Film Screening on Alarmel Valli

Lasya Kavya: a film celebrating the contributions of danseuse Alarmel Valli

A Film by Sankalp Meshram
Followed by a discussion with the danceuse Alarmel Valli
Monday November 5, 2012
6:30 pm

Venue: Hosted by Women’s National Democratic Club
1526 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Limited space, Please Email your RSVP to

‘Lasya Kavya’, as the name implies, is dance that is creative, graceful and beautiful. It is dance as visual poetry. It is also the title of a film on celebrated dancer/choreographer Alarmel Valli, by director Sankalp Meshram, that takes a lyrical look at the intellectual, emotional and spiritual contexts within which she performs. Alarmel Valli’s dance has been described as being “uncompromisingly classical, but, at the same time, an undeniable language of self-expression…both a stylised idiom and an idiolect, blurring the boundaries between tradition and the individual talent, inheritance and invention.” The film examines this perception and also the idea that through dance, a dancer can be at once, poet, painter, actor and singer.

Perceptive camera work and skilful editing give the film a seamless quality. The dance sequences are interwoven with glimpses into Alarmel Valli’s childhood, including a unique sequence from her arangetram at the age of nine.

Sankalp Meshram says of the film, “Lasya Kavya”, is an invitation for all of us to come into the beautiful world of Alarmel Valli. It is a lyrical journey where I have tried to share my rapture with you. Join me in this journey, because, as Rumi says, ‘… If you do not dance, I cannot talk to you’…”

Alarmel Valli says, “When I dance I feel I am at once a poet, painter and singer. For dance is a language that I internalise to write my personal dance poetry. The songs and poems I interpret are the line drawings to which I add colours and tints, to bring the picture to life. And, when dance and music go hand in hand, following the ebb and flow of each other’s improvisation, I feel I sing with my body and that the music dances”.

Watch a preview clip here:

Dakshina is very grateful to the Women’s National Democratic Club for hosting this film screening.