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.
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.
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.