Indrani (1930-1999) was born into a dance family as the daughter of Ragini Devi, a pioneer in India's dance revival who wrote the first book in English on Indian dance and was the first to perform Kathakali abroad. Indrani began dancing at the age of five and sought out some of the lesser-known forms of Indian classical dance. The segment seen here is in the Kuchipudi style, one of two styles (along with Odissi) which Indrani presented for the first time outside India, a style also notably embodied at the Pillow by Shantala Shivalingappa. After being named as the first Miss India in 1952, Indrani began touring the world, making her U.S. debut at Jacob's Pillow in 1960. She performed for many world leaders during the 1960s, including President John F. Kennedy, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II, Mao Zedong, Nikita Khrushchev, and Fidel Castro. In her final Pillow appearance seen here, she shared the stage with her daughter, Sukanya.
Dance Title: Tarangam
Filmmakers: Bob Brodsky, Toni Treadway