Nan Melville Photography & Video

Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance

To learn more about the documentary project – and ways you can contribute to Nrityagram’s continued success – please visit

Nrityagram Classical Indian Dance Ensemble, Joyce Theater, New York, 20

Nan first met the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble when they were far from their home base near Bangalore in India. She was assigned by the New York Times to photograph their debut performance In New York in 1996.

She was so enchanted by the dancers, and the concept of Nrityagram – a village devoted to dance -, that she jumped at Protima Bedi’s invitation to visit the school in India. She subsequently decided to make a documentary film “Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance”, about the Nrityagram Dance Village and Ensemble ( She has become a great friend of the members of Nrityagram, photographing many of their New York performances, and putting up dancers on her sofa when hotels overflowed. She has traveled to India twice – at her own expense –to film life in the dance village, and research archival materials.

Her mission is to capture for posterity the story of the dance village and the dancers, and how they promote and develop the Odissi dance form. A 30 minute promo version of the documentary will be screened on January 25, 2010 as part of the Dance Films Association/Dance on Camera 2010 Festival in New York City.

Nan is passionate about this project and has personally invested over $10,000 to produce the promo film. She is immensely grateful to the sponsors who have provided funding, and is hopeful that with further monetary support she will be able to expand the promo into a full length documentary. Dance institutions in India are still very reliant on individuals for financial and cultural support. The documentary would be used to promote awareness of Nrityagram, and as a tool to assist Executive Director Lynne Fernandez with fundraising for the school.

The Odissi dance form is now in a phase of expansion to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Nrityagram stands poised at the cutting edge of this growth and is prepared to become a significant player in the development that lies ahead. It is Nan’s hope that the Nrityagram Dance Village and Ensemble will have the support needed to endure for a very long time.


Jan 2010:  Official film selection at Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association, Dance on Camera Festival in New York City.
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about reaction and notices.

June 2010: re:PLAY DOKUMENTARI KUMHEI International Documentary Film Festival, Manipur, North East India.