Its World Dance Day today. And on this special day I am presenting a photo essay of a very special performance. I have written a little bit about it before. I am sharing these photographs for the first time. It was a truly scintillating performance by Dr. Yashoda Rao Thakore a well known Kuchipudi dancer. But this is a rare public performance of Devadasi dance hitherto a dance by courtesans either in temples or in royal courts. For the first time, Devadasi dance has been presented and recognised as an individual classical Indian dance form.
Here in this performance the dancer is actually sitting in the whole dance and narrating the story by just her facial and body expressions. That’s also a rarity for an Indian classical dance. The way Yashoda Rao Thakore puts it is really mesmerising. Here, the story is actually about the courtesan and her lover.
Go and flip through all slides, you will love it.
Here is also a beautiful video of the performance from my channel. Visit my channel for more such videos of travel and events-
This is a bold Padam- few couplets. Padam was actually the treasure of the Telugu Devadasis. Many poets have been known for their padams, mostly of shringar (praising beauty erotically) in nature. This particular padam has a common nayika whose profession is to entertain. A guy comes to her and she asks him, “have you lost your way! Do you know what I am worth?” She castigates him and ask him to go to the lady, he was with the other day who lives round the corner. She says to him that you dress well and you try to touch me but you are not my class of customer. She further says, “you want to say something to me than give me a bag full of (gold) coins, you want to say a second word than give me another bag of coins.” The guy starts singing and the lady says, don’t make the drama. She says, “its dusk and I have to shut the door, its time for my permanent customer, Lord Parthsarthy Krishna to come. So you please go.”
This story is expressed in this beautiful expression of Devadasi Dance by Dr Yashoda Rao Thakore.