Film Screening: The Unseen Sequence

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 3:30pm
CFA Hall


“The camera revealingly shifts from close-up to long-shot . . . showing the rich multidirectionality of Bharata Natyam . . . and, above all, the singular way a great Indian dancer visibly subordinates the self to a sense of something far larger.”
—The New York Times

The Unseen Sequence
, directed by Sumantra Ghosal, celebrates Malavika Sarukkai’s distinctive intellectual and creative approach to dance. Followed by a post-screening conversation with Ms. Sarukkai, Mr. Ghosal, and Wesleyan University Assistant Professor of Dance Hari Krishnan. This searching and personal film premiered in January 2014 at the prestigious Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mr. Krishnan introduced the film as follows:

"Director Sumantra Ghosal and dance artist Malavika Sarukkai have made a visually stunning and deeply profound dance film. This is a unique (and timely) Indian classical dance film where process and deconstructing the body via personal historicity is front and center. This is very refreshing.”

“Malavika’s art constantly oscillates between time, space and energy. The Unseen Sequence remarkably showcases Malavika’s vision of Bharatanatyam in the ‘present tense’ (as she puts it) and not relegating the dance as museum artifact/relic. There is a beautiful urgency (especially in the second half of the film) of Malavika’s diverse inspirations and how she uses these to harness freshness to her craft, thus endearing her to international audiences as the global representative of Bharatanatyam today. This is spectacularly captured in The Unseen Sequence.”

“The film showcases Malavika’s trials and tribulations as an artist. It’s an uncanny, refreshingly honest portrayal of an artist not only digging deeply within herself but digging deeply into the crevices of Bharatanatyam dance to unearth a sophisticated, refined and complex newness - creating current validity of a classical dance form.”

The Unseen Sequence in a sense is a celebration and a window into the multidimensional world of Malavika Sarukkai accessing her not only as an artist but as a human being—her dreams, her struggles, her aspirations, her hopes—all encapsulated so exquisitely.”

Part of the 38th annual Navaratri Festival.