin with Mr. T.R.Ramachandran and several other Tamil Films. For further details contact me : S.Ratchagan – son of Mrs.Sayee (9840507366 / 9790931256) and Mr.S.Sivachandraan (Mrs.Sayee’s brother son – Mob : 9841682669). Thank you all who have given details about my mother and my elder Mother to their fans. Love you all from S.Ratchagan and S.Sivachandraan (Mail us : chandraanshiva@gmail.com or s_ratchu@yahoo.co.in)

  10. Thank you, Mr. Ratchagan, for your post about your mother. Many of us here, even these many years later, love the work of the two sisters. What I’m most interested in is the availability of their dances on home video (VCD and/or DVD). I have 7 of their dances in my collection and would like to see more. I have them from Chori Chori, Bharosa, Azaad (2 dances), Sharada (Hindi language movies), and Mallaikallan (2 dances, South Indian). Are there more movies on VCD or DVD where they can be seen, do you know? Thanks.

  11. Ratchagan, I would also like to say thank you for writing to mention all this interesting information about your mother, Sayee. It was also very interesting to read so much that I hadn’t known about other members of your impressive family. I did not know, for instance, that Sayee and Subbalakshmi (whose names I will spell that way from now on) were daughters of P.A. Periyanayaki. I recently read a story about how that singer – your grandmother – was called in at the last minute to do playbak singing for the film Sri Valli after AVM decided that Rukmini’s singing would not be adequate. (Though Rukmini was a nice dancer – I have a clip of a Thillana from this film that I’ve been meaning to post…) Anyway, that’s just on of a few interesting bits in your comment above. I will have to get back to this comment again (maybe tomorrow), and possibly draw more attention to this old post, now that you have written in. I think there are a few people out there who would be grateful for the information that you’ve sent.

  12. Dear Mr.Richard

    Nice to see your reply about my mother. One of our mother’s fan wants to know, who is sayee and who is Subbulakshmi. The Taller one is Sayee and the other is Subbulakshmi. Sisters have performed in front of great legendaries like Dr.M.G.Ramachandran (M.G.R.) and Dr. Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan and several other film personalities. Even my mother and my elder mother performed for Dr. Sivaji Ganesan’s New House Inaugural function (Grahapravesam) now existing in Dr.Sivaji Ganesan Road, T.Nagar, Chennai, South India called as “Annai Illam”. My mother Sayee was very much interested in Singing Songs. She was fan of Shri A.M.Raja, Shri. S.P.Balasubramaniam, Smt. P.Susheela (Playback singers) and several others. My mother and my elder mother’s Bharathanatyam Guru name is Shri.Muthuswamy Pillai and they learnt Kathak dance from the familiar Hindi Films Dance Master (I couldn remember his name). But, I remember one of his (Dance Master) films like Janak Janak Payal Bhaje and several other movies. My mother Sayee was very much interested in writing Short Stories or Novels. But none of these was printed. But I don’t have any collections of these. For More details, I will reply later. Thank you.

  13. For your information Sabapathy is the movie where sayee mother in law and mother acted together where Mrs Padma heroin of the movie would get married and the music at the reception was sung by Mrs Periyanakai both our grandmother and V.S Raghavan the first sound engineer are great personality Mrs Padma ‘s Brother is Chitti Babu a famous camera man and most of the Kanada star Raj Kumar movies are shot by by and he is survied by 3 Daughter and 4 sons out of which one daughter is married to Mrs padmas son and the other daughter to son of U.R.Jeevarathnam and our Grandfather Devaraj was Mayor of Chennai and is well know politician ion those day’s and and was favourite of then chief minister Anna Durai if any more details is required you can get in touch with any of us we shall guide so that it would be helpfull for people who are into studying about famous personality I still remember my mom telling me those days where the entire artist croud being at home in their childhood day the phots are still there and our close family associates were Savitri gamini ganesan ,Sivaji ganesans family and we are all still in touch and even the famouse doctor Kamala selvaraj and sister and famous bollywood personality Rekha and Sredevi’s family ANd also Comedy star Balaiha’S family we families are still in touch with each other and any occasions we all meet up and have best of the time spent with each other the closeness and bonding still goes on and shall go on for ever as we grand children of these famous personalities are still living as cousion and all of us well settled as professionals in the own profession .

  14. Dear mr retchagan, thank you for all the valuable information around the two memorable and most talented dancers of the yesterday years. I am still to see another pair who could dance with such perfection and coordination. Would you be kind enough to give some information on subbulakshmi about whom there seems to be not much said on all these correspondence. Is she alive and if so where does she live and any information about her descendants.
    Thank you.

  15. wow, this song (aplam chaplam) is epic! one of the most amazing dances I’ve ever seen! I love the song by itself but Sai and Subbalaxmi make it beyond beautiful. their faces are so expressive and the movements are so graceful and still so swift. i saw many others do live performances on this song but nothing, absolutely nothing came even close to the original . i was extremely curious about the both of them, who they were, their names, their other films, etc and thanks to this blog i got quite some information on them. I’d just like to say this song is a great piece of art, I’m absolutely in love with it and may Sai’s soul rest in peace!

  16. Neha, thank you for all these good words about “Aplam Champlam” and Sai Subbalakshmi – it’s nice to see that you appreciate them as much as I do (as do quite a few other people, so I have learned). I’m also very glad that my blog helped you to get all this information that you were looking for. I know that it’s not that easy to find enough information about some of our favorite dancers… And by the way, I’m curious about those other versions that you saw. I suppose I could do a search and find a few clips out there… But even though I sometimes do enjoy contemporary versions of old songs/dances, somehow, I’ve always thought – as I think you have just confirmed – that none could come close to this.

  17. thanks a lot to all of them, who gave the information about the two great Indian dancers sayee-subbulaxmi. i am very very happy and feel conform to gain my knowledge also. aplam chaplam is a my favourite song. thanks again to all of them.

  18. Rehzam Khan, you’re very welcome, and I’m quite happy to see that you got some more knowledge about them here. Also, it’s good to see that “Aplam Chaplam” is your favorite. Certainly, that song/dance deserves recognition as one of the best.

  19. thanks for the information about sai subbalaxmi. i’ve seen their dances in many tamil films. nsk jas given them a very suitable title really they are bambara sagotherigal.

  20. Thank you so much for all the information. I simply adore their dances. So far I have seen a few more of their films sadly though not all. In my view their best seem to be in the film Arivaali(1963).
    Their swiftness rhythm and the abhinayams for the patham and drum beat is just sensational. There is no one to match this even now. Please convey our best wishes to Subbu the surviving sister and kindly let her know all this affection and admiration round the world for them.

  21. Aplam Chaplam is one of my most favourite dance clips. The more I see it the more I like it. Very sorry to know about the sad demise of Sai. Can anybody shed some light on the whereabouts of Subbalakshmi? Where is she? And what about her family?

  22. absolutely fascinating – both clips and comments. Thanks. this is turning out to be a veritable treasure house of information for someone like me who is interested in the journeys between music, dance and film in south India.

  23. I seem to have missed Periyanayaki’s songs. May be she sang mostly in Tamil though the name suggests that she may have Telugu background. I find there is quite a lot about her on the net. Here is a dance which might have been already posted where she sings and the daughters dance
    Another with Kamal

  24. fascinating the clips. Thanks. I have some ideas about music and early film and I hope I can write substantially and then post it here!

  25. Lakshmi, thank you very much for the kind comments! I look forward to seeing more of your thoughts about music, dance, and film.

    Swarup, thanks for those clips with singing by Periyanayaki. I see that one is from Sri Valli (so, I see that she did singing for Kamala as well as Rukmini). The other link that you supplied isn’t working right now (I keep getting “server error” messages), but you are correct that “O’Ayye O’Amma” was posted here, along with “the daughters'” other dance in Malaikallan:


    (As you can see, that post is also from 2008, but I revised it very recently to refer and link to Tom’s new song clip channel, since the old clips had disappeared with Tom’s old channel, probably a couple of times. :) Since people are returning to this post and all these comments (once again), I’ll also replace the lost Bharosa clip fairly soon.)

  26. Richard. The idea I want to develop with some friends and fans of music/dance is to look at old films until say the late 60’s as an archive to make sense of the lives devadasis and other hereditary performing communities led after 1947. It is like the work being done by saeed naqvi for hindustani music, tawaifs and hindi films. The blogs and the video clips are fascinating and I am just beginning to see how I can compile them arrange them and make sense of them. I am a historian by training and have a book on music and nationalism. This blog has been fascinating for all sorts of reasons and I cannot thank you enough!

  27. Lakshmi, you are welcome. And I feel very encouraged that this blog can be appreciated so much by a historian, because that is one of the things that I should have been. :)

    The book on music and nationalism sounds very interesting. If you could send more info on that, that would be great.

    I could tell you a little about my own writing background, to show where I am “coming from” (though there is a little about this in my “about” page too)…

    [Note in retrospect: Looks like you’ve influenced me to write one of these long indulgent comments all about myself – oh, well. :) ]

    For a long time, I wrote – in print – about music also, among other things. I was a pop/rock kind of critic from the days of my youth, the 1980s, through the ’90s, contributing regularly to a few magazines. But I always specialized in “alternative sounds,” and by the 90s, I was writing a lot about “global electonica,” especially “indian fusion.” (BTW, during much of that time, I also wrote short fiction, particularly stuff bordering on fantasy and horror or dark suspense – I’ve talked to Madhu-Dustedoff a bit about that. I also loved to listen to, and write about, music that fell into that subculture known as Goth, especially Ethereal Goth. You can see a straight trajectory from that to my love of ’40s Hindi film music and films like Mahal. )

    I’ve also written a lot about social-political thoughts and ideas, blogging or being published here and there, especially since the late ’90s, in places that you might say are a bit on the left, a few of which are categorized by a scary political word beginning with the letter “A.” (Fairly recently, I co-wrote a book that was published by AK Press – a credit that I am not sure I want to list on all my resumes.) And sometimes I also connected these two interests – such as in a sociological sort of essay that is a favorite of mine, which I contributed to the first Bad Subjects anthology (NYU Press).

    So, you might say I’ve written about music and I’ve written about anti-nationalism LOL. But I understand that nationalism can be different when it is tied up with national liberation, and the combination of nationalism, anti-capitalism or socialism, and very popular culture that I find in ’40s-’50s Indian movies is very interesting to me (and also a combination that you will rarely see here in the west).

    So, I guess I have had similar interests or combinations of interests running along similar lines…

    And, of course, the other (newer) work that you described sounds fascinating to me as well. As you know, I am very interested in all those performing cultures…

    More so than in most of the stuff that I used to write about… I don’t write about pop music, really, anymore, except on a rare occasion. For the past four and a half years, my obsession with classic Indian films and related music and dance (including the older traditions influencing these things) has just about overtaken everything, at least in terms of musical/film/dance interests. (And in terms of time, to a great extent.)

  28. Sounds terrific! let me give you soem titles of mine not that I like this unashamed publicity… but..
    1. From the Tanjore Court to the Madras Music Academy. A social history of music in south India (O.U.P,) Social science Press.
    2. New mansions of Music Pedagogy, Performance and Criticism.
    3. Veena Dhanam The making of a legend. (Routledge)
    Do let me have the privilege of reading what you have written and what you are interested in. I find this blog very instructive – gives you access to so much anecdotal information and a shared community of readers and listeners which makes reading teh archive that much more meaningful. More soon. I am going to tell some of my students and friends to check this out and we will soon have a cyber network going!

  29. By the way i am a critical historian of nationalism. What I tried to argue was how the nationalist project produced a particular kind of classicism and how that excluded those voices whom i am trying to retrieve by this blog of yours among other things!

  30. Wow, it looks as though you’ve written some really solid histories and social histories of South Indian music and cultures… Looks as though there’s a lot of great research material there.

    And, yes, I will certainly look forward to more from you! And look forward to “meeting” those students and friends of yours once you start spreading the word :) – thanks for that as well.

  31. Lakshmi,
    I read your book listed first above and also a book by Amanda Weidman at the same time covering similar territory. I am not in to music at all except some popular music but was interested in the effect of nationalism and the elite influence on evolving musical forms. I look forward to reading more of your work.

  32. Thanks, Swarup – this is a lot of stuff here! I will have to take some time to read it slowly and digest it all. (And I’m just talking about the review, never mind the books. :) )

  33. take your time and hope you enjoy the review! I did. And I have got a pal Ajay Cadambi who has My Music archive on Facebook to add to the blog = so happy listening! and reading!

  34. May i say just how much I have enjoyed the clips and how instructive they have been. They have inspired me to do some more work o nthe passages between dance music and cinema. Thanks all for comments, information and uploads.

  35. I like the idea of art forms evolving and/or becoming popular to fill social spaces. I wonder what are the initial conditions and critical mass needed for such things and what part they can play in people’s movements. The leftists in India, perhaps starting eith P.c. Joshi used art forms in social movements and these still seem to be popular in areas like Telangana. May be such forms can help OWS. I also wonder why Uday Shankar’s innovations really did not take off. I do not know much about these things but remember Brian Larkin discussing some in ‘ Signal and Noise’.

  36. Lakshmi, once again, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. Feedback like yours helps to give me the strength to continue working so much on this blog (though I don’t know if “working” is the right word, really, when it so much fun), even when other people in real life insist that I should be spending less time here and more time on practical endeavors related to trying to earn a living and keeping afloat in the declining American economy. (Though those hardships are not unrelated to my affection for much Indian cinema from the 1940s and ’50s – which seems to have quite a bit to say regarding the problems of my time and place, as I’ve often said.)

    But regarding your comment about the Facebook page, actually, I confess, I don’t understand what you are saying here. I don’t use Facebook, although I really should, since many potential employers at editorial positions are asking for Facebook geniuses nowadays too. (But Facebook, just never appealed to me; I prefer good old blogs.) Are you suggesting that I go to your friend’s Facebook page (which I don’t have access to until I finally join Facebook), is your friend sending things here, are you sending things here from your friends Facebook? I admit I am feeling a bit confused :) …

  37. Okay I get your predicament. I am not a facebook person except as a means of keeping in touch with some friends and more family. But about ajay cadambi a student/friend who does use facebook to post his archive called my music archive, I think i will put him in touch with this blog so that he too can share his inputs. By the way i have started a blog and have my first posting on music and cinema and would love your comments. I am not sure how to cross post this but dare say will learn on the job as they say!
    What i am interested right now is to try and make lists of films with types of sings and dance forms and relate them to larger issues of taste, form and politics. I am utterly fascinated by the two sister/dancers and am glad that we have some details thanks to fellow bloggers and who knows we would get more insights to be able to write a more inclusive history of taste and performance and networks of mobility and repertoire!

  38. I understand your predicament about facebook. I myself an not a huge fbooker but do use it to be in touch with friends. My friend/student ajay cadambi has a nice blog on FB called my music archive and I shall persuade him to visit this page so that he can share his insights. As for me i am a novice and have just begun a blog and written something that i will share presently. I have been so impressed by the dancing sisters for I can see in their lives and work so much history and thanks to details provided by people in this blog, I am genuinely enthused.

  39. Swarup, this Brian Larkin book has come up in discussion before – maybe you are the one who mentioned it?

    Regarding use of art forms in social movements, this almost seems obvious to me when we talk about social movements in the west using music or music spreading social ideas. (And here I started to write a whole lot more, regarding my thinking and writing about these matters – but it doesn’t seem to fit well in comments to this post, overly long and going far afield (as if I haven’t written long and tangential stuff in this thread already :) ). Maybe I will contact you more about this over e-mail sometime, if that’s OK with you?)

    Re. older social movements in India, of course, I have been very interested in the people’s movements and communist movement re. their influences on popular film. This, as I said, is something that has been non-existent in the U.S. – well, actually, it was driven out of the U.S. completely at the time that it thrived in India, thanks to our McCarthyism and blacklists. As I’ve also said, I have been very interested in the movements in Kerala, and I was supposed to be working with one of the readers and occasional commenters here on a blog related to KPAC. (But I’m not sure where that’s going.)

    But, Gaddeswarup, as you’ve said of yourself, though I’ve had a few things published (in usually obscure places), much of this is just a matter of my talking to myself, sometimes on blogs. :) I haven’t written books in academia, nor did I ever go ahead to study formally past the B.A. level, nor do most of my intellectual interests and interests in social movements, especially in recent years, have anything to do with most of what I studied formally, even when I was in college. :) So, I’m not sure if I’m talking/thinking about exactly the same things you were in your reference to these books, which I have not read yet, either…

    Anyway, re. your question about OWS… Well, that would take me even farther afield again :)… But briefly, what I think: OWS does have art groups, which probably help a little to spread protest (and there is an OWS dance group, which I’ve been in touch with once or twice, which is very interesting to me)… But I don’t know how unified or cohesive this whole thing is as a social movement as yet. It’s not all that focused – there seems to be a lot of shared ideas about means without all that much shared vision of end. Though there is certainly a shared desire to point out something that most people should see as obvious, that we need to aim for a different end from the one we’re all heading toward now. :) (And there are different pockets of people with cohesive shared political ideas…trying to work with everyone else…or maybe not.) But it has livened up protest, woken up the U.S. a little, revived certain criticisms in the public discourse, revived the left in some way here…all of which, certainly, amount to no small feat.

  40. Richard,
    No worries as we say in Australia. I was just looking for pointers to learn about this stuff as it is all new to me and it is difficult to read too many specialized books in new areas. May be we will correspond when possible, my email address is anandaswarup at gamil dot com

  41. Lakshmi, going by what you’ve said so far, I think it would be very nice if Ajay Cadambi came over here with some of his input…

    And I just glanced at your first post on your blog. It looks great! I will add it to my blogroll shortly. (And if you haven’t figured out how to put in links for blogroll and reference, I imagine you will fairly soon. I found it very easy, and I’m no technical genius. :) The WordPress windows provide an icon for linking, and the blogroll couldn’t be easier, I think. I also sometimes put links up in HTML language, which I learned a little a while back, but that’s pretty easy, too.) I will also add some kind of comment to your new post, but maybe not tonight (am way behind in getting to some things, due in no small part to this great conversation right here).

    Swarup, I think I will have to add your blog to my blogroll, too. You were a bit discouraging about the idea a while back :) , but I want to, unless you have a really strong objection at this point.

    By the way, I have been evasive or negligent about putting my e-mail address up in a place for all to see. If either of you or anyone reading this wants to contact me by e-mail, my address is chardsinger [at] yahoo [dot] com. Though I think you will also see this e-mail address when I comment on your blogs. (Swarup, I tried to post a comment to your blog not too long ago, but had some trouble getting past the obstacles at Blogger, for some reason. I’ll try again sometime soon.)

  42. Richard,
    It is not a particularly interesting blog. As far as I can see, there is only one post I like
    I keep it mainly for my reference since I find it easy to find references for things that I have read before. The blog started around the time I retired and has not really developed since my specialization was in mathematics ( even there I learnt myself and picked my own research problems) and I was curious to know about other things. Anyway, if you refer to it, people will easily get bored and walk off and so it does not really matter.

  43. Swarup, how can people not be intrigued by a blog in which a post entitled “Neo-liberalism to neo-extractivism” is followed up by “How Usha Kiron fell in love with her husband after marriage”? I don’t mean to argue, but I like your blog.

    Regarding the post that you mentioned…I actually don’t like it as much as more recent ones, but I won’t get into the reasons here.

    By the way, I have finally figured out how to get through some obstacles to commenting. (I think it would be better if you reset the blog to accept comments from outside Google/Blogger, but maybe you have a reason to set it up the way you did?)

  44. Raghavendra and Ganesh and Ratchagan
    I have been so impressed by the clips on Sai-Subbulakshmi that I decided to write a blog. I am also very keen to meet all of you and just get to know that decade which seemed to be so productive. So if I can have a contact and email, I will be happy to make the connection

  45. Thanks very much. I will do that. Of course I do have a weakness for recovering history but that does not blind me to bbe sensitive of other people’s interests But many many thanks for the advice and the link.

  46. I am grateful to each and everyone contributed in this blog. I could see a link to the song from ‘Bharosa’ but it does not work. I thought I should add the ‘dhadka dil dhadka’ dance link. Before I finish, Does anyone know anything about the living sister of the duo?

  47. these two sisters dancing is a feast for the eyes .sheer magic.how i wish more of these are put on tv regularly ess a wonderful artist.

  48. I was always eager to know who are two real sister who performed this song Aplam Chaplam great great dance I have ever seen by reading this page My all question answered bt it is very said She died salut both of sister for their great great performence

  49. @Madhuram Babai: Please can you give me the contact details of Subbulakshmi (Sai – Subbulakshmi fame) Mam. I am an old student of her. I ve learnt bharathnatyam from her for about 8 years when she was in Pondicherry. I will be more than happy if you could help me with any of her contact details like phone number or address. I will love to meet her. I am sure she will also be very happy to see me.

  50. Hi, Very fascinating blog. I am so happy to see so much background info about Sai-Subbulakshmi sisters. Like the commentor before me I am curious to know of Ms Subbulakshmi. Also a little more about the dance journey of the sisters after films. I dont remember hearing of them continue to pursue and perform dance like other dancing-actresses like Kumari Kamala, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala etc. after their film careers.

  51. I am from Pakistan and very much thankful to Mr. Richard S and all others for providing sufficient info about most mythical legends. Simply speaking, sai-subbalakshmi trapped me in their eternal love as they were Utopian characters to me, living in the heart of humanity since very beginning. I m very much sad to hear the death of SAI. Can any body tell me about the other sister. I also want to know every thing about their life like how they were living, what they liked of disliked etc. i also want to meet the living sister just to tell her that you both sisters proved the existence of GOD. I can not understand any Indian language except Urdu or Hindi, but i have many dance clips of the two legends. However the video quality is very poor except of few ones. Can any body mail very good quality clips to me specially “Dhadka O Dil Dhadka “and “Kathavai Sathadi of Rattak Kaneer 1954” I also love the voice of Manju of Rattan (1944). But know nothing about her. Is she alive or not. I m planning to come to India just to dive into the period of 40’s to 60’s but don’t know how it would possible.

  52. Pingback: Sayee-Subbulakshmi | Antru Kanda Mugam

  53. Hi everybody, first of all thanks for plenty informations you have written here about these fenomenal dancers Sayee and Subulakshmi. I am just writing here to let their family and all people here on the web know that these amazing twins’ fame arrived also in Italy :)
    What a unique RASA watching to their performances!! Specially aplam chaplam. I would like to know more about them, but there aren’t many informations on the Internet. Why not? They deserve a Wikipedia page at least. Where is Subulakshmi now? Is still possible to communicate with Sayee ‘s son? Thank you all again, cheers from Italy :)

  54. Hello, Lili… Thanks for visiting this post – well over seven years after I put it up – and commenting. And thank you for letting us know that word about these great dancers also reached Italy and you have enjoyed watching their performances, too.

    I had no idea that there was not a Wikipedia page about them. I looked very quickly and did not find one, either.

    Unfortunately, I have let this subject drift away a little, too, and I have not kept in touch with any relatives of Sayee or Subbulakshmi in recent times. There is someone else who has done a lot more to look for their relatives in recent years and who has written more about them. That is Cassidy Minai at Cinema Nritya Gharana. She has a few interesting posts abotu Sayee Subbulakshmi. You (and others) might be most interested in starting with a post that she wrote about their relatives:


    If you search their name in her blog after that, you should find a few more things, too.

    By the way, looking at the comments above, I see that I have neglected to answer a few others over the years. I hope that some people will forgive me. :) Who knows where I drifted to at this time and that? It has been a long time since I wrote this post, and I’m delighted that there are still people finding it.

  55. Hi,everybody….so many days i was searching about this “aapalam chapalam ” dancers….i like these two dancers veryyyyyyyy much … Am very fascinate about classical dance …..and these dancers dance like so much so many times i watch this dance …. Really….!!! And thank you v.much all of u because of dancers information u gave lot of information about them …so I’m v.happy to see that…v.miracle dancers they was…. V.beautiful synchronization ,expressions,and all……what a dancer …!!!!!

  56. Anita, thank you for your enthusiastic note! It is very nice to see so much appreciation for the information that has accumulated here. I agree, Sayee-Subbulakshmi were great, and it has been good to learn so much about them.

  57. Hey great reading about the duo. Was trying to look up on wiki for some information on them. There is no information about Subulakshmi. Could you please share some information about her

  58. @Madhumathi.B
    I am also an old student of Guru Subbulakshmi and I am trying to find her whereabouts. I was trained in Bharatanatyam in the 90s.
    @Ratchagan, could you share more information about Subbulakshmi mam?

  59. can any one focus on subbulaxmi—-where she resides and with whom and how old she is now ?

  60. my question is still not replied . may i again request to as early possible

  61. Anilkumar Rao,

    I commend you for your persistence – you returned a year and three months after you raised the question, insisting on an answer as early as possible. I am flattered, actually, that you thought of coming back here after all this time.

    But I thought your question was an open one to anyone reading this. If you raise the question as, “Can anyone…” and no one answers, then you’ve already gotten your answer so far: No, no one could. :)

    I originally wrote this post almost ten years ago. It is nice that subject was commented on for so long and people contributed such good information, but I am not doing any more research on these dancers now. I will fix something, though… By bringing me back to this post, you alerted me to the fact that the video clips had disappeared. I am replacing them now. Thanks for that!

  62. Dear Richard,
    Thanks for providing souch details about the great dancing duo! Any news about the surviving sister?

  63. Sruthi, you are welcome. And thank you for sending such a nice comment on this old post!

    It’s always good to see people finding my old posts years after they appeared. This post is almost a dozen years old, but comments kept going on for a decade, and now you have revived it again. :)

    Unfortunately, with so much time passed, I have lost track of the subject, and I never did hear about the surviving sister.

    In Wikipedia, it mentions the passing of Sai (or Sayee) but there is no such reference to Subbulaxmi. I hope that means that she is still alive and well somewhere, but I am not able to find out anything else!

    It would be interesting to get more information about her sometime…

  64. Hi Richard

    I am so very impressed by seeing the sisters dance.I am not a dancer myself but I love dance.

    I too want to know about the sisters….. their later age pictures if any.I suppose Sais son @S.Ratchagan had shared his phone no in your blog…can he not help us with this.It should not disturb their privacy.

    I will wait.

  65. Hi, S. Bule.

    Thank you for visiting this old post and commenting. I am glad you liked it and, obviously, I share your fondness for these dancing sisters.

    S. Ratchagan commented on this post close to ten years ago ( the post is close to twelve years old). I was grateful for all the information that he provided, but I have not asked him for any more since then. I am in the U.S. and it is difficult for me to call India with my phone plan. :) I might have e-mailed for more information, but I was quite satisfied with what he provided, so I left it at that.

    I admit, I am not feeling inclined to ask him for anything now, ten years after he posted here. However, if you are interested in learning more from him and you think it would be a good idea to contact him now based on the information that he provided here, I would encourage you to give it a try. :)

  66. Hi Richard

    I just want to say THANK YOU!! I really appreciate how you’re still helping people find the information they want about the talented sisters, which is very nice of you. I can’t believe that this post and most comments are almost a decade old 🤯. I was probably around 8 or 9 years old maybe back then…lol. I’m sorry to bug you but if you ever come across any information about Subhalakshmi, then please let us know here since we’re all curious :)
    Off topic but it’s a weird coincidence that I also live in the US, California to be specific and I came across these wonderful talented sisters. My condolences to the deceased sister ;( But overall I am really interested learning about traditional things from the past and people should know about it too. Thanks for everything.

  67. Shaniya, you are very welcome.

    And yes, it is more than a decade since I first wrote this post – in fact, if I am doing the arithmetic correctly, it’s more than a dozen years, a month and two weeks. :)

    And it is great that after all this time I can still get a response as nice as the one you’ve written – much appreciated!

    I’ll keep an eye out for any information about Subbulaxmi. Maybe I’ll even try searching for it a little bit again sometime soon. And I will let you know if I find anything!

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