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Film ID  ACE439
Article  A
Title  Thousand Borrowed Eyes
Series  Black Arts Video Project
Part 
Date  1994
Director  Shakila Maan
Production Company 
Synopsis  Kathak exponent, Nahid Siddiqui (b. Pakistan,1949) offers her personal analysis of the origins of this dance form.
Minutes  15 min
Choreographer  Nahid Siddiqui
Full synopsis  ACE439.2 (00:00:00 - 00:15:20)
Nahid Siddiqui dancing outdoors. Her VO saying that kathak embodies both Hindu and Muslim culture and is one of the most intense forms of expression. Siddiqui preparing for performance. Her VO talking about her own Islamic background and wanting to explore the Islamic side of kathak. Siddiqui dancing to sung accompaniment. Siddiqui rehearsing with tabla (drum) accompaniment. Her VO quotes “Come, whoever you are, whatever you are, whether you’re a fire worshipper…” She says that she would like her work to have the same individuality and lack of boundaries as that achieved by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the founder of the Whirling Dervishes. She says that Sufis “took risks by not being religious”. Muslim women are supposed to stay at home; dance is not considered a serious art form. Siddiqui was made to feel guilty about wanting to be a dancer. Siddiqui removing her ankle bells (gungru). Her VO saying that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with boundaries whether from culture or religion, doesn’t want to be rigid about anything, doesn’t approve of fundamentalism, and consequently has to take risks. Dancing to tabla accompaniment. Siddiqui’s VO talking about the sensuality of kathak, and the moods and imagery involved; hands tell the story through the mudras. Siddiqui says she does not dance to expose her body; harmonising with nature is performing kathak. Siddiqui dancing to tabla accompaniment. Siddiqui dancing outdoors. Her VO saying that dancing is part of her and she will go on doing it. Credits.

Full credits  Dancer & Choreographer Nahid Siddiqui; Tabla Sarwar Sabri; Camera/Lighting Paul Jones; Camera Assistant Dilesh Korya; Sound Alistair Waterson; Studio Technician Sarah Whelan; Stills Poulomi Desai; Production Assistants Shruti Tanna, Sharazad Dos; Runner Mujassam Choudhary Maan; Editor Julie Lambden; Assistant Producer Isham Rais; Additional Music Nasser Rastegar-Nejad, Music of Iran, Santur Recital, Vol.2, LLST 7165, with the kind permission of Lyrichord Records, New York; Song of the Turkish Dervishes, Sufi Music: The Zikr Ceremony, CD ARN 64061, with the kind authorisation of Arion Records, Paris. Many Thanks to Ian Magowan at Filmatic, Sadya Maan, John Wallis, Robert Belton, Ronald Gower, James Van Der Pool, Ann Sufi, Yasmin Sufi, Smita Bhide. Produced with financial assistance from the Arts Council of England. Filmed on location in Elstree, West Midlands, and London. Produced & Directed by Shakila Maan. Copyright Shakila Maan.
Watch segments  ACE439.2 (00:00:00 - 00:15:20)
Watch movie 

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