Intersections: Indian dance and Film

The intersection of dance and film offers many creative opportunities and has given rise to an increasingly recognized category loosely labeled as video dances, dances for the camera or dance films. Dance films are usually either cinematic interpretations of existing dance works or choreography that can only exist in the medium of film or video. As dance and film intersect they draw on physical and spatial aspects inherent to dance and visual and temporal abilities of film and video to create a new expressive medium. Ranging from popular applications in music videos to avant-garde experimental projects, film dance is today a recognized, yet eclectic, sub-genre celebrated at dedicated film festivals around world.

This program explores the budding of dance films that draw on India's rich dance traditions. The basic tenets of Indian classical dance were laid down some two thousand years ago in the Sanskrit text, the Natya Shastra. According to the Natya Shastra, deep meaning is created through the arousal of emotions, or rasas, that create the flavor of the experience. The act of looking, or darshan, becomes crucial to meaning creation as looking and being looked creates meanings that engage the performer, the audience and religious meaning. What happens when the gaze of the camera enters into this complex relationship? What is revealed? What may disappear?

We answer these questions through the screening of selected Indian dance films that engage the history, philosophy and characteristics of Indian dance, the program through a lens that focuses on culturally specific movements, rhythms, melodies, gestures and spaces.

Presented by: Sangita Shresthova,
Length: 70 min.

Featured Films:
dir: Pavitra

Krishna's Dancer
dir: Dirk Hilbert

dir: Ranjan Palit, Vikram Iyengar, Debashree Bhattacharya
choreography: Vikram Iyengar, Debashree Bhattacharya

dir: Sushant Mani
choreography: Ileana Citaristi

dir: V Prasad
choreography: Sejal Shah