The Natya and Sangita Sampradayas of our country are many. Each of these exquisite traditions of our performing arts has produced innumerable great practitioners whose extraordinary skill and contribution have given them a unique place in the world of arts.
In the field of Bharatanatyam, the dance par excellence of South India, one name stands tall and unique - that of the One and Only Bala - Vidusi T. Balasaraswati. A Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bala was one among the most renowned dancers of the world who was hailed as the "Queen of Abhinaya".
In commemoration of the Centenary of Vidusi T. Balasaraswati (b. May 13,1918), the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi has aptly decided to bring out a special annual issue of its journal Sangeet Natak in her honour with several articles penned by renowned personalities in the field of arts, some from the past and some from students and admirers in the scene. Each writer has given a lively insight into the realms of Bala's artistry, her technique, her persona and their own experiences with the great artist.
As one of the prime disciple of the legendary Vidusi T. Balasaraswati, who has had an unbroken chain of association with her for almost three decades, I am extremely delighted to have been assigned by the Akademi the pleasant task of guest-editing this issue, celebrating the memory of my unique Guru.
I thank the authorities of Sangeet Natak Akademi for the wonderful opportunity given to me to assemble, edit and present this worthy publication for all those art-lovers who are keen to know the multi-layered Bharatanatya Sampradaya of Bala and her times that are etched in gold in the annals of dance history.
I gratefully acknowledge the photo archives and the publication section of Sangeet Natak Akademi for providing most of the photographs; Dr V. Raghavan Centre For Performing Arts, Chennai, for major part of the archived articles of eminent personalities and some of the photographs included in this publication; Sruti Foundation, Chennai and other contributors including major students of Bala for making this endeavour a successful one.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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