Film Charts Oeuvre of Renowned Danseuse

‘Gaaya-Mudras of Soul’ was screened on Thursday at Kalabhavan Theatre. The 28-minute documentary highlights the achievements of Gayathri Subramaniam.

Published: 18th March 2016 03:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2016 03:38 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Be it Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu or Travancore in Kerala, both places have a rich tradition of arts, starting from Swathi Thirunal. Gayathri Subramaniam, a noted exponent of dance from Tanjavur, is one such artiste who has contributed in merging the richness of both the regions through her dance. Her achievements were highlighted in the 28-minute documentary titled ‘Gaaya-Mudras of Soul’ on Thursday at Kalabhavan Theatre in the city.

For the documentary director, K V Unnikrishnan, the idea to document the life and achievements of the dancer came after an interview with the lady. Says Unnikrishnan, “At that point of time, I was working for a newspaper at Qatar.  Listening to her life story and contributions to Keralanadanam inspired me to do a documentary on her.”

When asked why he chose to do a film on the artiste, he says, “ It is often when a noted artiste or a person reaches old age or passes away, that their skills are recognised and such works made. When she received a number of awards for her accomplishments, no one came forward to do a piece on the dancer. She has brought and added her own styles to the dance form of Keralanadanam.So I thought why not make a difference to this cycle?”

Starting from the court premises of Swathi Thirunal in Travancore, the documentary Takes you through a narration on the rich art and cultural heritage of Tanjore, a state in Tamil Nadu after which the film moves on to the professional career of Gayathri Subramaniam, who is gifted in a variety of dance forms apart from Bharatanatyam and Keralanadanam. The Apart from the dancer herself, the work also has interactions with many professional artistes including the first female Kathakali artiste Chavara Parukutti  Amma.

Taking pride in his first project in the visual media, K V Unnikrishnan says that ‘Gaaya’ is not just a chronicle of Gayathri Subramaniam’s achievements as a dancer. Winding up, he says, “I have also included the rich tradition of arts and culture in Tanjore which is slowly dying, for instance the Tanjore painting.”


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