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1991 63’ col Oriya d/s Kumar Shahani pc Bombay Cinematograph c Alok Upadhyay

A spectacular part-fictional documentary on India’s famous Odissi dance, seen via its foremost living exponent, Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. The film shows how living traditions and modes of social initiation can turn into classical forms. Described by the director as a film ‘about hunger’, it returns the dance to both the labour that it celebrates and the improvisations that continue to defy codification and control. Many of the dances, including the spectacular Navarasa sequence at the end, were choreographed specially for the cinema.