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A labour of love



PERIOD FILM: `Shringaram'

Despite an overdose of sleaze on celluloid of late, a few extravagantly made period films with pleasing music such as "Lagaan", "Devdas" and "Parineeta, have managed to create a stir at the box-office. Sharada Ramanathan's "Shringaram - Dance of Love" could be bracketed in the same category as it is about a devadasi of the 19th Century. But the only difference is that this is a low-budget film. "And that's a big difference. Shringaram is the labour of love of a few minds that like to listen to their hearts even if it does not make economic sense," said Sharada about her debut directorial venture. And continued, "I would simply call it a feature film because it neither has the tedious pace of an art film nor the predictability of commercial cinema. Madhu Ambat is the cameraman"

This past Wednesday, the high-profile crew and cast announced the film's completion at a function at the Chola Sheraton. On the occasion, dance guru K. J. Sarasa, the first woman nattuvanar, was honoured by actor Jyotika. This was followed by a dance presentation by Chitra Visveswaran.

Sharada toured Thanjavur district while working on the film's story. "The focus is on the devadasi's life, relationships and emotions. But the most heartening aspect of directing this film was the support I got from veterans in the field."Music has been composed by violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman.

In his words: "When I was offered this film, I was a little apprehensive initially. But the well-researched storyline and script inspired me to do the music."

Saroj Khan has choreographed the steps for Carnatic tunes. Art direction is by Thota Tharani and costumes have been designed by Rukmini Krishnan. Sowmya, Bombay Jayasri, O. S. Arun and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi have rendered the songs. Bharatnatyam dancer-turned-actress, Aditi Rao Hydari from Delhi plays the central role. CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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