Multiple Version Songs (13): Hindi and Tamil film songs (3) – Dance (r) s of Deccan

June 23, 2013

Guest article by N Venkataraman

(Venkataramanji had planned his articles on Multiple Version Songs in Hindi and Tamil films in three parts.  After his first first two articles on ‘Inspired and adopted songs’ and ‘Songs from dubbed versions’, his final part was going to be on Remade films form one language to the other.  However, on the way he stumbled upon a large treasure trove of  South Indian dances and songs, remade from Tamil into Hindi, and decided to offer us this unexpected bonus. He would be now completing his series with two more articles on similar songs from remade films (Tamil to Hindi, and Hindi to Tamil).  Thank you Venkataramanji for your very generous bounties. – AK)

Deccan dancersAfter completion of the first two parts, namely the article on ‘Inspired and adopted Songs’ and the second part on ‘Songs from dubbed versions’, I am venturing into my next episode. Compared to the other two areas this is a vast sea and I thought that one should sail with the tide and try to find the moorings at the suitable time and situation. In course of my search for materials for this article I came across a fairly large number of traditional dance (and song) numbers from the films remade from Tamil to Hindi. This was a fascinating theme by itself.  Therefore, though not originally planned as a separate post, I decided to anchor and take refuge at this haven for now.  I would be completing my series with similar songs from remade films (probably in two parts).

As far as I know, neither the classical music of the south nor the folk or any other indigenous music of this region had any influence on the Hindi film music. But the rich traditional dances found their way into Hindi films and had a significant sway on the Hindi film viewers. This is one area where one can come across the influence of South Indian culture in Hindi Films. The classical dances like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohiniattam etc. had made an early entry into the Tamil and South Indian films. By the end of the 1940s the classical dances of South started percolating into the Hindi films. Classical dancers like Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, widely known as Travancore Sisters, Kamala Lakshman, Vyjayanthimala, Sai and Subbulakshmi Sisters, Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini and many more dancers entered the film world with their art forms and their presence and art added sheen to those films. This article is not a study relating to the influence of the traditional dances in Hindi films. It is a vast subject and should be dealt by experts and I do not claim to be one. I will approach the subject with a recreational interest and I will be dwelling mainly upon the dance and song numbers by and large from remakes (Tamil to Hindi), with frequent forays into solo versions.

It will be relevant to begin with a discussion on two landmark films, which were believed to be the forerunners to the dance compositions in future Hindi films. The two important movies that acted as the catalyst in bringing forth these art forms in Hindi films were Pt. Uday Shankar’s Kalpana (1948) and S S Vasan’s Chandralekha (1948). Let us start with Kalpana (1948).

Kalpana (1948) is not a remake movie. It was produced in Hindi by Uday Shankar. But any discussion about dances in Hindi films will be incomplete without the mention of Uday Shankar. Uday Shankar was not just a great dancer or choreographer, but a genius of incredible brilliance. He studied and amalgamated all the existing dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali, Mohiattam, Manipuri, various folk and tribal forms and even western ballet and brought about a revolution in the dancing scenario. In his academy at Almora he invited all the leading Gurus and exponents of the prevailing dance forms and formed a formidable troupe. The film Kalpana brings forth this story on celluloid. Kalpana no longer remains only in our imagination. Most of us are aware that the film was found and restored recently and it is now available on the net. Although the film was not a roaring success, it was a masterpiece which influenced the Hindi film dances in the years to come. Zohra Sehgal, who turned 101 recently, Guru Dutt, Anil Chopra were some of the products of Uday Shankar’s Academy. Let us watch a clipping where the influence of Kerala’s traditional dance form, Kathakali, is demonstrated in one of the dances of Uday Shankar. (The video may be set to full screen)

1. A visual comparison of Kerala’s dance form, Kathakali, with Uday Shankar‘s choreography for Kalpana (1948)


The other landmark movie was Chandralekha (1948).

An excerpt from the book ‘Hindi Film Songs: Music beyond boundaries’ by Ashok Da Ranade.

“The year 1948 bought out both ‘Chandralekha’ and ‘Kalpana’ from the same set (Gemini Studios). The two films reflect two ways of composing dance-music, which was to become an integral part of Hindi Film Music in the years to come. The ‘buxom-beauties’ dancing on drums in ‘Chandralekha’ attracted tremendous attention.”

It took 5 years to complete the film. Chandralekha was produced in Tamil and Hindi and few of the songs in both versions are available. Since all them were not dance sequences I will present the other songs in a later episode. Jaya Shankar and Anil Chopra, disciple of Pt. Uday Shankar choreographed the dance sequences. Here I am presenting a beautifully choreographed drum dance with hundreds of drums lined up and dancers on the drums dancing to rhythmic patterns set to instrumental music. It may not be a true exhibition of technically sound classical dance. To feel the magnitude and grandeur, the video may be set to full screen. (This may be followed for all dance numbers)

2. Drum dance from Chandralekha, choreography Jaya Shankar and Anil Chopra


The next number is a dance-song sequence in Raag Kalyani from the Tamil version of the film. I am not sure about the singer. Since T R Rajakumari, actor cum singer came from a family of Carnatic singers and was herself a trained classical singer, I assumed that she must have rendered the song herself. Some knowledgeable reader may provide correct information on this. Sorry, the video goes blank from 1:03 to 1:21.

3T. Balan karunai from Chandralekha (1948) by T R Rajakumari, lyrics Kothamangalam Subbu, music S Rajeswar Rao, choreography Jaya Shankar and Anil Chopra, dancer T R Rajakumari


The melody and the choreography were changed to go with the Hindi version.

3H. Mayi ri mai to madhuban mein by Uma Devi from Chandralekha (1948), lyrics Pt.Indira Devi, music S Rajeshwar Rao, Bal Krishna Kalla, choreography Jaya Shankar and Anil Chopra, dancer T R Rajakumari


From the late 40’s let us move on to the early 50s. Travancore Sisters were awesome trio in those days. Lalitha the eldest of the three sisters, as far as I know, did not act in any Hindi film. But Padmini and Ragini, individually as well as a pair acted and performed in many Hindi films. Since it was difficult to obtain a classical number featuring all the three sisters together, I opted to present this beautiful lilting number from a Tamil film.

4. Rajavun rani indha ezhaiyeliya by Jikki, Leela and Komalam from Manthiri Kumari (Minister’s Daughter) (1950), lyrics Maruthakasi, music G Ramanthan, choreography Krishnamoorthy, Hiralal and Madhavan, dance by Lalitha, Pamini and Ragini (Travancore sisters)


Malaikkallan (1954), another milestone movie in the history of Indian cinema was produced and directed by S M Sreeramulu Naidu. This movie was made in 6 (six) languages and the all the six versions were super hit. Music for all the South Indian versions was composed by C Subbaih Naidu and for the Hindi version, as we all know, was by C Ramchandra. Here are the six versions. Tamil – Malaikkallan, Hindi – Azaad, Telugu – Aggi Ramudu, Malayalam –Thaskaraveeran, Kannada – Bettada Kalla and Sinhalese – Surasena

This dance sequence in the Tamil version is pure Bharatanatyam performed by Sai and Subbulakshmi sisters to the accompaniment of pure Carnatic Classical music (most likely based on Raag Karaharpriya) by the legendary singer Periyanayaki and this number can be considered as one of the best classical dance cum song sequence from Tamil Films.

5T. Neeli magan nee allavo by Periyanayaki from Malaikkallan (The Hill Bandit) (1954), lyrics Namkkal Balasubramaniam, music Subbaiah Naidu, choreography Muthuswamy Pillai and Thangaraj, dance Sai and Subbulakshmi sisters



In the Hindi version both the song and dance compositions were changed. Sai and Subbulakshmi sisters have given another creditable performance. Let us watch this popular dance and song variation from Azaad.


5H. Apalam chapalam by Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Mangeshkar from Azaad (1955), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra, choreography Badriprasad, dance Sai and Subbulakshmi sisters



Chori Chori (1956) is a movie from the house of AVM. The film had some beautiful songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan and two dance numbers, a light version by Sai and Subbulakshmi sisters and the other, a pure classical Thillana version by Kamala Lakshman in Raag Hindolam. Kamala Lakshman performed in several South Indian and Hindi films as a dancer. Let us watch this Thillana.

6. Thillana by M L Vasanthkumari from Chori Chori (1956), music Shankar Jaikishan, choreography Dandayudhapani Pillai, dance Kamala Lakshman


My next two dance numbers are from the film Payal (1957) which was a remake of the Tamil film Malliga (1957), produced by Madras Talkies. Unfortunately the Tamil version of the film was lost and only the Hindi version, Payal , was available. Gemini Ganeshan desired to see the Tamil version during his lifetime. But that did not happen. There are two dance sequences available in YT. The Tamil audio and Hindi Video mix of this song which is available on YT has speed problems. The costume and the picturisation of this song in Tamil must have been different. Since I could not locate any other video or audio version of this dance and song sequence, I had to go by what was available. Let us watch Padmini who dons both the male and female role in this dance sequence.

7T. Mangammal Valarum Shingara Nadanam by P Susheela from Malliga (1957), lyrics Maruthakasi, music T R Pappa, choreography Hiralal, dance Padmini


The Hindi version has no such hiccups. This energetic and expressive dance choreographed by Hiralal and assisted by Chinnilal and Sampath to the beautiful lyrics by Rajendra Krishna is highly enjoyable.


7H. Piya milan ko chali Radhika by Lata Mangeshkar from Payal (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Hemant Kumar, chreography Hiralal, dance Padmini


The second dance sequence from this film. A beautiful composition by T R Pappa.

8T. Neela vanna kannane unn ennamellam from Malliga by P Susheela, lyrics Marutha Kasi, music T R Pappa, choreography Hiralal, dance Padmini


Let us listen to the Hindi version. Padmini dances to the tune of Lata Mangeshkar.

8H. Ja re sanwle salone natkhat Banwari from Payal (1957) by Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Hemant Kumar, choreography Hiralal, dance Padmini


Vanjikkottai Valiban (1958) (The Youth from Vanji Fort) was another Tamil film from the House of Gemini. The music for both the versions was composed by C Ramchandra and all the songs were popular. The next number, a dance duet/duel enacted by Vyjayanthimala and Padmini is simply brilliant and this was the main attraction of the film. This dance was choreographed by Hiralal, the great dance master and brother of Sohanlal. This dazzling dance duet is considered, perhaps, the best dance sequence in Indian cinema. Let us watch the dance duet and listen to the spirited rendition of the song by Jikki and P Leela.

9T. Kannum kannum kalanthu by P Leela and Jikki from the film Vanjikottai Valiban (1958), lyrics Kothamangalam Subbu, music C Ramachandra, choreography Hiralal, dance Padmini and Vyjayanthimala


Now the Hindi version

9H. Aaja to aaja by Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra from the film Raj Tilak (1958), lyrics Pyarelal Santoshi, music C Ramchandra, choreography Hiralal, dance Padmini and Vyjyathimala


The next number is also from the House of Gemini. Irumbu Thirai (Iron Curtain) was produced in 1959. Here I am presenting a fast paced solo dance sequence by Vyjaynthimala.

10T. Aasai konda nenjirandu pesikindra pothu by P Leela from Irumbu Thirai (1960) (Iron Curtain), lyrics Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram, music S V Venkataraman, choreography V S Mutthuswamy Pillai, dance Vyjyanthimala


Now the sparkling dance number from the Hindi version Paigham (1959)

10H. Main kyun na nachoon aaj by Asha Bhosle from Paigham (1959), lyrics Pradeep, music C Ramchandra, choreography Gopi Krishna, dance Vyjayanthimala


Till now, I have covered all the dancers mentioned in my introduction, except Waheeda Rehman and Hema Malini. Waheeda Rehman started her career as a dancer in South Indian films. She and her sister learnt Bharatanatyam under Guru Trichendur Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and Guru Jayalaxmi Alva, and performed on stage together. But to the best of my best knowledge, she did not act in any Tamil movies. She was spotted by Guru Dutt and she made her debut in the Hindi film C I D (1956).

Here is an excerpt from the article, Dancing to an Indian beat, written by Sangeeta Shreshthova in the book Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, edited by Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti.

‘……in the film Guide (Vijay Anand 1965), the performances that establish the success of Rosie, the heroine (played by Waheeda Rehman), as a professional dancer reference several “classical” dance forms including Kathak, Bharat Natyam and Manipuri. The director’s choice to cut between several styles rather than focus on Rosie’s mastery in a particular regionally specific dance form attempts to infuse the heroine with a pan-Indian identity, a feature that scholars have identified as a recurring feature in the immediate post independence cinema.’

Here I am presenting one of my favourite dance numbers performed by Waheeda Rehman from the film, Guide (1965), set to instrumental music.

11. Snake dance set to instrumental music from Guide (1965), music S D Burman, choreography Sohanlal and Hiralal, dance Waheeda Rehman and (?)


Hema Malini another trained classical dancer turned film actress, made her debut as dancer. She performed in the Tamil movie Idhu Sathyam and then in the Telugu movie Pandava Vanavasamu. She was selected for the lead role for the Tamil film Vennira Aadai, later to be rejected by the director. She made her Hindi film debut in the film Sapnon ka Saudagar in the year 1968.

I am presenting a dance number, whose choreography I believe was by Shambu Sen. I am not sure. Once again I look up to some of my knowledgeable friends to bail me out.

12. Nava kalpana nava roop se by Md. Rafi from Mrig Trishna (1975), lyrics, music and Choreography (?) Shambu Sen, dance Hema Malini


Hindi_Tamil_Namaskar I conclude this episode with this humble tribute  to the graceful Dancing Dames from Deccan and all those choreographers who have assiduously worked behind the screen to preserve this art form on celluloid.


Acknowledgements and references:

1. Kasuvandi2, uploader of Kathakali demonstration and dance by Uday Shankar.

2. who has uploaded the entire film Kalpana, viewable for free as part of its "Copyright-Free Indian Cinema" project.

3. The Kathakali clips are courtesy the Mudrapedia, a free, online, multimedia-enabled encyclopedia of Kathakali hand gestures (Mudras)


5. Hindi Film Songs: Music beyond boundaries by Ashok Da Ranade.

6. Traditions in World Cinema by Linda Badley

7. Hindi films and the cinema by Anna Morcom

8. Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, edited by Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti and the article, ‘Dancing to an Indian beat’, written by Sangeeta Shreshthova.

9. Minai’s Cinema Nritya Gharana

10. Dances on the footpath, Richard S blog

Thanks to AKji (SoY) for providing me the platform and Ashok Vaishnavj for starting this marvelous series,

Thanks to You Tube and all the up loaders of the songs, all other sources which I may have inadvertently missed out.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ASHOK M VAISHNAV June 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

The series’s celestial pull has now taken me out of the gravitational orbit!
Mr. Venkataraman has not only hit the Treasure, he has brought on record a subject that can be torchbearer to serious followers of the subject.

2 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Venkataraman ji,
Excellent write up indeed. As the days will pass,I am sure our readers will add several more songs.
As far as CHANDRALEKHA -48 is concerned,today’s generation can not imagine that almost 70 years ago,someone made a mammoth film like Chandralekha.
For me, I have seen this film in 195o and it is etched on my mind even today.
here is a note from me about Chandralekha,which I wrote in may 2011 on Atul ji’s Blog….

The film CHANDRALEKHA was a wonder of Indian cinema.
Today’s generation may not know anything about it,therefore I will try,briefly,to give some information on it,so that they will know what it was like.
Chandralekha was a Gemini Production and was directed by Mr.S.S.Wasan,the founder of Gemini Studios.Wasan was a person who believed that Cinema IS a medium of full entertainment and hence he planned Chandralekha.It was in the making for 5 years and was simulteniously made in Tamil and Hindi.Its budget was unprecedented and no money was spared,to make it the most famous film of Indian cinema.
This was the first Tamil movie released all india with 603 prints in those days,some of them with English subtitles.The film was made in massive scale in Cecil B.Demille style.
The story was of a good and a bad Prince,not only fighting for the Throne but also for the beautiful villege girl,Chandralekha.She agrees to marry the bad Prince with a condition that she will do a Drum Dance.
For this most extravagent scene giagantic Drums were made and the dance music was a combination of Indian,South Indian,South American and Viennese waltz music. 500 dancers danced on these drums and at the end,soldiers hidden in the drums come out and attack the bad Prince.
World’s longest sword fight ensues and all is well at the end when Good prevails over the bad.
Not only the Music Director was same but all the 9 songs had the same tune in Tamil and Hindi.
This film was appreciated in many International forums and won many awards too !

3 n.venkataraman June 24, 2013 at 12:02 am

Ashok Vaishnavji,
Thank you for your appreciation.
After the first two write-ups, I thought it was becoming a bit monotonous. So I thought of doing something different and I found enough materials to do this piece, although it was to some extent deviation from the main theme.
Thank you once again for your sustained support.

4 n.venkataraman June 24, 2013 at 12:03 am

An appreciation from veterans like you provides impetus and encouragement. Thank you for your kind words.
The additional information on Chandralekha-48 provided by you was splendid, especially the details on the Drum Dance. It should be on record for posterity.
But unfortunately the video clipping was removed from YT. I am providing another link to this drum dance.
Thank you once again

5 AK June 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Venkataramanji has indeed given a much needed variety by focussing on South Indian dancers and dances. It is also interesting to see the importance given to pure classical dance in Tamil films, while Hindi films adapted it to more popular forms. Do we have all the three Travancore sisters dancing together, and how many times?

The new clip of Chandralekha drum dance I have put in the main body of the post.

6 Shibnath June 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Dear Mr Venkatraman,
I appreciate the fascinating topic that you have covered which is really a food for thought for a person like me. I accidentally stepped on your blog and found it very interesting as I kept on reading and at the end I could not resist myself to comment. I would expect more such blog in time to come.
thank you once again

7 Anu Warrier June 25, 2013 at 7:42 am

Take a bow, Mr Venkatraman! You have indeed surpassed yourself! The dances are amazing, but that is to be expected. Tamil films (mostly) seemed to make provision for at least one classical dance, and with stalwarts such as the Travancore sisters, Kamala Laxman, Sai-Subbulakshmi, they had the necessary talent. My father was the one who first told me about the drum dance in Chandralekha – we were having a discussion on SS Vasan, whose scale and vision hasn’t been bettered even today. Then, they screened Chandralekha at some Utsav (I forget which) in Bangalore while I was studying there, and my father took me to see that, insisting that that one dance was worth the price of admission! I must say I agreed with him.

AK, thanks for hosting this series. Each time a post comes up under this heading, I think it cannot be bettered, and then, surprise! It is! What a treat for us, the readers! Looking forward to more such sub-posts.

Thank you once again, Mr Venkatraman. I have been incredibly busy/stressed out these past few days and haven’t had a chance to even write the second part of my post on Manna Dey; your selections have helped me unwind. 🙂

8 N Venkataraman June 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Once again I should thank AKji, not only for providing this platform, but for coordinating this series like a seasoned conductor. He may not accept this and declare himself a novice as he usually does. I am indebted to him for constantly keeping in touch with me in course of the write-ups, discussing and offering valuable suggestions, making necessary corrections etc.
Thank you once again Akji.
I do agree that importance was given to pure classical dances in Tamil films. This may be true for other South Indian movies too. It may appear from the dance sequences posted in this write-up that similar importance may not have been accorded in Hindi films. Hindi Films caters to a larger market comprising of viewers of varied taste and culture. I spite of this we can find examples of pure classical dances in HFs. Dance sequence #6 and #12 reiterates this view. I believe the Bengal school used Manipuri and Rabindra Nritya Shaili during earlier periods. In fact Rabindra Nritya was influenced by Manipuri. Similarly Kathak and other forms were used in many HFs, V Shantaram being one of the pioneers. Our well informed readers may be able to give further details.
As far as I know, beside ‘Manthri Kumari’, Travancore sisters were there in the Tamil film ‘Thookku Thookki’. But I am not sure whether they appeared together in any dance sequence. Again our knowledgeable readers can offer further information.
Thank you for reinstating the ‘Chandralekha drum dance’ in the main body of the post.

9 N Venkataraman June 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Mr Shibnath,
I am glad that you found the write- up interesting enough . Thank you for your valuable comments. This visit to this blog might have been accidental. But please keep visiting SoY as often as possible.

10 N Venkataraman June 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thank you for your generous comments.
Sorry for the delay in replying. I am travelling from one city/town to other from Monday and my health is also not in best of conditions. At present I have moved from Bhubaneswar to Puri. I intend to stay put here till Friday.
No doubt, Kamala Lakshman, Sai Sisters and Travancore sisters were all stalwarts. Barring Padmini and Ragini, the rest did not act in any movies. They appeared in dancing sequences only. But their presence added value to the films and viewers flocked to see their dance.
You and Arunji were fortunate enough to have watched ‘Chandralekha’ on big screen. I had to be contended to watch it on YT. I too agree that this one dance was worth the price of admission. Akji had mentioned about a similar drum dance featuring Azurie from one of the vintage era films.
In spite of being busy / stressed out, you took some time out to go through this post and offer your valuable comments. Such act encourages us to keep going.
Will be looking forward to your second part on Manna Dey
Thank you once again.

11 Subodh Agrawal June 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Songs of Yore was always a treat for the ears; Mr Venkataraman has made it a treat for the eyes too with this amazing post. I must confess I have never been a keen follower of dance – it does not move me the way music does. However the pieces selected by Mr Venkataraman have helped me overcome my prejudice to a great extent. Thank you Mr Venkataraman.

The last song featuring Hema Malini is a welcome addition to my personal list of songs in raga Yaman. I hadn’t heard it earlier. Thanks again.

12 n.venkataraman June 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

It is true that lot of people do not follow dance the way they appreciate music. It is evident from the number of responses this post has elicited. I am happy that you like the post.
By the way song #3t is also in Raag Kalyani.
Thank you once again.

13 gaddeswarup July 1, 2013 at 7:16 am

Venkataramanji, I wonder whether Kamalakar Laxman acted in Sivagangai Seemai. In any case, my favorite Kamalakar dance is in that film.

14 n.venkataraman July 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Yes, Kamala Lakshman did act in the film ‘Sivagangai Seemai’ (1959) in the role of Chittu. Her sister Radha was also there in this film. Here is a song cum dance sequence from this film performed by Kamala and Radha.
This may be the dance you were referring to.
‘Kannagkaruttha Kili’ by P Leela from ‘Sivagangai Seemai’, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy
Thank you

15 gaddeswarup July 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

Venkataramanji, I meant her Tandav dance but I could not find similar dances in Hindi films and so did not post the link. Here it is

16 AK July 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Gaddeswarupji and Vnkataramanji,
There are many dances in Hindi films which are commonly recognised as Tandav dance. These situations are when the protagonist has intense emotions – of anger, helplessness, disappointment in love – bottled up which finds its outlet through this vigorous dance. Some I am linking below:

Meenakshi Sheshadri in Damini

Sridevi in Chalbaaz

Sridevi in Chandni

17 gaddeswarup July 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

Thanks AKji; I have only seen the first one before. Recently I noticed that there is an actual Tandav dance by Waheeda Rehman. There is also wonderful dance by her in Guide. It starts as a snake dance and perhaps borders on Tandav later.

18 n.venkataraman July 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you for bringing up the topic of ‘Tanadava Nritya’. The Tandava dance by Kumari Kamala (Lakshman) was too good. You will find the dance by Waheeda Rehman from ‘Guide’, which you were referring to in your comment (#17), in my main post (dance no.11).
Thank you once again.

19 n.venkataraman July 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I am grateful to you and Gaddeswarupji for bringing up the topic of ‘Tandava Nritya’. Earlier I was thinking of doing a post on ‘Tandava Nritya’. Later I dropped the idea. Classical dance in itself is a topic which is not appreciated the way music is cherished. It is evident from the lukewarm response the post has elicited. Another post on ‘Tandava Nritya’ will be too much for readers to enjoy and digest. I am not trying to be irreverent to their views.

Thank you for adding those ‘Taandava dance’ sequences of Meenakshi Sheshadri and Sridevi. All the three dances were very impressive.

“There are many dances in Hindi films which are commonly recognised as Tandav dance. These situations are when the protagonist has intense emotions – of anger, helplessness, disappointment in love – bottled up which finds its outlet through this vigorous dance.”

I fully agree with your above views. The dance by Kamala Lakshman posted by Gaddeswarupji and the first two clippings posted by you are examples of this type of “Taandava Nritya’. Generally they depict anger (Roudram) or anguish and other allied emotions. They can be realted to ‘Roudra tandava’ of Lord Rudra. By and large, ‘Taandav Nritya’ is associated with Lord Shiva and represents the cycle of Shrishti, Stithi and Vinash. While the ‘Rudra Tandava’ depicts his violent nature the ‘Ananda Tandava’ depicts just the opposite. The third clipping can be associated with this type. In fact we can find ‘Taandav Nritya’ performed all the leading dance forms.

Here is an example of ‘Aananda Taandav’,

‘Taandava Dance’ from the Telugu film ‘Bhookailash’ by Gopikrishna’,choreographer Guru Dandayudhapani Pillai, music R Sudarshanam.

Here is an example of Roudra Taandava’. At 3:30 Giridharis (Shiva) havoc wreaking temper is controlled at the pleading of Neela (Parvati) and peace is restored and the Roudra Ras ebbs away and Shaant and Ananda Ras starts flowing. Around 4:18 a touch of Manipuri style is introduced. On the whole it is a beautifully composed choreography.

‘Taandava Dance’ fro ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal baje’ by Gopikrishna and Sandhya, choreographer Gopi Krishna, music Vasant Desai

Besides ‘Taandav Nritya’ is also associated with Shakti and Ganesh.

20 gaddeswarup July 8, 2013 at 9:09 am

Thanks for the post and comments. From Wikipedia, Waheeda Rehaman was in two Tamil movies and four Telugu movies before coming to the Hindi scene. One is the Tamil version of ‘Rojulu Marayi’ and the other is a alibaba movie and one dance from that is posted in The Hub.

21 N Venkataraman July 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

Thank you for the information Gaddeswarupji. I am aware that Waheeda Rehman appeared as a dancer in few Telugu and Tamil movies. But to my best of my knowledge she did not act in any Tamil movies. You will find Waheeda Rehman’s dance and song sequence in the next writeup on ‘Songs from remakes’.
Thanks once again.

22 AK July 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thanks for adding two wonderful clips of Tanadv dance by Gopi Krishna. Here is an interesting clip comparing Gopi Krshna’s dance in the Telugu and Kannada versions of Bhookailasa. I don’t know if one is a dubbed version of the other (in which case the comparison is trivial), or a remake.

His dance (with Sandhya) in JJPB is also a summary of the story of the movie. He starts with a deep prejudice and anger about Sandhya and the harm she can cause in his pursuit of excellence in dance (reflected in Raudra) and ends up with realisation and acceptance of her being an integral part of his art (reflected in Anand).

Shiv Tandavstotra is associated with the Tandav dance. I have always heard it sung in a vigorous style and staccato – whether for Raudra or Anand. Here is an exception where Swami Satyananda Saraswati sings it in an extremely melodious musical style. He has added another innovation by chanting Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram in between.

23 gaddeswarup July 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Possibly unrelated query. Are there any dances associated with Shiva Tandava Stotram? Long ago, I was searching and found it very majestic but could not find dances to go with it.

24 AK July 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I am sure there must be dances on Shiv Tandavstotra, if not in films then surely in serials and elsewhere. As for Hindi films, I find this wonderful recitation in the traditional style, picturised on Arshad Warsi from Hero Hindustani (1998). The singer mentioned in the YT clip is Ataullah Khan.

25 n.venkataraman July 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Thanks for the combined clipping of GopiKrishna’s dance from the Kannada and Telugu versions of Bhookails(a). Here is a post titled ‘Gopi Krishna’s Tandav Dance: Bhookailas vs. Bhookailasa’, from Minai’s Cinema Nritya Gharana, where you will find further details. There is also a bonus in the form of Kamala Lakshman’s dance from the same film. Do not miss this spellbinding dance and song sequence.

The rendition of Shiva Tandava Stotra by Swami Styanandaji Maharaj was interesting. Even Pt.Jasraj rendered it in similar style.
I have not watched the film Hero Hindusthani. But this clipping was interesting.

I am yet to come across a dance performed to Shiva Tandava Stotram in films.

26 Kajari July 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

Dear Mr. Venkatraman
I am not a regular visitor of this site. I found your article very interesting & resourceful. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

27 N Venkataraman July 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Thank you very much for visiting my post. Keep visiting SoY.

28 tamilsonglyrics September 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

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29 N Venkataraman September 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Thank your for your favourable comments. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. There are two more write-ups on songs from Tamil films in SoY, namely the article on ‘Inspired and adopted Songs’ and the second part on ‘Songs from dubbed versions’. I am sure you will enjoy them too. Thank you for providing the link to your site. I would request you to visit other articles on SoY. I am sure you will enjoy them.

30 Lakshmi Srinivas September 29, 2013 at 8:57 am

I am simply spellbound by the research, relevance , and the beauty of your write up Mr Venkatraman. I plan to show it to my Mother this evening . She will be equally thrilled if not more by this treasure trove. Please continue with the good work . Looking forward to more such surprises. Actually , Ms Anu Warrier has expressed all my thoughts. I totally agree with her .

31 N Venkataraman September 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm

@ Lakshmi Srinivas
Thank you for your appreciation. I would be eager to know mother’s reactions too.

It seems your thoughts matches with Anu Warrier on more than one occasion. Earlier also you had mentioned similar views. I am sure you will like her blog ‘Converstion over Chai’.

It is irritating to observe that some of the songs get removed due to copyright infringement. Embedding to the song Mangammal Valarum Shingara Nadanam (7t) has been disabled. However, you can watch it on the youtube by clicking on the message ‘ Watch on Youtube’. But the link to song Neela vanna kannane unn ennamellam (8t) has been removed due to copyright infringement issues. I am providing another link to the same song. Hope this link remains intact.

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