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Taalam Talkies
- Veena Murthy Vijay

December 9, 2020

'Taalam Talkies' is the latest production from the house of Narthaki, produced by the celebrated dancer and scholar Dr. Anita Ratnam. I have watched all the episodes a number of times and it still continues to stimulate me to watch repeatedly. So far, all the episodes are colorful. The brilliance of the yesteryears' grandeur and the lilt of music and dance have been highlighted with wonderful impact.

Swarnamalya Ganesh

Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh and Ramaa Bharadvaj have anchored the show with sincere and authentic narration; the facts of the history are laced with soft wit and humour making the show lively and interesting. Right from its first minute to the 25 minutes, it's full of magical mysticism that has been created around these celebrated dancers of yesteryears. While watching this as a dancer, I feel very proud that I'm born as a dancer and am able to enjoy the aesthetic splendour of movies, dance and music. I strongly recommend every dancer and art practitioner to watch this beautiful program on Narthaki's YouTube channel. There's so much of entertainment with meaningful learning. Not just the movements of the dance, or the abhinaya of the dance, but the very life that you see in their dance! They have lived the dance as they have performed. One can understand that they must have really put in their highest level best to produce such perfect frames of movement.

What one can observe is, it doesn't look like it has been directed or taught, or pretended to be danced. Every movement and every nuance of dance is soaked with perfect rendition of the Satva or the Satvika of dance. I enjoyed the 3 episodes based on films and dance by 'Kumari' Kamala. The first episode based on the Padams and Javalis in films by Devadasi dancers titled 'O! Vannegada' presented by Swarnamalya was a grand one. We are so fortunate that we got to see and experience these period film clips. Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Anita Ratnam, and team Narthaki for this wonderful gift to watch during this pandemic and to immerse into the world of yesteryears' dance. We look forward to more such episodes.

This has brought great joy and pride to the hearts of the rasikas.

Guru Veena Murthy Vijay, an Arts Promoter and Arts Administrator, is Director of Sri Raja Rajeshwari Kala Niketan, Samanvay Dance Company and AIM Bengaluru International Arts Festival.

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