wiki:Bal Gandharva

Bal Gandharva (1888-1967)

Given name was Narayanrao Rajhans. Celebrated female impersonator on the stage, mainly in mythologicals (Swayamvar, Saubhadra) and occasionally in influential socials, e.g. the Gadkari musical Ekach Pyala. The plays had a massive impact in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and in Thanjavur, TN. Also came to epitomise feminine beauty in the emerging fashion industry of these regions. His ‘look’ embodied the tribhangi posture from classical sculpture: a slightly inclined head and feet at an angle to the torso, also used in several Ravi Varma paintings (e.g. Lady with a Mirror). On stage, this became a tableau posture usually dividing the proscenium frame into three vertical areas offset by a gaze turned 3/4 towards the audience. Also top singing star of Marathi Sangeet Natak. Introduced by the Kirloskar Natak Mandali, but left to form his own Gandharva Natak Mandali (1913). Prabhat Studio gave great publicity to his recruitment to cinema (Dharmatma) but he left, feeling uncomfortable with film acting and with playing male roles, contrary to his public image. However, two of Prabhat’s top composers, Govindrao Tembe and Master Krishnarao?, were products of Bal Gandharva’s troupe, and his stage idiom, emphasising a flat proscenium layered with stage backdrops?, as well as the conventions of feminine beauty he incarnated, had a major influence on early Marathi talkies. Painter’s Sadhvi Mirabai was a straight adaptation of a Gandharva Natak Mandali play.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1935: Dharmatma; 1937: Sadhvi Mirabai; 1951: Vithal Rakhumai.

Music Actor

Last modified 11 years ago Last modified on Apr 22, 2013, 8:18:39 AM