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DANCING KATHMANDU (60)

9:00, Saturday 30th June, Thaw

Director: Sangita Shresthová (Czech Republic)

Year: 2007

Run time: 40'

Location/Ethnic group: Nepal/ Various

Language: In English, Nepali and Czech with English subtitles

Production/Distribution: pending

Dancing Kathmandu

In Nepal, dancers are sometimes viewed with suspicion as they straddle the uncomfortable border between the sacred and the profane. On one hand, dance, as embodied sacred ritual still offers unique access to worship of Hindu and Buddhist deities. On the other hand, society often passes harsh judgment on spectacular dancing girls as women of "compromised character". In this film, Sangita, a dancer of Czech-Nepali origin, travels to Kathmandu to explore how practitioners in the Himalayan Kingdom negotiate Nepal's dance traditions and struggle for continuity in a period of rapid cultural change. In her attempts to map the current situation of dance in Kathmandu valley, she meets with her own teachers as well as younger dancers currently finding their way. Dancers of all genres speak about why they dance, why they persevere, and in some cases why they no longer perform in public. This film tells stories of nostalgia, passion and survival through dance in an age of globalization.