Indian Classical

Storytelling through dance | Deccan Herald

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Bharatanatyam danseuse Savitha Sastry and her husband AK Srikanth released their latest production ‘Colors: Green’ last month. The movie is the first of a trilogy of short films. Each movie, named after the colours of the National Flag, juxtaposes the ideals that each hue was meant to embody with the situation of women today. 

“The colour green represents fertility, growth and auspiciousness. In our production we question prosperity and evolution of a woman’s dreams and desires being carried to fruition as opposed to discovering satisfaction in a model suburban life of affluence and roleplay,” says Savitha.

A woman’s life 

The script for the movie was written by Srikanth, who was inspired by the life of his own mother. “He saw how her dreams and aspirations had to play second fiddle to her family. Half a century later, not much has changed. Women are conditioned to believe that raising children and caring for the family is her most important raison d’etre, and no dream she has can take the place of that. However, we wonder, why the father is not put in that spot,” says Savitha.

The first in the series follows a woman who has to put her own dreams on hold because her family takes priority over herself. “Dismissing her views as a mid-life crisis is another commonplace technique society uses to let her know her place in the system,” she explains.  

Introduce Bharatanatyam to the world 

The project is part of their effort to introduce Bharatanatyam to the uninitiated through their production company, ‘The Savitha Sastry Production Company’ (TSSPC).  TSSPC consists of two arms — one, for producing Bharatanatyam-based digital short films or stage productions, and two, for training the next generation of dancers.

All their made-for-stage dance productions have been recreated into dance films. The shift to the digital space, they say, have helped them increase the interest in the classical dance across the world. “We noticed that much of the audience comes from places like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, parts of South America – countries that you would not associate with a large Indian diaspora,” says Savitha. Even within India, much of the viewership comes from regions that are not generally associated with a large Bharatanatyam following, she adds. 

You can find the movie on www.savithasastry.com, YouTube and Vimeo. 

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