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Balasaraswati (1918 - 1984)
Sketch & text: Ashwini Kaarthikeyan

April 17, 2013

In reading the biography 'Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life by Douglas M. Knight,' I learnt that official documents are able to trace back eight generations of the family history of this legendary dancer. Today, I feel consumed by the depth of devotion and reverence towards the classical arts in Balasaraswati's rich maternal lineage and their hereditary tradition. A few days ago, as a student of this classical dance form, I found myself aching for Balasaraswati's blessings. On the night of 13th of April, as I listened to a classical composition in praise of the Devi - Mother Goddess, my intense longing was transformed into a portrait in charcoal of Balasaraswati, on a 5' x 4' canvas.

Ashwini Kaarthikeyan is a poet, artist and Bharatanatyam dancer. /

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