Once in a while, I hear about some free Indian classical dance that someone did in New York City somewhere and I have to ask myself, why didn’t I know about it, and why did I miss it? I guess I’m not attuned to the right lines of communication. But I have this fantasy that one day I will simply be walking down the street and happen upon someone doing some beautiful bharatanatyam. The next best thing would be to be walking down the street and happen upon someone doing some great kuchipudi. And it would be even better – and stranger – if she were doing it in front of an elephant!
Of course, I stumbled upon that wandering around YouTube. Apparently, it was a promo for the movie Vanaja. This movie looks pretty good too. It was written and directed by someone named Rajnesh Domalpalli. He was a Columbia University film student, but people say he did a very job anyway. The young actress-dancer is reportedly superb; her name is Mamatha Bhukya. (Though the movie was made in 2006-07… I’d be interested to find out if anyone’s heard anything from these people since then.) The movie has good classical Indian dancing and a lot of class-focused social consciousness – two things almost guaranteed to win me over to it (if I can ever find it).