Friday, 24 October 2014

Sonya Fateh’s documentary 'I, Dance' - Dr. Sunil Kothari

On 17th October 2014, I saw ‘Dance like a Man’ play by Mahesh Dattani at Meadowvale Theatre at Mississauga. I visited Mississauga specially to catch up with Lata Pada and her latest activities at her institute Sampradaya Dance Creations. It was also planned to screen Sonya Fateh’s documentary ‘I, Dance’ dwelling upon the present state of dance in Pakistan.
I had assisted Sonya some four years ago when she was working on the film. She had introduced herself on the phone as a film maker from Pakistan and as a daughter-in-law of Geetha Rao, younger sister of Lata Pada. The film deals with dance in Pakistan centring round Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer Sheema Kermani who is an activist and runs a theatre group in Karachi. She has studied Bharatanatyam under Leela Samson and Odissi under Guru Mayadhar Raut and Aloka Panicker.

The film made with a grant from India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, Goethe Institute and other funding agencies, was after completion, screened at Habitat in New Delhi two years ago. I had missed it and had also lost touch with Sonya and her husband Rajiv who is a co-producer of the film. During the 3rd International convention of Spic Macay in June at Chennai, I met Sheema Kermani and came to know about the film and its screening in Karachi. When I visited Bangalore, Geetha Rao informed me that her son Rajiv and Sonya had moved to Toronto. Since I was to visit Toronto, I planned to meet them and see the film which was already screened for India Foundation for the Arts in Bangalore.

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