17 comments on “Kuchalakumari on One Great Dance Competition…

  1. Thanks for reposting or I’d never have seen it. Nice to know about hte animals. or else ‘d have thought it was movie dance.

  2. Sophy, you are welcome. I’ve seen the animal-drawing routine in a couple of other competitions; one was Padmini vs. MGR in Mannathi Mannan, the other was Vyjayanthimala vs. that mystery dancer in Amrapali (where it was a bit briefer, as part of a whole assortment of gimmicks). It is good to know that it’s all based on some historical reality!

  3. Vyjayantimala has a Mysore maharaja connection (not sure how and don’t have the time to research it). But I bring this up in connection with the quote you posted. Vyjayantimala would have known.
    When I watch those clips you mentioned, I’ll look for it. Didn’t notice before.
    I want to sit down with a dance connoisseur one day (when I have some time) and learn some points for appreciation.

  4. I did about half an hour of searching on the subject and found a small comment in a forum (not really worth saving/linking) which said that Vyjayanthimala had roots in a Mysore majaraja caste. Another actress-dancer who had roots in that is Jayalalitha. Maybe this would help to explain their involvements in politics. :)

    The Amrapli competition that I mentioned is very easy to find. Meanwhile, I am going to repost Padmini vs. MGR.

  5. What I have heard is that Vyjayantimala was the illegitimate daughter of the Mysore maharaja !!!!

    I have seen a peacock drawn with feet while dancing by Mallika Sarabhai on a popular TV show called Surubhi.

  6. Illegitimate daughter of a Mysore maharaja?! That’s amusing…

    Mallika Sarabhai? I see that she has a bunch of dance clips on Youtube; maybe that one’s up there. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found this feet-drawing routine in a lot of dances – why would people just let such a fun tradition die out?

    In the video, my new friend Kuchalakumari is wearing the blue blouse; the dancer in the red blouse is my old friend Kamala. :)

  7. I see. They are both beautiful girls of course. I have a friend who hails from Thanjavur district and tells me that girls of her region are famed for their beauty. That article on Kuchalakumari is so heartwarming. I am glad she had a long and a fruitful career, she is still working !!! Wow !

  8. I don’t know what the beauty verdict is regarding Kuchalakumari, but regarding Kamala… Unfortunately, I have seen opinions written in a few places that Kamala did not achieve the stardom she deserved in part because she didn’t meet the right standards of beauty for Bollywood.

    I don’t really care whether Kamla is beautiful or not because her dancing is so great – her dancing is beautiful! Of course, this doesn’t mean that I won’t give someone an edge for really being what I consider beautiful – that’s one of the things that keeps Padmini at the top of my list. :)

    I haven’t reached any real decsion here regarding whether Kuchalakumari is/was beautiful or a great dancer… (I didn’t exactly say “wow” at the sight of her face, but anyway…) She is a pretty good in this, if not as good as Kamala. (Though of course, she can’t be if Kamala is the heroine – see recent conversations between me and Mister Naidu. :) )

    Anyway, both girls are also wearing these elaborately beautiful costumes and lots of stuff in their hair and on their faces, which helps to make them very pleasing to watch in this video, at least (unless someone is bothered a bit by the excess, I guess).

    What interested me about Kuchalakumari was that she was the “other” dancer competing with Kamala, whose dancing I had been admiring for a while… I might have written at one point (but maybe deleted?) that it was like discovering more about the second dancer in Amrapali. But I think that dancer is made to look a bit unpleasant (though she was a pretty good dancer too) and Kuchalakumari looks good here – she just seems to be a bit of a sore loser, that’s all. :)

    Yes, it was good to read that she’s had a good life and is still active, etc. So is Kamala (at least as a teacher) and Vyjayanthimala too (last I heard), which is very nice.

  9. Richard since you brought up Vyjjayantimala and Jayalalitaha in the same sentence, the other thing they shared is they went to the same school in Mardras (Church Park). And so did Rekha later and me even later! In my small class of about 25-30 stiudents, there were about 3 studios represented–AVM, Prasad and one more production house. So I’d say there was a lot of moviie people back then in that school.

  10. Richard, wiki them—here is the Vyjayanitmala link:

    There are a lot more schools in Chennai now and people prefer those to Church Park. I met my old friends (after 28 years) and none of them send their daughters to that school.

    There is someone in Tamil movies called Trisha and she too went there (but way after I left).
    Also, if we are going to make a list, Karunanidhi’s daughter (he wrote Tamil scripts for the movies, later he became a very scary politician.) She was in my class but in another section (the hardcore Tamil section ;))
    I don’t know Urmila–she’s younger.

  11. Sophy, thanks for the Wikipedia link… I’ve looked at it before but don’t remember reading about her school. (Maybe that was added later?) And by the way, I am certain that the birth date given at this link is wrong. The day and month are right (I’ve been keeping that in mind ;) ), but the year should be 1936.

    I’m not all that familiar with Trisha (though the name rings a faint bell – but is probably too current for me to notice that much these days :) )…

    But anyway, was her father the politician really that scary? (I could say something about the political parties some of the people we’ve mentioned joined or switched to, but I decided, don’t want to go into that this time – so deleted, etc. :) )

    Now, did people graduate from Church Park at around the same age anyone would graduate from high school? (Not clear whether or not it was a high school.) If so, I guess you are older than Urmila – you’re close to my age! (Like a couple of other good “Bolly bloggers” out there…)

  12. Oh, by the way, I said I would post the Padmin vs. MGR competition. But I decided just to link to it in comments. I’ve posted that one too many times already, and every time, so I have heard, Rajshri cut it down for “copyright violations” (and may have cut some people down too). Now the best available one is from Rajshri – of course! Anyway, if you take a look at this one, you can see that it’s also centered around the dancers drawing animals with their feet…

  13. People graduate from high school after 12 years of schooling and are usually around 17-18 years in india. I graduated high school elsewhere and am probably younger than you thinik I am.
    I have no iinterest in politics but as a general statement Indian politicians very scary. They are inifinitely powerful and corrupt in the same measure (just my uninformed opinion of course but I’m not changing it any time soon.) Karunanidhi is well known in Indian poliitics.

  14. Probably younger than I think you are… Well, that is a bit mysterious. :)

    Yes, people generally graduate from high school at about 17 or 18. I graduated at about 16 1/2 because I was borrn later in the year and had also skipped a year of “junior high school.” So maybe I’m a tiny bit younger than some people might think. :)

    Let’s not get into discussion about politics and politicians here (just don’t have time for that at the moment, and anyway, you might catch me talking plenty about that elsewhere)…

  15. it May be true..that Vjy is the illegitimate daughter of the Mysore Maharaja as her mum did work for the Maharaja as a personal aide or something like that to that effect. Infact, Vyjanthi was solely brought up by her grandmother ( Vasundra’s mum) and apparently never had a relationship with her mother. they acted together in Phaigam and its remake in tamil Irumbu Thirai as mother and daughter and was not on talking terms even then so the rumour may be true..i always found an uncanny resemblance between Vyjaynthi and Saroja Devi also..in certain angles..Does anyone agree?

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