Celebrate International Dance Day with these spectacular dance-centric stories

Picture Courtesy : DC

These narratives are woven around protagonists whose passion for dance defines their identity

Right from 1948, when Uday Shankar's 'Kalpana' became the first Hindi film to depict the journey of a dance exponent , films like 'Navrang,' 'Guide', 'Umrao Jaan', 'Naache Mayuri', 'Dil To Pagal Hai' and many more have revolved around dance. This International Dance Day, watch some more recent and vintage stories where the passion for dance is the central theme.

Yeh Ballet

Directed by Sooni Taraporevala, Yeh Ballet ( This Ballet) is a Netflix Original and features Achintya Bose and Manish Chauhan as two underprivileged dancers hungering for a creatively fulfilling life. They decide to learn ballet but come across many obstacles till an eccentric teacher Sal Aron (Julian Sands) decides to mentor them. Manish Chauhan incidentally is the son of a taxi driver in Mumbai who was mentored by a former Israeli dancer. He then moved to New York in 2021 after receiving his first contract from Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. Through his fictionalized story, 'Yeh Ballet' makes very valid points about class differences and equal opportunities. The film also stars Jim Sarbh, Danish Husain, Vijay Maurya, Heeba Shah, and Kalyanee Mulay.

Aaja Nach Le

Touted as Madhuri Dixit's comeback film, this 2007 drama stars the actor as a New York based dance instructor Dia. Dia returns to her hometown Shamli after 11 years to honour her guru's dying wish and to save Ajanta Theater, a community space which has been earmarked for demolition. How she inspires the citizens of the town to rise against powerful lobbies and unifies them with the power of dance, makes for a delightful watch. Directed by Anil Mehta, the film showcases many beautiful dance sequences while also communicating the importance of cultural spaces. The film also starred Konkona Sen Sharma, Akshaye Khanna, Jugal Hansraj and Kunal Kapoor. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje is a landmark 1955 film directed by V. Shantaram. In the film, Kathak legend Gopi Krishna and Sandhya play two classical dancers who are brought together and separated by dance. The entire musical was choreographed beautifully and also explored the conflict between classical and popular dance forms. The story narrates what happens when a classical dance guru's gifted son Girdhar (Krishna) falls in love with Neela (Sandhya). The stern Guru comes in their way but ultimately has to accept that the two are not just perfect dancing partners but also soul mates. Watch this golden classic on YouTube.

Jhaanjhar Di Paanwan Chhankaar

This Zee Theatre teleplay is about a repressed blind young man who has a passion for the performing arts, music and dance but is over-protected by his mother. He finally leaves home to live with a neighbor who happens to be an aspiring actor and is preparing himself for an unconventional film role. The two begin to bond but then the mother returns in his life and he decides to assert himself to hold on to his personal and artistic freedom. Will he be able to dance with abandon and live the life of his choice? Watch 'Jhaanjhar Di Paanwan Chhankaar' which stars Sarmad Khoosat, Saniya Mumtaz, Zain Afzal and Iman Shahid. The teleplay is directed by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, and Kanwal Khoosat. You can watch it on Zee 5

Dance Like A Man

Award-winning playwright Mahesh Dattani sets this intergenerational drama in a family of Bharatanatyam dancers whose artistic ambitions and frustrations threaten to bring disharmony in their personal equations. The story depicts the dynamics between two fading dancers Jairaj and Ratna and their daughter Lata, who is on the cusp of a brilliant dancing career. The play's many themes including the conflicting notions about masculinity are interwoven with dance. The actors in fact went through extensive training to look convincing on stage. Filmed by Ritesh Menon, the Zee Theatre teleplays stars Lillete Dubey, Vijay Crishna, Suchitra Pillai and Joy Sengupta. Watch it on 28th April at Tata Play Theatre

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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