Dr.Saskia Kersenboom, a professor of linguistic anthropology from Netherlands has done a detailed work on the 'Mohamana' varnam. She is also the author of 'Nityasumangali', a study of devadasis.
Film maker Satyajit Ray first saw Balasaraswathi in 1935 when he was 14 years old and she was 17. He wanted to make a film on her in 1966 but the project worked out only a decade later.
Ahmedabad based dancer Bharat Bharia utilises folk dance - drama to educate villagers about literacy, health, AIDA, widow remarriage and other social issues. He has won the Gujarat state Sanskar Samvardhak Award for the year 2000 for his contribution to dance as a means of communication.
Ratna Kumar had her Bharatanatyam arangetram in Chennai in 1956 as the first disciple of dance guru K J Sarasa.
The famous Nandi Chollu that is being performed so widely by dancers toady was created in the home of Chennai based Bharatanatyam dancer Anita Ratnam by the late great mridangam vidwan Trichur P Ramanathan in 1970. He died in a tragic plane crash in 1978.
The GOTIPUA dance came into being in the 16th century under Ramachandradeva. The Gotipuas of Orissa were basically boy dancers who dressed like female dancers and danced like the 'maharis' (temple dancers). The word goti means 'one' and pua means 'boy', but they always danced in pairs. The Gotipuas were trained in gymnastics and self defense to protect the temple and town from intruders.They were travelling entertainers who sang, danced and performed acrobatic feats. Gotipuas were not allowed to perform in temples after they reached 18 years of age. Odissi guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, once a gotipua, is one of Odissi's greatest gurus.
Between 1561-1614, Achyutappa Nayaka, a ruler of Thanjavur, granted a village Achyutapuram, now called Melattur, to 501 refugee families of Kuchipudi dancers who migrated to Tamil Nadu after the fall of the Vijaynagar empire. Considered an offshoot of the Kuchipudi dance tradition, BHAGAVATAMELA, a temple ritualistic dance tradition of hereditary male dancers, is based mostly on plays written in Telugu by Melattur Venkatrama Sastry, a senior contemporary of Thyagaraja who authored 12 dance dramas of which 6 are in vogue today. A fine blend of music and mime, this dance tradition represents in essence, the total Sanskrit theatre prescribed by sage Bharata. The Melattur Bhagavatamela Natya Vidya Sangam organises the Bhagavatamela Dance Drama Mahotsav every year at Melattur. It takes place in front of the small shrine of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami.
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