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Bahuda - Credits

Choreography and Performance: Debashree Bhattacharya and Vikram Iyengar
Cinematography and Direction: Ranjan Palit
Editing: Nina Normann
Stills: Soumyak Kanti De Biswas
Duration: 13 minutes approximately
Production: Ranan, 2006


BAHUDA a dance film made with film-maker Ranjan Palit

Nominated for the Jury Prize at the Dance on Camera festival, New York, 2007
Screened at various short film, dance, and dance film events in India and abroad

Sound, light, rhythm and movement all come together in this audio-visual celebration of dance. The focus here is on the multiplicity of Kathak, its detailed precision in every minute movement as well as the overall beauty of its form.

Originally a part of the Kathak production Prathama (a series of Kathak duets interacting with other art forms), Bahudha was first conceived, choreographed and performed by Debashree Bhattacharya and Vikram Iyengar in January 2002. When performed on stage, the two dancers perform before projected images of themselves. The film extends the approach to viewing and performing dance. The piece plays with the idea of ‘watching’, bringing together two different methods of seeing – through the eyes and through the camera. This experiment juxtaposes live dance and filmed dance within the film frame creating an interaction which blurs the boundaries between two very different audio-visual media, challenging both the dancer-choreographers and the cinematographer.

Additionally, the film brings in the ‘backstage’ elements of dance, dancers and the world of performance, serving as a frame within which the on-stage presentation is viewed.

These ‘ways of seeing’ open up myriad avenues of exploration. How does one watch, how does one experience, how does one apply a lens of viewing and a format of presentation differently to come face to face with startlingly fresh encounters with languages that one thought one knew? How does one speak in other tongues, for other tongues? In this case, how do two choreographer-dancers and a cinematographer who have had no previous experience of the other’s form of expression respond to each other? The cinematographer and his camera dance, the choreographer-dancers craft shots to create, not just a film of dance or a dance that is filmed – but a film that dances.

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