Edited excerpts from the book titled Bala on Bharatanatyam compiled and translated by S. Guhan, and published by The Sruti Foundation in 1991.
Balasaraswati did not believe in writing or speaking about Bharatanatyam. For Bala, dance had to be danced, not spoken about. However, from the early 1970s, Bala was invited to preside over a number of conferences in recognition of her stature and status as the peerless exponent of Bharatanatyam. These occasions included the annual sessions of the Music Academy, Madras (1973), the Tamil Isai Sangam, Madras (1975), the East-West Conference held in Hawaii (1979), and the Indian Fine Arts Society, Madras (1981). Bala took these opportunities to speak about her conception of Bharatanatyam, its philosophy and practice; she shared reminiscences relating to her guru, family, and other sources of training and support; and she did not hesitate as well to criticise certain aspects of the contemporary Bharatanatyam scene.
Bharatanatyam as yoga
What is dance? Dance is the natural and, therefore, universal activity of the human species through which it finds unity with the cosmos and its creator. The cosmos is the dynamic expression, in orderly and beautiful movement, of the static source, the one supreme spirit.