Short Film Profile

Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance

"I dream of building a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists, except dance. A place where you breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine - dance. A place called Nrityagram." The dreamer? The extraordinary Protima Gauri Bedi (1948 - 1998).

Protima’s life changed radically when she saw the guru Kelucharan Mahapatra performing Odissi Dance. This high flying, daring Bombay socialite decided on the spot to study dance with him, and gave up everything to become an Odissi Dancer. After years of rigorous study she became a celebrated dancer. However, she did not rest on her laurels. When she realized that the Classical Indian Dance tradition would die out once the last of the gurus went, she devised a groundbreaking plan to build an institution for the teaching of Classical Indian dance by gurus. Once again her life changed course as she undertook the creation of the Nrityagram Dance School near Bangalore. Her passion, her vision and the breadth of her achievements are shown through anecdotes related by old friends. Donated photographs and footage of Protima’s days as a dancer, and of the construction of Nrityagram, give a glimpse into the past.

Film notes

While Protima’s story is inspirational, the film largely focuses on her legacy; the renowned Nrityagram Dance Village and Ensemble. It showcases the continuance of the company after her tragic death in a mudslide while on a pilgrimage, and how the self-motivated, holistic lifestyle she implemented is still practiced.
The daily functioning and the success of the dance village are related through a mix of:
1. Interviews with the dancers, and friends of Protima and the company.
2. Dance lessons and rehearsals in the village.
3. Performances of the dance ensemble filmed in the United States.
4. The integration of the ‘set’ of the dance village – buildings, flowers, fruit, trees, fabrics, vegetables, etc
indian classical protima bedi



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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 27 Dec 2011