Thomas Hardy remains the most enduring novelist writing stories based mostly on pastoral England. His Far From the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles remain compulsory school readings for students of English literature. Mimi Partha Sarthy’s return to the stage was no less meaningful. A hiatus of 14 years is like Ram's vanvas and Mimi left the stage for family reasons. Nay, she was forced on stage because of her persistent mother who saw her potential then and now.
Seeing her return to stage performance was like a mini wedding event, full of assorted socialites and stars of dance in Bangalore. The night of Jan 16th (Ayn Rand, another classic), Mimi chose that day to be back in reckoning. Her daughter Hamsini did the intros and then her guru Padmini Ravi conducted the show by walking on stage casually and regaling the audiences with her dead pan delivery. She is the eternal aunt of dance, having taught many in Malleswaram area. (What Mylapore is to Madras, Malleswaram and Basavanagudi - hence Mal-gudi - are to Bangalore). Padmini "aunty" can count two generations of dancers as students to her credit because she started teaching very young as the "neighborhood dance class aunt." That she has class and is not crass (like new teachers calling themselves NATIONAL when they are notional) shows solid work has no substitute or competition. Corporate honchos Kiran Mazumdar, Sunil Alagh, (Padmini did state corporate Bangalore does precious little for dance culture) super bureaucrat and patron Chiranjiv Singh, educationist Vimala Rangachar and many local dancers like Sridevi Unni, Lakshmi Gopalaswami, Subashini Vasanth were in attendance, filling the Chowdiah hall to the brim.
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