Helen ji happened to our Indian Cinema by destiny. Without her Indian Cinema would have been colour less, energy less. With Film Howrah Bridge she became a star!! in true sense.
i wrote about Helen ji earlier. Do read and comment on it.
Born on 21 November in Burma, her family moved to India during world war II. Along the route her family by luck met Cukoo, the famous dance star of films of her times. With her help Helen got few assignments in films but all were chorus. Later she worked hard, got training in Kathak, Bharatnatyam etc so as to meet the requirements of Film Dancing.
I remember how she beautifully matched the dance skills with Ragini ji in film Shikari.
Tumko dil diya itni shaan se
watching at this song i felt Helen ji did incredible dancing, in many frames she danced better than Ragini ji.
Our dance teacher used to tell us, as to how to perform on stage, In all those things Helen ji was exactly fit! most notable is the facial expression. Face is crucial part, bhaav comes our from smallest twitch of muscles of face. but a look at face should give impression that dancer is enjoying his or her act. Whenever you see Helen ji dancing, that moment we forget everything and transform in dance world, the emotions etc take over.
Helen ji danced in films of many languages. Even in Bhojpuri films. But looking at her face one cannot make it out that she did’nt understand nuances of folk language or folk dance.
Most amazing thing was that she designed her costumes herself, she did her own makeup. She used to purchase accessories from abroad, whenever she got chance she brought all that needed for her costumes, Feathers etc.
One thing as a dance student i noticed that in all her dance she never looked vulgar!! She started the Cabaret dancing on screen, if you don’t believe then watch any dance number earlier to Helen ji. Sensuous yes but not vulgar.
May god bless her a long healthy life