4 comments on “Bharatanatyam Is…

  1. I’m in the middle of reading Vyjayanthimala’s autobiography, which I’m finding is pretty narcissistic (probably unavoidable) but she describes the art and background of bharatnatyam in great (for me, tedious) detail….

    :-) You would probably appreciate it more though.

  2. Hi, Memsaab. I’m not surprised at all that Vyjayanthimala’s autobiography is narcississtic. I had a brief e-mail conversation with someone recently about the interview that I excerpted here and Vyjayanthi’s huge ego. Is it unavoidable for that kind of star? I don’t know… Padmini didn’t seem to be like that in interviews that I’ve read. Nor some other stars. And what other star would have turned down an award for best supporting actress relatively early in her career because she thought she should be called “best actress”? No, I believe that Vyjayanthimala must have been a special case in this regard all along. But I don’t let that knowledge detract my appreciation of her great dancing or much of her acting or her other charms.

    You’re right, I probably would be very interested in her description of the art and background of bharatanatyam. But even I have had to skim over some detailed descriptions of the art of bharatanatyam and everything that’s involved – not for lack of interest, it’s just that it takes time to sit down and read it all. There are so many intricate aspects… As for the history, I think it’s fascinating and would be happy to read more.

    What’s the title of this book? Do you think it’s purchasable at all in stores? Or, where do you order it? Any further info appreciated. :)

  3. It’s called “Bonding…a Memoir” and it’s written by her (Vyjayanthimala Bali). I don’t think that fame=huge ego, but Vyjayanthimala definitely has one. I think it’s probably being an only child in her case; she was told how beautiful and talented she was from early early on. Too bad she didn’t have siblings to knock some sense into her :-) I got mine from Amazon!

  4. Thanks, Memsaab; I hope to find this sometime soon.

    That makes sense, what you said about how siblings might have knocked some sense into her. My older sister (5 1/2 years older) knocked plenty of sense into me (though my male schoolmates in The Bronx eventually became much better at that “knocking” part). My older sister was also a very serious ballet student until her late teens, and I was around her a lot because we had two working parents, so I got plenty of exposure to the personalities of aspiring dancers in my formative years. :)

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