Dancing with the Inner Eye
Dancing with the Inner Eye
A captivating journey of five visually impaired men who inspired the formation of India’s first blind dance team.
A captivating journey of five visually impaired men who inspired the formation of India’s first blind dance team. Read more
About this project
I had the pleasure of watching Articulate Ability, an Indian classical dance troupe, at a stage performance in New Jersey back in 2004. The dancers’ grace, expressions, and technique took my breath away- before I even knew they were blind! At the end of the show, when it was announced that these supremely talented individuals were visually impaired and had trained for two decades to reach this level of perfection, my jaw dropped and I had tears in my eyes. As a trained Indian classical dancer myself, I was stunned that these performers had not only learned but mastered this highly complex art form without sight.
Curiosity piqued, I arranged to meet these dancers and found myself utterly captivated and inspired by their story. The cards were stacked against them, but with their courage and determination, they overcame all odds to become professional dancers! After spending the past few years studying film direction and gaining experience on film sets, I am finally ready to help this phenomenal group of dancers share their incredible journey with the world.
'DANCING WITH THE INNER EYE' is a documentary that will explore the trials and tribulations of the dancers that comprise Articulate Ability, India’s first visually impaired dance troupe. As the documentary filmmaker, I will be interacting with Articulate Ability through interviews, daily rehearsals, and stage performances. This is an inspirational story about an extraordinary group of individuals who have accomplished what many deem as impossible: mastering a visual art form without sight. Societies around the world tend to have preconceived notions and stigmas about physically challenged individuals and their capabilities. This documentary will inspire audience members, disability or not, to lead meaningful lives by having the courage to fulfill their dreams and overcome seemingly impossible challenges.
About the Dancers:
Their Motto: Do not see our disability, look at our ability!
They faced countless challenges: marginalization by society, discrimination from their own family and neighbors, and deprivation of social friendships and associations. Nonetheless, five blind boys set foot on an adventure to accomplish something that even people with sight dare not tread. These boys had a yearning to be SOMEBODY, and to be more than what society expected of them. During their time at a special school for the Blind, what started as a dabble turned into the experience of pure bliss of experiencing dance movement. This bliss became a passion and an intense desire to learn the classical dance form of Bharatnatyam.
At a time when no techniques existed to impart training in classical dance to the blind, these boys sought the guidance of a dance guru to teach them the complex art. Together, these boys and their Guru developed a methodology to learn and perfect the movements. By brushing aside discouragement and bearing disappointments with sheer perseverance, they accomplished their dreams. Their dreams now unfold across the world stage. Their faltering steps are now confident and measured. Their stumbling movements are now rhythmic and graceful. Their forlorn looks have turned into animated expressions as they play the roles of their characters.
These dancers who have challenged their fate have given over 1000 stage performances across cities and continents. They have performed in India, the United Kingdom, Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, and in the United States of America. This documentary will shed light on their courageous journey into the realm of dance. Throughout the documentary, the dancers will reveal how they have created powerful meaning in their own lives, while becoming productive and inspirational members of society.
Where the Money Goes :
I have already made one trip to Bangalore to shoot initial footage. I am now raising funds to shoot the remainder of the documentary.
The production expenses include the cost of photography, sound, lighting, crew, travel, and lodging. $15,000 is the minimal amount needed, but if we could raise $25,000, then these additional funds would allow us to make a higher-quality documentary, especially with regards to the post production expenses which include the cost of the edit, color correction, voice over, and original background score creation.
Upon receiving funding, my crew and I will follow the visually impaired dancers of 'Articulate Ability' on their nation-wide tour in the United States during the month of October 2013. My crew and I will then shoot additional footage and interviews in Bangalore during the month of December 2013. The post production process will begin in January 2014. The documentary will then be submitted to film festivals.
We would like to thank everybody for your support in getting this documentary made!
Risks and challenges
As with any documentary, a potential obstacle I might face is a possible delay or change to the dance group's performance schedule. My crew and I will be able to make accommodations as necessary in order to get the footage needed to complete the documentary.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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