Dancing Kathmandu

Sangita, a dancer of Czech-Nepali origin, journeys to Kathmandu to explore how practitioners in the Himalayan 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 globalization.

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 documentary, Kathmandu-based dancers of all genres speak about why they dance, why they persevere, and in some cases why they no longer perform in public. Through their artistic practice, the dancers struggle for cultural continuity.

official selection

Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (Nepal)

Himalayan Film Festival / Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Festival International du Film Asiatique de Vesoul (France)

Jeden Svet / One World (Czech Republic)

Tasveer's Aina Film Festival (Seattle, WA)

10th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film (Manchester, United Kingdom)

New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest (New Brunswick, New Jersey)

Winnipeg International Film Festival (Canada)

Globians Film Festival (Germany)

ADF Dancing for the Camera: International Festival of Film and Video Dance (USA)

EBS International Documentary Festival (Korea)

Top Kino (Austria)

South Asian International Film Festival (New York, New York)

MOFFOM (Czech Republic)

International Music and Ethnic Film Festival at National Music Museum (Czech Republic)

"Shall We Dance? The wonderful world of dance ...in documentary films" Festival (Germany)

Liverpool Hope University Cultures in Transit Conference

Colors of Ostrava Festival (Czech Republic)

United Islands of Prague Festival (Czech Republic)

Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (Taiwan)

sangita dancing
bar dance
kathmandu performance

see reviews here

Director: Sangita Shresthová

Director of Photography: David Čálek

Editor: Lucie Haladová

Sound Mix: Marek Musil

Producers: David Čálek / Sangita Shresthová

Country: Czech Republic / Nepal

Duration: 41 minutes

Year: (c) 2007