Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The history of Indian dance, Nartanam magazine, and the doyen of Indian dance critics

The doyen of Indian dance critics, Reginald Massey FRSA, is (among others) in a photograph from 1954 which graces the cover of the current issue of NARTANAM, India's premier dance publication.

In the Mughal rose garden, Reginald Massey sits cross-legged on the lawn, looking at the President.

Then an undergrad, he was invited to the Festival which was held when Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the Education Minister.

The President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, a Sanskrit and Persian scholar, invited the participants to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace high on Raisina Hill.

Reginald writes:

"It was at this Festival that Odissi classical dance was discovered when a student (Priyambada Mohanty from Orissa) danced in Delhi for the very first time.

"Later, celebrated dancers such as the beautiful Indrani Rehman made Odissi famous.

The National Resource Centre of Dance, which has my dance archives, might be interested in this piece of history."

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