Film on Mohiniyattam to premiere in Hollywood


7 Apr 2011
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A 78-minute documentary feature film encapsulating the craft and lives of mother-daughter Mohiniyattam exponents, Bharati Shivaji and daughter Vijayalakshmi, will be premiered in Hollywood next week.The movie 'Beyond Grace', directed by American filmmakers Sara Baur and Urs Baur, will be screened at Raleigh Theatre in Hollywood in Los Angeles June 9, a statement issued by the dancers said Friday.

The music for the movie has been composed by celebrated composer Mac Quayle, who has worked with stars like Madonna, Sting, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Elvis Presley.

Travelling to the depths of southern India, the film follows the mother and daughter as they revisit the places, people and traditions that have helped them enrich Mohiniyattam - the once dormant classical dance form of Kerala.

An intimate portrait of two women whose determination and pursuit have helped make the genre popular in northern India and across the globe, the film spans four generations of women - Bharati Shivaji, her mother and Carnatic music veteran K. Sankari, daughter and disciple Vijayalakshmi and grand-daughter Nayantara.

Shot entirely on locations in Kerala, Chennai, New Delhi and US, the film captures the lives of Bharati and Vijayalakshmi beyond the curtains.

"Art is a way of life for the women in our family. That is what inspired the directors to make a film on us," Vijayalakshmi said.

Bharati, who was inspired by her mother to become an danseuse, in turn inspired her daughter Vijayalakshmi embrace the same way of life.

The film follows the artistic duo into Kalamandalam in Kerala where they interact with master students.

"As a film maker, I was interested in delving deeper into the nature of the dance by looking into the dynamic characters that create the dance," Sara Baur, the director of the film, said.

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