Short Film Profile

Padam Vazhi

An untouchable man, Nandanar, longs to see Lord Shiva. As his birth does not allow him into the Hindu temple, he begs Shiva to move the huge stone Bull in front of the idol a foot, so that he may get a glimpse of Him from the entrance.

Film notes

The classical Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam, is a form of spiritual expression traditionally presented facing the audience. To fully explore this form, performer Ranee Ramaswamy and directors Robert and Caitlin Hammel wanted to get close and intimate, and yet not lose sight of the classical, full body, movement. In so doing, they hoped to fully reveal the passion and form of the dance. By shooting the dance from multiple viewpoints and using a triptych graphic design – the center panel showing close up, superimposed views, and the side panels showing a full body shot – this goal was elegantly achieved. The frame for the piece is a stylized temple arch, decorated with the words of the song, transcribed in the original Tamil by Ms. Ramaswamy.

Bhatanatyam is an expressive dance form: the arch of an eyebrow, the flair of a nostril are all designed movements, calculated to express the emotion of the dancer. Too often these subtle movements are missed in a performance. In this film all that detail is captured.
dance art india


Copyright © 2009 Hammel/Ramaswamy LLP

Previous screenings

15 Oct – 15 Nov | Istanbul, Turkey
21 Apr – 25 Apr | Liverpool, United Kingdom

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 4 May 2010