The film also touches on ballet or dance- drama genre of 50s through 70s, the Ramlilas and Krishnaleelas by various institutions. Leading names like Nataraj Shakuntala, Sachin Shankar, Yog Sunder and K.Shekharan Panikar rub shoulders with Sadhona Bose, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Rohini Bhate and others. Choreography in films is also touched upon.
It features top choreographers, whose work in last 50 years have made the genre what it is: riveting and reinvigorating. The 20 minute film traces the start of the journey with the greatness of Uday Shankar, to grandness of Ram Gopal. The genius of Gopinath to madness of Menaka. It platforms work of choreographic milestones and icons like Birju Maharaj, Chandralekha, Kumudini Lakhia, Daksha Sheth, Aditi Mangaldas, Santosh Nair, Madhu Nataraj, Anita Ratnam among others.
Astad Deboo and his inspiration Uttara Coorlawala find suitable coverage, ending with today’s stars like Mayuri-Madhuri , Jay Palazzhy and Mandeep Raikhy. Like all previous films shown, historical context with very pithy descriptions help understand what’s going on. It’s like a PhD made simple!
Ashish Khokar’s ouvre is complete with this offering. He visualises, scripts, edits and even decides music for these short”films”. It is indeed commendable that a century and more of Indian dance is saved and served by the Khokars. The nation salutes them!
Watch the film on the YouTube channel of Habitat World on October 26.