Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sitara Devi with Choube Maharaj - Kathak Dance of India (1961)

This is another recent boot sale find. It came without a sleeve but I managed to find a scan of the front cover on a website dedicated to the Gramophone Company of India. The internet can be a wonderful thing.

Sitara Devi is one of India's most famous classical dancers of the Kathak style. The recording on this LP is pretty lo-fi and there seems to be a musical conversation flowing between Sitara Devi and the tabla player throughout of most of the tracks. The rhythms are complex and kaleidoscopic.

Here she is performing in the 1942 film, Roti:


01 Moordang Poornam & Trotakam
02 Parangaha
03 Bhav Parangaha
04 Tilwat
05 Tarana
06 Padakriya (Tatkar)
07 Dhamar
08 Choutal-Dhrupad
09 Jhaptal
10 Roopak

Get it HERE.


Richard S. said...

This looks really good!

And the dance is great, but my favorite Sitara Devi dance from Roti is here (too short, alas, but so nice):

One interesting thing about Roti is that it is clearly and blatantly anti-capitalist through-and-through. :) Yet it is also a big adventure film and is full of fine singing and dancing.

My "Bolly blogging" acquaintance Memsaab posted a nice review of the film here:

Also, in the comments below that post, there are links for downloading a subtitled CD version of the film. I also have a friend who made a very good DVD version (but I am not sure if it is publicly available, would have to check on that).

As you may know, there are a bunch of nice dances with Sitara on YouTube, right up to present times (and she is about 85 years old now). Here's a great dance from the 1950s film Anjali aka Arpan (Sitara starts at about 1:17):

I guess I'll stop there. :)

Mr Tear said...

Thanks Richard,
Roti looks fantastic and I'm especially interested in the anti-capitalist aspect - I'll make sure I check it out.
I hope you enjoy the album - it's an interesting artefact. The music is not Bollywood style at all in that its tabla, harmonium and little else.

Have fun.

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