by Sangita Shresthova
Director: Sangita Shresthova
Cinematographer: David Calek
Editing: Lucie Haladova
Sound: Marek Musil
Production: David Calek, Sangita Shresthova
Beta SP, Colour, 42 min,
OV Nepalese with English Subtitles
French Electronic Subtitles
Sangita, a dancer of Czech- Nepali origin, journeys to Kathmandu to explore how practitioners in the Himalayam Kingdom negotiate Nepal’s dance traditions in a period of rapid cultural change. In her attempts to map the current situation of dance in Kathmandu valley, she encounters her own teachers as well as younger dancers currently finding their way.
Dancing Kathmandu tells stories of nostalgia, passion and survival through dance and dancers in the age of globalisation. 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 “compromise characters”. In this documentary, Kathmandu-based dancers of all genres speak about why they dance, with they persevere, and in some cases why they no longer perform in public. Through their artistic practice, the dancers struggle for cultural continuity.