UW Ethnomusicology Archives video recordings: Balasaraswati recordings: Balasaraswati, 1998  PDF

Overview of the Collection

UW Ethnomusicology Archives video recordings: Balasaraswati recordings: Balasaraswati
1 videotapes  :  EC - 1 vct (VHS); Duration: 00:14:00
Collection Number
Performance of Bharata Natyam, South Indian classical dance, by T. Balasaraswati, with accompanying musicians and voice-over narration in English.
University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives
University of Washington
Ethnomusicology Archives
Box 353450
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-0974
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Historical NoteReturn to Top

Tanjore Balasaraswati, also known as Balasaraswati (1918–1984), was a celebrated Indian dancer. Her rendering of Bharatanatyam, a classical dance style originated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, made this style of dancing well known across India and the world. Balasaraswati was a seventh generation representative of a traditional matrilineal family of temple musicians and dancers (devadasis). Balasaraswati created a revolution in traditional music and dance for bharata natyam, a combination of the performance arts of music and dance. Balasaraswati's debut took place in 1925. She was the first performer of her traditional style outside of South India, performing first in Calcutta in 1934. She went on to a global career that attracted international critical attention. Balasaraswati established a dance school in association with the institution. There she trained new dancers in bharata natyam. In the early 1960s, she increasingly travelled globally, with performances in East Asia, Europe, and North America. Throughout the 1970s, and into the early 1980s, she visited the United States repeatedly and held residencies—as both a teacher and a performer—at Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut), California Institute of the Arts (Valencia), Mills College (Oakland, California), the University of Washington (Seattle), and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Beckett, Massachusetts), among other institutions.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

T. Balasaraswati, Bharata Natyam master, performs "Krishna Ni Begane Baro" (a piece she was well-known for)

Additional participants: K. Ganesan, dancemaster; S. Narasimhulu, singer; T. Viswanathan, flute; T. Ranganathan, mrdangam; Hugh Nelson, narration.

Directed by John Frazer; produced by the World Music Archives, Wesleyan University, 1998.

Documentation: Notes on videocassette container.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Video recordings in ethnomusicology
  • Geographical Names :
  • Asia
  • India--Asia--South Asia
  • South India
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Video recordings