Yesteryear star actresses Vyjayanthimala and Hema Malini, both noted Bharat Natyam exponents, are all set to come together on stage in Chennai for the first time for a dance recital.
The idea reportedly came from Hema Malini, who happens to be a huge Vyjayanthimala fan and had always wanted to perform with her.
“It’s like any female singer aspiring to sing a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. When one reaches a certain position in life, one looks for the best in the field. And according to me, Vyjayanthiji is the best dancer-actress we have,” Hema says excitedly.
Vyjayanthimala, 76, confirmed the news.
“It’s really sweet of her (Hema Malini) to be so generous with compliments all the time," she says. "When she says she idolises me, I feel good about it. Yes, we are dancing together but we need to work out the details. Us coming together on stage will generate a lot of interest among fans and we can't afford to let them down.”
Hailed as a prominent figure in Hindi films of her time, Vyjayanthimala also said that she never allowed her two vocations to overlap.
“I never let Bharat Natyam mudras reflect in my film performances. I was very particular from the very beginning about compartmentalising the two in a proper way," she reminisced.
In the picture: Hema Malini and Vyjayanthimala. Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar