We all know him for his acting and directing skills. But Kamal Hassan is also an amazing dancer. There was a time when regional language films were out or reach to Hindi speakers, subtitles were virtually unknown. A film called Ek Duje Ke Liye starred Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri and was a take on the Romeo and Juliet type tale of star crossed lovers. They meet in college, and are from different parts of India, thus unable to understand each others’ language, yet love quickly blossoms despite fierce parental opposition. The film left a lasting impression on my very young mind, and some images simply never went away. One was of Kamal and Rati on opposite sides of a door, unable to meet, as the haunting SP Balasubramaniam song Tere Mere Beech Mein played out.
The other lasting image, which I cannot share as there are no Youtube clips, is of Kamal doing Bharatnatyam as he rages at the fates that keep his love away from him! Powerful stuff! And it was most unusual to see a mainstream hero who was trained in classical Indian Dance.
Since then many Kamal dance moments in regional films have been discovered by me, and he get more and more impressive! In this one he demonstrates three forms of Indian dance set to the same music in Sagarasangamam:
Watch these almost balletic moves in the film Dance Master (Punnagai Mannan):
From Sagarasangamam again – here we see Kamal worshiping his alcohol in a demented dance:
And my favorite one from the same film, where in the final joyous moments Jaya Prada joins in: