With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, May 02, 2011

ACF 1000: Documentary short on Nrityagram Dance Ensemble by Nan Melville to screen at Newport Beach Film Fest

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble in India by Nan Melville

Nan Melville’s Documentary Film
Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance
selected to show at the Newport Beach Film Festival

Dance photojournalist Nan Melville, a freelance photographer for several arts institutions including The Julliard School, Carnegie Hall, and The New York Times, specializes in photographing and filming the performing arts, primarily dance. Her short documentary film Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance will be screened at the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival on at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3, 2011, in Newport Beach, California. Watch the trailer here. (ACF note: I strongly urge you to check out the trailer. I did and was very impressed, both with the film itself and with the story of the dance company. I hope that the film does well for all concerned.)

Melville first met the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble in 1996, when she was assigned by The New York Times to photograph their U.S. debut performance in New York. After visiting the Nrityagram dance village (www.nrityagram.org) in Bangalore, India, at the invitation of the late Protima Bedi, she began working on her documentary. She subsequently returned to India to film life in the dance village, and research archival materials. “I’ve become a great friend of the members of Nrityagram, photographing many of their New York performances,” says Melville. “I’ve even put up dancers on my sofa when hotels were overflowed.”

Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance debuted in January 2010 as an official selection of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association, Dance on Camera Festival in New York City. The New York Times’ chief dance critic Alistair Macaulay said, “Many intelligent points are made, and much of the dance footage, not least during the closing credits, is spellbinding. I wanted the film to be twice as long.”

“Alastair echoes my intent to expand the film into a feature length documentary,” says Melville. My mission is to capture the story of the dance village and the dancers and how they promote and develop the Odissi dance form for posterity.”

To learn more about the Nrityagram documentary project – and ways to contribute to Nrityagram’s continued success – visit www.nanmelville.com/nrityagram.

About Nan Melville: Nan Melville is an accomplished photographer and videographer. She has been based in New York City since she left South Africa in 1986. There are very few internationally-known dance photographers, and Nan is one of them. Her clients include such illustrious institutions as The New York Times, The Julliard School, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. She has won various photographic awards, including 1st Prize in the Flying Springbok International Travel Photographic Competition (Nikon, Nissan, and SA Airways).

Nan has been assigned to photograph international figures and performers, and she often travels abroad on photo assignments. Her photographs are syndicated worldwide and have appeared in many overseas publications, including books, magazines, and newspapers. As more of her clients began requesting video work, Nan expanded her expertise into videography. She is much in demand to film performances as she has the ability to capture an event in both still and video. Her video experience led to an interest in documentary filmmaking. Before making Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance, she collaborated on filming a documentary on the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company. For more information about Nan or to see examples of her work, log on to www.nanmelville.com.

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