obscure wish list post; last week I found Kann Sivandhaal Mann Sivakkum and this week has revealed a clip from Bhavantarana.
Here is the clip. The first female Odissi dancer appears at 1:20 and then a young Odissi dancer can be seen starting at 1:42; the latter's performance is delightful! She dances while walking through a home until reaching the courtyard where her "guru" soon appears (guess who!). Kelucharan Mahapatra can finally be seen dancing at 3:32!
So why is the clip only 4.5 minutes? The uploader is the "Public Diplomacy Division of India's Ministry of External Affairs" who created the channel to feature "a range of documentary films which have been commissioned by the Ministry of External Affairs over the last three decades. These documentary films showcase different facets of India..." The reason the uploads are only excerpts is explained in the last line: "for purchasing full versions of the films shown here please contact email@example.com." Turns out a trip to the Division's website reveals a link to the website of the distributor "Under Construction" where DVDs of these programs can be found! The DVD of Bhavantarana can be purchased for $30.
But who can complain about partial clips when their very existence on YouTube is a blessing! I'm guessing that these documentaries were/are probably shown every so often on Doordarshan or other TV channels but until now were difficult to view independently.
What I've been most excited to discover is that outside of Bhavantarana there are other dance-related documentaries and documentaries with dance-content among the uploads! Here are all the ones I've found:
Sanchari (1991, 30 min) - "A holistic view of the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam." Features a beautifully-introduced/filmed Bharatanatyam performance by Leela Samson.
Bamboo Flute (2000, 29 min)- Directed by Kumar Shahani. "A musical journey into the history, myth and evocations of the melodic rhythms of the flute..." Two dancers are featured; first, a classical dancer in practice sari is seen at 2:21 (she looks like Alarmel Valli but I'm not positive), and second, Kelucharan Mohapatra dances beginning at 3:57.
Beyond Tradition (2009, 60 min) - Looks at contemporary dance in India. Some beautiful dance segments are included; the modern take on Kathak at 1:40 is my favorite- an imaginative play on rhythm! While watching the hoop-dancer at the end I can only think of the similar dancer in the song "Baawre" from Luck by Chance :)
Pride of India: Mallika Sarabhai - Despite the hilarious voiceover by some white dude (I love how he pronounces Kuchipudi "coochie-poodie"), my favorite part of this video clip is the very first dance featuring a woman making a picture in sand with her feet! A real-life example of the effect seen in movies like Konjum Salangai and Kadhalan!
Kuchipudi Revisited (1998, 60 min) - Directed by Yamini Krishnamurthy. "Swapna Sundari, one of the renowned exponents of Kuchipudi, traces the origin, evolution and changing nuances of the dance form..."
Rhythmic Echoes and Reflections (2003, 30 min) - "Explores the universality of various dance forms like Kathak, Flamenco, American Tap Dance, European Ballet and Australian Ballet" with Kathak artist Shovana Narayan leading.
Kalarippyat (2002, 35 min) - Explores the martial art form of Kerala, Kalaripayyattu. Don't miss the fully costumed dancer at 2:00.