The Legend

The Coveteur (and the industry fans who love them) celebrate RW & CO with nachos

BALASARASWATI - ONE OF the world's greatest dancers-was the supreme mistress of her art. She revealed the sacred origins of bharatanatyam as no one else could-and she did so through the absolute purity of her dancing. Every gesture, every rhythmic sequence, and every moment of stillness had a spiritual resonance. Actress and dancer, she rendered each poetic image vividly before our eyes. She moved her audiences and our memories of Bala will be everlasting.

Anna Kisselgoff. Chief Dance Critic, The New York Times

"THE SECRET OF all great art is self-forgetfulness"

Ananda Coomaraswamy, The Mirror of Gesture

"BALASARASWATI INHERITED AN enormous fund of knowledge from the many generations of dancers and musicians in her family as well as acquiring a perfect technical skill. To this vast learning and performing ability was added her creative talent. She was unique in that she could improvise during a performance. Her vast repertoire allowed her the freedom to choose-not only in abhinayam but, as well, from the many sets of choreographed dance sequences-to suit her program. She did not perform, as others do today, the same limited choreography at every concert-hers was an ongoing creative process. It was genius at work: fresh concepts being born and taking form before our eyes.

I first saw Balasaraswati some thirty years ago when she had reached her maturity. Unobtrusively, she entered the stage, rearranged the tucks in her sari, stood reflectively as though unaware of the presence of the audience, approached the musicians to prescribe some changes in sequences. . . then, she slowly turned to face the audience and closed her eyes in concentration. When she opened them again, when she began to move, express, experience. . . in an instant she was transformed. She radiated beauty through her utterly sensitive face, her supple body, . . . she transported us into the sacred myths, made us see gods and goddesses as she herself saw them with her inner eye. She made us believe as she did. She brought the temple with her to the stage. It was magic. Balasaraswati embodied the spiritual beauty of India."

Bengt Hager. President - International Council for the Dance, UNESCO
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