24 comments on “Five Excellent Dances with Krishna Kumar

  1. Regarding Jaadoo ,made by A R Kardar ,it is to state that the movie was based upon 1948 movie The Loves of Carmen. It was a scene by scene copy .It is learnt that Kardar Sahab had a 16 MM print of the movie & after watching ,he use to shoot the Hindi film. It is the reason of western attires donned by every character in Jaadoo. Dance Master Krishan Kumar can be seen performing with Cuckoo in Naujawaan-1951 in O Piya dance also.

  2. Thanks, MN. I’d already gotten information about the influence of The Loves of Carmen, but I didn’t know it was a scene-by-scene copy.

    Thanks also for the info on yet another dance that he was in!

  3. OK, so this is the dance that MN referred to above, the “O Piya” song in Naujawan:

    [Note: The video I originally put in this comment disappeared, so a bit further down the road, I decided to replace it with a copy that Tom had posted about eight months later. :) ]

  4. And as those who are continuing to read the comments for the Azurie post know, shortly after I put this post up, SK confirmed that Krishna Kumar was the male dancer in the great dance from Sanjog (1943):

  5. I had to return to comment more here after I looked at Tom’s latest uploads of songs from Dillagi and noticed that my favorite song/dance in that film, “Meri Pyari Patang,” was listed as being choreographed by Krishna Kumar. I think this dance is brilliant, because of the wonderful pantomime of kite flying, which is very convincing yet very artistic, too.

    I usually do not know how to figure out how much of a great dance is the result of the dancer(s) and how much of the choreographer. (Is there even a way to do that?) But I imagine that the choreographer had to do a lot of directing in a dance like this. Anyway, it’s certainly worth posting here… Maybe some time there should be a follow-up post with dances that Krishna Kumar choreographed (but was not in)?

  6. I think I stumbled across another dance with Krishna Kumar (and Cuckoo). He’s not the choreographer of the 1951 Afsana (Gyan Shankar is), and he’s uncredited, but I believe it’s Krishna Kumar. If you decide it isn’t, then please delete the comment. I think he’s the male dancer in the black hat. There’s also another male dancer – this one with a white hat – but I don’t know who that is. Maybe you do.

  7. Thanks, Tom. It makes sense to me that this is Krishna Kumar. Maybe someone else here might think otherwise, and if so, may that person speak up! But it looks right to me. And, no, I can’t identify the other dancer, either.

    By the way, right before you posted your comment, I was looking at the Honey O’Brien dance from this film that you also posted, and I shared it on Facebook. There are a few very interesting dances in Afsana. I also should watch the whole film sometime soon.

  8. Oh, you haven’t seen the film? It’s quite good, I think, but with a screwy ending, in my opinion. Three Cuckoo dances including one with Jeevan. And Cuckoo has a lot of dialog as well. Kuldip Kaur and Pran pretending to dance. And, as you mentioned, Honey, pretending to be a ballerina.

    But the thing to take away from these videos with Krishna Kumar is, I think, that he’s as good as, and often better than, his female partners, including Cuckoo whom I dearly love. You made a similar point earlier.

  9. I have been meaning to watch this one for a while, so I think I will soon… I picked up a DVD of a film called Afsana a number of years ago, but it was a film from the ’60s starring Ashok Kumar with Padmini – a very different thing. (But, actually, when I see the word “Afsana,” the first thing I think of is that nice Suraiya song from Dillagi.)

    Krishna Kumar does always seem to be better than his female partners. It’s the same way as with Gopi Krishna a few years later, but Gopi Krishna had such a big name and probably a cult of personality, and Krishna Kumar doesn’t even get a listing. I guess KK’s untimely death had something to do with that, and also that he was not a classical star; he just danced in cabaret acts,(?)… But still, it’s a little puzzling why, if he actually danced better than legends such as Azurie and Cuckoo, he didn’t even get credited much of the time.

  10. It is nice to read about Krishna Kumar and his dances, but sad to know about the way of his demise. When the interesting subject has been opened why not discuss information about dance appearance of Surya Kumar too who was also a great choreographer. If I am not making mistake Surya Kumar appeared dancing in great song ‘Bholi surat dil ke khote’ from Albela. Am I correct? Also pl. some of you come forward and mention any other songs with dance appearance by SK.

  11. Dean, I am glad you liked the post, and thank you for that information about an appearance by Surya Kumar. I am sorry that I took so long to answer your comment, though I was also kind of hoping that someone else out there might spot the comment and be able to confirm that appearance for you (since I can’t really confirm this one, myself). But given that a year and a half has passed since this post appeared and it’s been more than a year since the last comment here, I can kind of understand why this is not getting an immediate response from anyone else. :)

    I have just mentioned your question/comment re. that appearance in Albela to someone else (whom I shall not name at the moment :) ), and if we don’t get confirmation there, I might pass the question along to other people, too. I might also inquire about other appearances by SK, although I am kind of hoping that some other people will eventually see your question here and volunteer the information.

    New comments are always noted on the blog’s right sidebar, so maybe someone will eventually get to this old post that way, and the conversation will be revived. (Some old posts of mine have been revived again and again thanks to new comments from people who stumbled upon them years later, etc.)

  12. Richard, came to this very, very late, and I might be completely mistaken but I think the female dancer in the Dastan song is a very young Minu Mumtaz. It’s definitely not Cuckoo.

  13. Hi, Anu. Thanks for visiting, and commenting on, this post a couple of years after the last comment and a few years after I put the post up. It’s always good to see that people are visiting old posts here!

    I am also glad that you mentioned that the dancer is Swartha. I don’t think it’s been mentioned in this thread. I saw that it was mentioned on the newer copy of the dance on Tom’s channel. By the way, the video on my channel – which is the one I embedded here – is also one that Tom prepared, but maybe I should replace it, because he has put a better version up now. I might eventually, though I’m fine with this one too. :) And I also need to see if I can replace the dropped Jadoo video.

    It’s always good to be brought back to old posts so that I know whether any repairs are needed during the time that has lapsed!

    If only I had all the time in the world! (I’m sure you know what I mean.)

  14. Oh dear, thank you so much! I had been dying to know about this wonderful dancer, and you saved my life! I saw him first in the dance from ‘Beqasoor’, and I became his fan! Flat! And I saw this dance maybe a dozen times, not because of the unblemished beauty of this young Madhubala, but because of this boy, whose name I did not know! This is the first time that Madhubala was ignored by me! And then, I have been trying to get the name of this boy… just the name! And you have given so much information! Only one small sad thing… he died so early! So sad! Now I will watch all the remaining dances of him from the videos referred by you in your writeup! Thank you so much!

  15. Tom Daniel, you are absolutely right! He is better than any of his dance-partners in these dances, as a dancer par excellence! But there are no details in the discussions above about the date and place of his birth, and about from whom did he learn dance. Was he a disciple of Uday Shankar? If yes, did he learn dance at the Almora dance school of Uday Shankar? Can somebody throw light on these aspects, please?

  16. Anil Goel, thank you for your very nice comments! I greatly appreciate what you have said, and it is also really nice to see this conversation revived yet again in 2020.

    It is true that in the Beqasoor dances, his dancing was so good that he nearly upstaged Madhubala. You can just about see that her dance skills are not comparable to his and he is sort of guiding her. :) By the way, as I mentioned in this post, I really owe that discovery to the mysterious commenter SK, who pointed out his role in Beqasoor at the tail end of a conversation that had started with my post about Azure (which I also linked to at the beginning of this post). In that prior conversation, Tom Daniel was the one let everyone see the dances from Beqasoor (and I have copied those same clips in this post). I also watched the entire film – though from a DVD borrowed from the New York Public Library, because it had English subtitles, which are very helpful to me. :) I guess it’s a bit uneven plot-wise, etc., but the song sequences are a real pleasure to watch – especially those two dances, of course.

    You also asked some very interesting questions in your second comment, though I can’t answer them off the top of my head. I may look into these things. Maybe Tom or someone else might have the answers?

    We shall see!

  17. Thanks for your reply, Richard. As far as the song from the film Rattan ‘O jane wale balamwa’ is concerned, the film gave credit wrongly to Mumtaz Ali, who was father of the comedian Mehmood! Here is the link for the Rattan song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh3Um79aoRE

    I feel your observation of the male dancer being Krishna Kumar is right. Even the cast names given at the beginning of the film do not give the name of Mumtaz Ali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI7XcQm6HcE

    Although, it does not give the name of Krishna Kumar either! But, even the Mumtaz Ali filmography does not mention the name of the film Rattan:

  18. Anil, thank you for your observations about the Rattan song.

    I thought of separating the links in your comment so that the videos would be embedded here, as I usually do with song clip links, etc. But there is no need to, since I already included Tom Daniel’s link for the song in the post above. Above, I also mentioned how Tom was able to point out that the male dancer was Krishna Kumar after looking at an article supplied by SK. This all happened in the conversation that I linked to at the beginning of this post, below my post on Azurie. At first, in that post, I also mis-identified the dancer as Mumtaz Ali (because I had seen that information too), but in the conversation that followed, we all decided that he did not look at all like Mumtaz Ali.

    Mumtaz Ali is not all that difficult to find on YouTube, either. If you watch a clip of him in the same time period, you can see that he doesn’t look at all like the dancer in the Rattan song. Here’s a nice clip that includes him dancing in Basant (1942) (start at about 1:56):

    And by the way, you can find both these films on Tom’s movie channel, too. I think that Tom’s version of Rattan looks better than the one you supplied, and I also like it because it has selectable English subtitles. It’s over here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSzgMTJcKpA

  19. Oh, thank you very much for your reply so quick! Yes, I say some of Mumtaz’s dances… his style even looks different from that of Krishna Kumar. To me, Krishna Kumar’s style seems to be more close to that of Uday Shankar, but as I said in my previous post, the site quoted by me above says that they were trained by Azurie!

  20. Thank you for that information! That is very interesting. This is also an excellent post! I have only skimmed it briefly for now, but I am going to read it in more detail later. (I have to leave the blog(s) for a little while now.) I also think that I will have to add this site to my blogroll.

  21. Somewhere it is said that the dance directors or choreographers are not accorded much importance fir which they must be. That is the only reason that photographs of such important personalities are not available. It is true that many movies became hit due to dances picturized in those movies. Whatever information is provided is appreciable and we congratulate the author. Thanks for the write-up. Suresh Sarvaiya, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) India.

  22. Suresh Sarvaiya, I very much agree with the point that you made here: Dance directors and choreographers should have been given much more credit for their contributions to these films over the years.That is one reason why, when I do find out things about them, I love to share what I have learned. Apart from that, I am also simply fascinated by the work that they do.

    Regarding this write-up, you are very welcome, and thank you for your generous comments.

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