Bharatanatyam is an art oceanic in width and depth. I have taken you a few steps on its shore. I hope the vision you have had of this ocean will inspire you to dive into it and cull its pearls yourself.
slap of the foot, ringing of the bells, magic of the hands, face and body, surety of the beat, soaring of the voice, flute, drum, evoking the spirit, bhakti, bhava, imbibing the mortal with rasa of life, love, god, all one and the same only one can guru, dancer, amma, child shakti Bala lives on in heart, mind, soul words inadequate, loss inexpressible for one devoted follower-me in memorium.
With unreserved respect and humility I bow to my revered teacher, Balasaraswati. To have known her, seen her magic art, learned from her wise instruction was surely the greatest gift I could receive. My heart sings to her memory.
CORRECTING US IN class, Bala said, "You see, it looks very simple but it's very difficult to do." She encouraged us to keep working towards the perfection of the form attainable to each student's capacity.
To study with Bala was to witness an archetype who constantly recreated in front of our eyes an ancient sacred tradition. We learned from her that dance is sadhana, an intense experience bringing together mind, body and spirit.
Bala was awesome and inspiring. We feel blessed to have been her students.
STUDYING WITH BALASARASW A TI was an experience with a great artist. Bala never compromised the pristine level of her discipline or aesthetics. . . not even when teaching the most elementary student. In her art and daily life she showed us the power of the moment and the complexity of life. "As a dancer it is important to experience and express everything", she said.
We are indebted to Bala and to her daughter, Lakshmi, who, in her role as a co-teacher and interpreter helped reveal to us Bala's perception of discipline, beauty and a depth of life which we continue to cherish and explore.