Saskia Karsenboom gave two statements in her talk of deseating Nataraja from his wrongly exalted pedestal. She recalled a private joke of T.Shankaran (Balasaraswathi's cousin) "When Bala danced there is Bhakthi and when Rukmini danced there is Agarbatti". She also questioned the identity of the urban Indian Bharathanatyam dancer who has been wrongly told the varnam swamiye is talking about spirituality. "The identity should be Meenakshi. She is addressing Siva, seaking conjugal bliss". Ok granted. But then there is something called Swadharma in Indian tradition. Since that Meenakashi is expressing herself through the dancer's body which is in current time and is fed by current sensibilities and if this Meenakshi decides conjugal bliss is spiritual too. Who are we to question her?
Though she insisted it was a joke, her first statement brought focus to the Bala camp that North American academia wants everyone to belong to. They are some how against Rukmini Devi and Kalakshetra. Harikrishnan has the advantage of indulging in fanciful modern avant garte productions and invite people to the Bhoga mela dances and claim to be traditional. The north Americans get ears by their sheer orality and bombastic academic jargan.