Sri Valli (Tamil, 1945) – Yes!! The Baby Kamala dances from the 1945 Sri Valli as pleaded for in my “Obscure Indian Films About Dance” post have been found and posted by the fabulous cram! Muchos gracias to cram!!
Yaarundnaippol Aadarippavar - Isn't she fabulous at such a young age? Just look at her facial expressions and the way she dances the classical-based choreography! What talent. Update March 2013 - Embedded better-quality version!
Dance #2 - The dance begins about 38 seconds in after a cute introduction. Just look at her beautiful Kathak hands and the flowing costume she's wearing! The song then transitions into a mythological dance where Kamala plays both roles and dances in a "twin" effect! Charming. Adorable. Awesome! Update March 2013 - Embedded better-quality version!
Jagathala Pratapan (Tamil, 1944) – This is apparently Baby Kamala’s famous “snake dance”! According to Randor Guy, Kamala was eight years old and the song was choreographed by her guru Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. Aren’t her facial expressions at the beginning endearing? For as much as I've read about this famed snake dance, it seems much less "snake-like" than I imagined.
Paarthiban Kanavu (Tamil, 1960) – The second half of this film contains an enchanting sequence in which Kamala gets to perform a whole bunch of dances in quick succession split only by short narrative sequences. From the articles: “Of Bharatanatyam-oriented pieces from the latter period, one has to mention the ‘Sivakamiyin Sabatham’ episode from the film ‘Parthiban Kavanu’ (1960). Three songs –out of which Anthi mayangudadi, asai peruguthadi, Kanthan varakkanane, can be done as a Virahotkanthita piece on stage any day—were made captivating by Kamala’s personal contribution: her execution of the choreography, which by this time had absorbed and assimilated a touch of the filmic; her costume and figure and hairdress, which made her look like a sketch by Silpi come alive out of an Ananda Vikatan Deepavali Malar; her total involvement merging into that character, making it unforgettable even to the majority unfamiliar with it.” Note: I posted the song "Anthi Mayangudadi" previously; the remaining three songs from the film follow.
Instrumental Dance Piece - While I'm not a fan of the tight-fitting costume she is wearing, I love the way her arms are held and moved with such precision.
Vadiveru Tirisoolam Tonrum Tonrum - A nice performance that appears to be about a social theme. Note: Video pixelates slightly around :35; will fix shortly!
Munnam Avanudaya Naamam Kettal - This song is so beautiful, mesmerizing, and enchanting that I feel chills watching it. A gorgeous religious number with a lovely instrumental section. As a bonus, there are lots of closeups of Kamala's face- isn't she such a chameleon? She looks so different in appearance from song to song- I'm thinking of doing a "Kamala screencap" post soon to point this out.
Veerakkanal (Tamil, 1960) – Silaiyodu Vilaiyadava – These next three songs show Kamala in a much different light- a departure from her mostly classical-based work into the frilly world of filmi dance and eroticism. The thrilling rhythmic portions of this song remind you of the "old" Kamala, but the majority of the song has her performing all the coy, teasing moves her contempories were masters at (here, in front of a drunken, woman-loving king!) It's interesting to see that she does just a good a job as the rest of them in this area! I do agree with the articles about her ability to pull this all of with grace: “With more of a Kathak turn, Silaiyodu Vilaiyadava and Siruthukonde from ‘Veerakkanal,’ are fine examples of Kamala exalting the near-mundane to the almost-exquisite. The flared costume reversing its flow just at the right split-second by her unctuous stop after a wind-whirl, gave a surging joy to the spectator. Of course the stauncher of Kamala’s stage fans might have been turned away by this character, a villain’s hand-maiden, so to speak."
Veerakkanal (Tamil, 1960) – Siruthukonde - I love the close ups in this song! She gets to be even more coy and coquettish in this number, which I can see would have upset her fans back in the day. From the articles: “Votaries of her art, uneasy at her dancing in films, felt more so when she took to acting in films later. They were particularly uncomfortable when she accepted roles in run-of-the-mill films like ‘Veerakkanal’ where neither the dance nor her acting was befitting her stature as an artist par excellence.” While Kamala takes the lower-brow material and elevates it at times with her skilled touches (such as the beautiful turns at 1:38), it still does seem beneath her and her phenomenal dance abilities.
There are still songs that I'm hunting for from Kamala's film repertoire, such as her dance with "meticulous footwork" in Naach Ghar, her baby dances in Kanchan, En Magan, Ore Iravu, and "Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai" from Pavalakodi, her dance "Thoondil Puzhuvinai Pol" from Vedala Ulagam, her dances with her sisters Radha and Vasanthi in Kutrala Kuravanji... all referenced by reputable sources such as The Hindu or Randor Guy but difficult to find! I'll keep hunting...