Hillary dazzled by dancers of Kalakshetra

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 21, 2011 Published on July 21, 2011

Wide eyed and open mouthed, the US Secretary of State Secretary, Ms Hillary Clinton, watched the Kathakali and Mohiniyattam dances at Kalakshetra here today.

Sitting in the front row and flanked by Ms Leela Samson, Director, Kalakshetra, on the left and Ms Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, on the right, the US Secretary of State appeared to be completely taken in by the graceful movement of the dancers.

Her eyes followed the breezy gyrations of (particularly) the Mohiniyattam troupe, as they danced to a thillana set to Nadabhairavi.

The setting was somewhat ethereal with the dancing area level with the chairs, and so close — the whole arena under the canopy of a 50-year-old banyan tree that was aglow red under the hue of hidden lamps.

When the performance was over, the Secretary rushed to the centre of the dance arena and sought out the dancers saying “thank you”.

Later, she posed with the dancers for the photographers in a session that seemed to go on and on, and punctuated by cries by the lensmen for more photos.

Grabbing the wireless mike, Ms Clinton said that she has seen Indian dance a couple of times but never so close. Today, she said, she could see movements of every muscle and was amazed at the discipline and incredible choreography that characterised the performance.

“And the haunting music,” she said, turning to give an acknowledging look at the singers.

Published on July 21, 2011
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