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Not every organization has its patron saint, but Balasaraswati (1918-1984) clearly fills that position for this one. The impact of the art of this great lady, once described by Dr. Narayana Menon as "perhaps the greatest Indian dancer of the past thousand years," provided the original inspiration for Luise and Samuel Scripps to found and fund the American Society for Eastern Arts and to nurture its growth into the Center for World Music.  This page, then, is in a way a kind of shrine and will serve to collect writings about, and photographs and other memorabilia of Bala, who lives on in the hearts of those who knew her.  Such individuals were fortunate indeed to have experienced in their lifetimes her indescribable presence, exemplified in an art we are not likely to see again.




Photographs by Jan Steward
Click on any image to see gallery


Jan Steward was the Art Director of ASEA in its early years, and according to Balasaraswati, the only photographer who was able to capture her evanescent art on film.  All of Jan's photographs, some of which are presented here with her permission, are copyrighted, and any use of them must be approved by the artist.   You may contact Jan Steward at .





Links to Balasaraswati Sites

T. Balasaraswati (biography)
Balasaraswati (the only videotape available for sale)
Bala (film by Satyajit Ray)



Modified: August 28, 2013