The Dance

Saba Dewan
English (subtitled), 84 min, 2008, India

The Sonpur cattle fair in rural Bihar comes alive every evening when more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience. A barbed wire fence separates the performers from the spectators.
Originally part of the nautanki, a popular folk theatre genre of north India, the dance of the female performer today has become a replay of Bombay films and music videos that span rural and metropolitan landscape. It is a performance charged with sexual energy. The girls dance, make eye contact, beckon, gesticulate and even abuse a highly responsive all male audience.
What meanings related to contemporary construction and practice of gender, sexuality, labour and popular culture can we read in the dance of the female performer?

Rahul Roy
Creative Crew
Rahul Roy
Anupama Chandra
Asheesh Pandya
Awards and Screenings:

Pusan International Film Festival, 2008
Madurai International Documentary Film Festival, 2008
IAWRT Women Film Festival, New Delhi, 2009
Nazariya Women’s Film Festival, Ahmedabad, 2009
14ª Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnográfico, Rio de Janeiro, 2009
Persistence Resistance Film Festival, New Delhi, 2010
Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2010 - to be screened
Beeld voor Beeld Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2010
Beeld voor Beeld Film Festival, Bagota, 2010
Engendered Film Festival, New York, 2010

Telecast on NDTV  in 2009