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Manifest International Dance-Film Festival comes to Puducherry

The three-day pageant Manifest International Dance-Film Festival, to be held in Puducherry, explores the bond between the 2 artwork varieties

In the previous two years we realised the potential of dance movies greater than ever. In the absence of a stage to carry out, artistes started to discover this medium to attain out to the viewers. In the method, a lot of them noticed the dance-film collaboration as an thrilling possibility to inform a narrative or share artistic concepts. Though as an impartial style it’s nonetheless area of interest and new, it’s step by step discovering an concerned viewers.

In this context, Manifest, a devoted dance movie pageant, holds a lot significance. To be held from July 29 to 31 in Puducherry, it is going to bask in cinematic exploration of motion and choreography. Organised by AuroApaar together with Narthaki (venue associate is Alliance Francaise), it is going to embody documentaries on dance, mainstream musicals, music movies, and fiction or experimental dance movies.

From Pilgrimage.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What it doesn’t embody is recordings of dance performances. “There is now a large audience for documentary films while there has always been a huge following for commercial cinema. But there is a third space, which is film as art work, and we felt not much is happening in here and wanted to focus on it,” says dancer Ashavari Majumdar, co-founder of AuroApaar and director of the pageant. Talking about how the pageant intentionally stays away from the documentary style, Ashavari says, “we are looking at independent artistes experimenting with dance and film to come up with a new form, and not documentation.”

Collaborative platform

From Gravida.

From Gravida.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Films from greater than 20 international locations, with a devoted part on Asian/Indian varieties, might be screened. The pageant will provide a platform that brings collectively artistes, academicians and trade professionals. Ashavari and Abhyuday Khaitan, who’s the co-founder of AuroApaar and programme head of the pageant, noticed that it was solely throughout the pandemic that an enormous variety of dance movies had been made all over the world. “We realised there are lack of platforms to exhibit and view them. That’s when we thought of having such a festival. We also realised that there are no annual international dance film festivals in India. There have been only sporadic events; a few happened during the pandemic, but they were closed events and did not have open calls for submissions,” says Ashavari.

From Out of time.

From Out of time.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Along with the pageant, they’re additionally organising an incubator of Indian dance movie tasks, the place school like dancer-choreographer and founding father of Narthaki, Anita Ratnam, might be mentoring members in dance filmmaking. “Our idea of the incubator stems from our passion for Indian form. We are going to discuss what is an Indian film or an Indian dance? We are specifically looking at traditional practices and how they are going to be interacting with physical media.”

The three-week ‘Manifest incubator’ will information members by means of the inception/concept stage to the ultimate consequence of a brief dance movie in 5 levels. They might be mentored in storyboarding, finalising places, length and tech necessities. And they may also be assisted all through — be it dramaturgical and technical inputs, or logistical assistance on location and extra until the ultimate movies are made and screened.

New potentialities

Pandemic has opened up new potentialities, says Anita Ratnam. “It has made us realise interesting short films can be made with a hand-held phone, ipad or any small device. It could be even a 30-second reel. Now, what a dancer cannot do on stage can be captured, you need to only have a continuous movement. The editing has to create a complete end result. It can collapse time and space, and you can go from one location to another in just an edit. Pandemic has really spotlighted these facilities.”

“These films can be potent, quirky and provocative, and can tackle social issues and climate change,” says Anita. She hopes dancers would step out of their cocoons and collaborate with filmmakers. “They can discover their own personalities, the other side of it, and appreciate that this is also an art. In the next three years, I want to see more enthusiastic participation and representation from the Indian sector.”

The author is a theatre practitioner.

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