Tagore dance film trilogy: Chitrangada


Chitrangada, directed by Obhi Chatterjee, is the authentic film version of the 1936 dance-drama created by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as part of his campaign for women’s emancipation.

The charity gala premiere of Chitrangada took place on Sunday, 23 September 2012 in Brussels. It included a live, multilingual performance of The Story of Gitanjali to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tagore completing the proof of the English Gitanjali in September 1912. The event was supported by the Embassy of India, Brussels and was in aid of Santiniketan Sishutirtha.

Comments about the film at the Brussels premiere included “extraordinary”, “amazing”, “beautiful”, “felt like I was watching a live, stage performance”, … . Here is the scene in which Chitrangada first meets Arjun.


Princess Chitrangada, who has been brought up as a man to inherit the throne of Manipur, falls in love with Arjun, the warrior prince. Believing that Arjun would not fall in love with her unless she were more beautiful, Chitrangada asks Modon, the God of Love, to transform her into an attractive woman.

Meanwhile, Arjun hears that the people of Manipur are looking for their beloved warrior princess to protect them as the kingdom is under attack.

Principal cast

Kaberi Chatterjee stars as Princess Chitrangada, with the singing voice of Manini Mukhopadhyay. Sourav Chatterjee is Arjun, with the singing voice of Jahar Kumar Dutta, and Nibedita Sen is Modon, with the singing voice of Ritwik Bagchi. All the dancers, singers and musicians are leading performers from Santiniketan, India.

Dance and music directors

The dance director and production designer is Shubhra Tagore. The music director is Bulbul Basu.

Other information

Chitrangada completes the Tagore dance film trilogy of authentic, widescreen film versions of Tagore’s dance-dramas, the others being Chandalika (1938) and Shyama (1939). Elements from Chitrangada are included in the promotional trailers and videos created by Associate Producer Enrique Nicanor for UNESCO’s Tagore, Neruda & Césaire programme, which was launched at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on 13 September 2011.

 Posted by at 12:15 pm

  10 Responses to “Tagore dance film trilogy: Chitrangada”

  1. […] to combine the three dimensions of songs, drama and dance in his dance-dramas, Chandalika (1933), Chitrangada (1936) and Shyama (1939). Share this:FacebookStumbleUponDiggRedditEmailPrint Posted by kaberi […]

  2. […] years after starting to prepare filming Shyama, we are now close to completing Chitrangada, the third and final feature film in our trilogy of authentic versions of Tagore’s […]

  3. […] You can already watch Shyama and Chandalika on my website. The première of our film version of Chitrangada will be on Sunday, 23rd September. I’ll be able to tell you more about that […]

  4. […] of all, let me introduce this 36-second introductory trailer for our film version of Chitrangada, which was designed by our friend Enrique Nicanor and Obhi. As you’ll see, the trailer […]

  5. […] is the latest version of the poster for the charity gala premiere of Chitrangada in Brussels on Sunday, 23 September. It was designed by Obhi with advice from Debangana Banerjee, […]

  6. […] was the percussionist for our film version of Chitrangada. Asit has his own sweet and very gentle style. His playing doesn’t overpower the singers. He […]

  7. […] Chitrangada (90 minutes) – Our authentic, colourful, feature film version of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s classic, 1936 dance-drama with an ensemble cast featuring leading dancers, singers and musicians from Tagore’s home town of Santiniketan, India. Perhaps best described as a cross between opera and ballet, Chitrangada was part of Tagore’s campaign to encourage women to have be given a greater role in society. It was based on his earlier play Chitra, which Tagore had directed and designed for a production at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London in 1920. […]

  8. With the english subtitles I watched the movie several times. I was mesmerised especially the singers. Thank you

    • Many thanks for your interest and for your comment! Have you also watched our film versions of Tagore’s other two dance-dramas: Chandalika and Shyama?

  9. […] Tagore (Shubhra-di) was our Dance director for Chitrangada and Chandalika , while Bulbul Bose (Bulbul-di) was our Music director. We were rehearsing, filming […]

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