Memorable Dance Sequence: Sridevi’s Tandava in Chandni

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Continuing with our new series, this week we take a look at a memorable dance sequence and why we consider it one of the best.

Our focus this week turns to one of the best dance sequences ever on film. It is Sridevi’s Tandava in Chandni.

Fading from a shot of a camera on a table, the scene begins with the camera angle focused on Sridevi’s feet and all you hear as she takes a few steps is the ching of her payal. Then the dance begins with the camera angle changing to a full shot and you see Sridevi dressed in a gorgeous white costume in a field. The choreography is a classical tandava and the dance is full of poses, jumps, and has many different tempos and moods. The music is all percussion and her movements accent each beat. The dance continues for over two minutes and then ends with a shot of her incredibly beautiful face.

For two minutes and thirty seven seconds you are treated to the simplicity and the power of classical dance. Sridevi has amazing skill and talent and it is showcased in this number. Throughout the piece she has joy and passion in every movement. It seems she is making the music instead of the music accompanying her steps. She looks stunning in the white costume and the trailing scarf makes some of the poses and jumps even more beautiful. The close-ups of her are wonderful, the slow motion shots of her jumping enhance and then the shots in the field and at the lake of her dancing are gorgeous. With only her, you would think it would be perhaps seem a bit simple, but Sridevi’s movements and the music are so powerful you sit stunned watching it. There is only one word for this dance and it is Brava!


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