Indian Classical Dance Extravaganza!

Saturday, August 28, 2010
I’ve been in a “classical” mood lately and the time was ripe to finally create an Indian Classical Dance Extravaganza video!  “Extravaganza” has become my codeword for a remix/compilation video, and it makes it sound so exciting! ;)

As I wrote in my “How South Indian Films Stole My Heart” post, classical dance was what drew me into South Indian films and continues to endlessly fascinate me with its beauty.  My video below features clips from some of my absolute favorite classical dances in Indian cinema (most post-1960s).  As a bonus, many of the films are entirely about classical dance too! In the video I focused on South Indian dance forms; most of the clips are clearly inspired from classical Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Mohiniattam, Manipuri, Kathak, and Kathakali dances, though they are film dances of course and not pure classical performances.  I love them just the same!  Movie and song sources are listed below.  Big shoutout to Ramesh who gave me encouragement and song/video ideas!

Enjoy my little labor of love! (Note: Yes, the aspect ratio is goofed up per my limited video editing skills of the time)

Clips are from the following films/songs ordered by dancer:

- Gopura Vasalile (Tamil, 1991) – “Naadham Ezhundhathadi”
- Swarna Kamalam (Telugu, 1988) – “Andela Ravamidhi,” “Shiva Poojaku"
Kamal Hassan and/or Manju Bhargavi
- Salangai Oli (Tamil, 1983) – “Nadha Vinodhangal,” “Bala Kanakama”
- Shankarabharanam (Telugu, 1979) – “Raagam Thanam Pallavi”
- Manichitrathazhu (Malayalam, 1993) – “Oru Murai Vanthu”
- Dance Like A Man (English, 2003) – “Ghungroo,” “The Dance of Joy Thillana”
- Rudraveena (Telugu, 1988) – “Lalitha Priya”
Vineeth (and/or Jyothika, Kavya Mahadevan, Vidya Balan)
- Chandramukhi (Tamil, 2005) – “Raa Raa”
- Mazhavillu (Malayalam, 1999) – “Sivadham”
- Banaras (Malayalam, 2009) – “Madhuram Gayagi Meera”
- Bhool Bulaiyaa (Hindi, 2007) - “Aami Je Tomar”
- Jaag Utha Insaan (Hindi, 1984) – “Tarpat Beete Din,” Temple dance scene
- Journey Beyond Three Seas (Russian, 1958)
Hema Malini
- Abhinetri (Hindi, 1970) – Intro credits song
- Prince (Hindi, 1969) – “Muqabala Humse Naa Karo”
- Devasuram (Malayalam, 1993) – “Angopaangom,” “Medaponnu”
Lesser knowns/unknowns
- Ananda Bhairavi (Telugu, 1984) – “Koluvaitiva Rangasai”
- Sringaram (Tamil, 2006)
- Aditya 369 (Telugu, 1991) – “Suramodamu”
- Enakkul Oruvan (Tamil, 1984) – “Ther Kondu Sendravan”
- Saptapadi (Telugu, 1980) – “Nemalli Ki Nerpina,” Tandav dance scene
- Tik Tik Tik (Tamil, 1981) – “Poo Malarndhida”
- Pavithram (Malayalam, 1994) – Mohiniattam scene
- Pournami (Telugu, 2006) – “Bharatha Vedamuga,” Charme’s dance practice scene

Songs used for the remix

Kinara (Hindi, 1977) – “Meethe Bol Bole”
Enakkul Oruvan (Tamil, 1984) – “Ther Kondu Sendravan”
Mehbooba (Hindi, 1976) – “Gori Tori Paijaniya”
Uzhaikkum Karangal (Tamil, 1976) –“Aadiya Padhangal Ambalathil”
Chandni (Hindi, 1989) – “Instrumental”

Films I contemplated using clips from but did not in the final version are: Vanjikottai Valiban, New Delhi, Amrapali, Uliyin Osai Poo Magaloorvalam, Yamadonga, Sur Sangam, Vanaprastham, Megha Sandesham, Autograph, Devdas, Nache Mayuri, Sithara, Maro Charitra (Kamal Hassan). 

Last, thanks to these groovy software programs: Vegas Movie Studio HD, Audacity, Handbrake.


  1. Minai, let me just say that I think extravaganza is a perfectly adequate name, because whenever you make one of your videos, it's an EXPLOSION of awesome!! :)

    Fabulous work, once again! I especially liked the few bits that showed couples dancing in sync - GAH! And I didn't think it could get any better... and then it got to the end. The end made me gasp, so perfectly beautiful! Vah! Shabash!

  2. Another masterpiece, that I plan to watch 50-60 times.

    And now, off to track down the Kamal Haasan films.

  3. Dolce - Thank you! Dancers in sync are the best- it creates such a nice parallel visual. Glad that you loved it and called it awesome! :)

    Liz C - So happy that you enjoyed. If you're interested in Kamal Hassan, I highly highly highly recommend you check out his little classical dancing at the end (in retro black and white style) of Vidicheyu in Maro Charitra:

    He also has a humorous appearance in the Tik Tik Tik song I listed, but he doesn't dance:

    Enjoy! :)

  4. Lovely video, beautiful dance choices - some I haven't seen before.
    Salangai Oli is actually a dubbed version of K.Viswanath's Telugu original Saagara Sangamam.
    And I'm pretty sure that Jaag Utha Insaan is a remake of Viswanath's Saptapadi.

  5. i love this vid with a passion. i want two more from you minai,

    one a compilation of your misses listed above, and the second , one of the black and whiters- padmini ragini , vyjaintimala bali, kamala lakshman et al.

    a third dream one would have a compilation of your valli videos on your old minai youtube account, but maybe thats asking too much..



  6. anon - Thanks for the Salangai Oli info- I always get it mixed up which one is dubbed and which is the original. :) I believe you're right about Jaag Utha Inssan/Saptapadi. I noticed the connection after the temple dance scene and tandav dance scene in JUI looked eerily familiar and then identified the priest as the same actor.. though I must say Sridevi can't hold a handle to the dancer in Saptapadi. :)

    rameshram - Thank you so much! Oooooh, a wishlist! I think I am going to take you up on the black and white request- that sounds really fun, though I need some clip suggestions! Your third request will become a reality soon my friend, just you wait. :)

  7. Minai, this was very enjoyable! I don't know how you "segued" some of the moves from different dances so well - especially the spinning scenes near the fine ending.

    I was going to send in a suggestion/request for a sequel video (or maybe that would be a prequel video), but it looks as though an anonymous(?) poster beat me to it! If you are looking for clip suggestions for the black-and-white sequel/prequel - especially for the dancers whom the person above mentioned (it is so nice to see someone else mention Kamala Lakshman!)- I would be happy to offer a few myself. :)

    P.S. Speaking of the older dancers, one small comment regarding the Padmini scene... I've seen that movie usually referred to as "Pardesi" or "Journey Beyond Three Seas." Only once have I seen it referred to (in a YouTube clip) as "Parting," though who knows, maybe they call it that somewhere. :) (Or maybe it was just the clip that was being called that?)

  8. Richard - Thank you for your comment! Yes, rameshram has also requested another vid and I am really getting excited about doing a black and white version! Of course, this area isn't my forte, so I need lots of suggestions! I'm starting to make a big huge list of all the B&W songs I've seen and some new ones I'm finding... and you will definitely see some hits on your blog from me searching for things. :) Your blog is such a treasure trove of information, it's wonderful. So yes, please do make any suggestions if you have some! :)

    And thanks for the Padmini movie ID tip - I somehow forgot what the real name was- I'll fix it in my post. I think you're right, that some youtuber got the name wrong (as so often happens!). :)

  9. Minai, Really this is awesome. I like how you ended it with spinning like you did in the South Indian Dance extravaganza video. I wish I knew how to make a fan vid. but I don't even know how to rip songs snd scenes from my dvd to my computor much less put them together so beautifully. You have a wonderful eye and ear for detail.

  10. You think THIS is awesome, wait for her black and white extravaganza! which, when reports last came in was going to be 20 hours long ;)

  11. I finally got to see this!! The first time I saw it, it was taking waaaaay to long to load. Then I got problems logging on blogger....

    But now since I am chcecking all my blogroll...

    All I have to say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I simply love it. I am going to show my friend too! And tweet it on Twitter. Great job.

    Now, I cannot wait for more of your Extravaganza-ness :D
    Great job!

  12. jjake- thank you very much! I wouldn't feel bad about not knowing how to rip DVDs, because once you begin it starts taking away hours of your life as you learn the ins and outs of video formats and aspect ratios and codecs and conflicts and ahhh!!! hehe ;)

    rameshram - uh oh, you're really upping the ante for what I've got to deliver now! ;) :D

    Nicki- Hey girl! Thank you so much! I'd be so happy if you tweeted it- I'm always happy when new converts discover the classical dance awesomeness found in Indian films. :)

  13. oh no no.. you already came through. you just have to do two minutes from each video you found on youtube, and you'll have 40 hours or so..

  14. This is so amazing! Loved seeing so many of my favorite scenes! And also you are so right about Mohiniattam being deceptively simple. I've done Bharatanatyam for 30+ years. I tried Mohiniattam a very little bit and it was SO DIFFICULT!!! :-)

  15. Thank you Amaluu! So true about Mohiniattam isn't it- I think often it's harder to slowly control languid movements versus the lightning-fast speedy ones. Glad to see you visiting- come back soon! I always enjoy your blog (especially when you write about dances!). :)

  16. Um ... years later ... still obsessed with this video. :-)

    1. Amaluu - Hello! Good to hear from you. I'm glad you posted this comment since it's been quite a while since I've watched this video. It's aged quite a bit and makes me cringe in places, but I still love the second half with the Chandni music - such an awesome instrumental piece! I'm happy that my extravaganza videos are still getting attention! (though the South Indian one was flagged/removed...but others have reposted it, so I suppose it has its fans!) :)


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