Bharatanatyam - one of India’s most profound classical arts - is being reinterpreted, renewed and invigorated through the work of an artist rooted in tradition but with a uniquely contemporary sensibility - Malavika Sarukkai.
The film is not simply about Malavika Sarukkai; it deliberates the valuable connections and departures that the artist makes from a hallowed and, often, unforgiving tradition.
Today, even as she impresses her footprint on the world stage as a celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer, Malavika finds herself making increasingly personal and difficult choices about how she wishes to lead that life.
The questions she asks are essential and they have no easy answers in the re-iterations of craft.
It is this co-existence of consummate expression with a deeper, spiritual questioning that makes her dance so exciting.
16:9 | Stereo | 98 minutes | Blu-ray & DVD | 2013
Celebrating 40 years of public performance | Chidambaram temple | 2012
THE UNSEEN SEQUENCE HAS ALREADY SHOWN IN
MUMBAI | CHENNAI | DELHI | BENGALURU | HYDERABAD | CHANDIGARH | DEHRADUN | NEW YORK | PHILADELPHIA | PALM BEACH | ZURICH | CONNECTICUT | WASHINGTON | ATLANTA | LOS ANGELES | TORONTO
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.
Hari Krishnan Assistant Professor of Dance at Wesleyan University
Q&A after the screening at the Wesleyan University 2014 Sheth Lecture in Indian Studies
The Unseen Sequence has got terrific Press coverage ever since it started screening. Many papers have covered it repeatedly.
But, perhaps, the most unusual "review" was posted in the form of a poem by Karthikeyan after the Chennai screening. Click here to check it out!
For Institutional screenings (PPR | DSL rights) contact
The camera revealingly shifts from close-up to long-shot, from angle to angle, showing the rich multidirectionality of Bharatanatyam, the interplay between strict geometric form and speaking gesture, and, above all, the singular way a great Indian dancer visibly subordinates the self to a sense of something far larger.
"Faced with Ghosal's searching questions, his great desire to know and understand her art as fully as he can, Sarukkai'sanswers acquire an immediacy that catches and holds our attention."
Shanta Gokhale Mumbai Mirror
"At a time when artistes like Malavika are making an effort to preserve living classical traditions, retain their essence in the face of rapid commercialisation and make them engaging rather than allowing them to be a mere spectacle, Ghosal thinks what The Unseen Sequence could do is excite the uninitiated, make the form accessible and demystify the art."
Chitra Swaminathan The Hindu
"The Unseen Sequence is about an artist who didn’t give up her dream, who found her freedom in dance. It’s about an artist who did all her exploration in dance, and whose life itself is dance.
And Sumantra Ghosal perfectly captured the journey of this great dancer in the structure of cinema to make it a must watch for every art lover."