"The Bayaderes"
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"The Bayaderes"
SC_GL_ENT_009 (Collage 323395)
London Metropolitan Archives: Granger Entertainments
Illustration depicting "La Bayadère" who were a group of Hindu temple dancers. They were also known as "The Dancing Priestesses".

In June, 1838, a group of five dancers and three accompanists, including the nattuvanar, were brought to Europe by E.C. Tardivel. The troupe was attached to the Perumal Temple in Thiruvanthipuram. They duly signed a contract to perform abroad for a period of 18 months, and sailed to France from the port at Pondicherry.

In October 1838, they crossed the channel to England, where they made 55 appearances at the Adelphi Theatre alone between October and December.

The English public gave them a mixed response, and the impresario, Frederick Yates, claimed to have lost money on the venture. Many of the reviews in English newspapers were, however, highly enthusiastic and it was supposed that no one in the city would care to miss the spectacular performance.
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