‘Vande Mātaram: A Dance Tribute‘ is an exploration of the beauty of Indian Classical dance forms performed by Indian girls from age nine to sixteen. Shot in ancient palaces of Rajasthan and thousand-year-old temples of Khajuraho in India, the film has a musical score praising the motherland with traditional Sanskrit lyrics of India’s national song, interpreted anew.
Conceptualised and Directed by Swapna Maini – artist and art educator, based in New Delhi, India, the film’s dancers include her students who are also training in Indian classical dance forms.
Swapna’s work with young children made her aware of their shifting preferences of art and performing art influenced by the westernization of India’s urban centres. As a classical dancer herself, Swapna was inspired to encourage her students, especially teenage girls, to understand and enjoy the beauty of their heritage. Thus she created this film as an art project with her students.
The film features four of India’s classical dances- Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi choreographed by Swapna along with her students.
The music for the film is an original rendition of Vande Mātaram (India’s National Song) sung by Sai Ganesh Nagpal – musician, artiste and founder of The Serene Swan Studio, a centre of musical and Vedic studies. His rendition is a meandering journey through the notes of Rag Des – bringing alive the traditional melody of this song through a lively ensemble of vocals and instrumentation. The ‘river-like’ flow of the music was especially composed and arranged to suit the intricate nature of Indian Classical Dance.