Tagore dance film trilogy: Shyama


Shyama, directed by Obhi Chatterjee, is the authentic film version of the classic, Bengali dance-drama created in 1939 by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as an artistic critique of repressive regimes, in reaction to the growing tensions of pre-Independence India and the rise of nationalism in Europe.

A court dancer, Shyama, falls in love with Bojroshen, a foreign merchant, who is falsely imprisoned and faces execution … unless Shyama accepts the offer of an admirer, Uttiyo, to take Bojroshen’s place. Shyama is a classic romantic tragedy, based on a Buddhist legend. It is regarded by Bengalis in the same way that Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is regarded by the English-speaking world.

Kaberi Chatterjee stars as Shyama, with the singing voice of Manini Mukhopadhyay Bagchi. TS Vasunni is Bojroshen, with the singing voice of Jayanta Chatterjee. K Jatindra (“Jiten”) Singh is Uttiyo, with the singing voice of Prasanta Kumar Ghosh, and Basanta Mukherjee is Kotal, the King’s guard, with the singing voice of Ashok Kumar Ganguly.

All the dancers, singers and musicians are leading performers from Santiniketan, India. The dance director is K Jatindra (“Jiten”) Singh. The music director is Ashok Kumar Ganguly.

Shyama is part of the Tagore dance film trilogy of authentic, widescreen film versions of Tagore’s dance-dramas, the others being Chandalika (1933) and Chitrangada (1936).

Shyama was shown at the 2009 Kolkata Film Festival and the 2010 Ourense Film Festival. The DVD includes Bengali, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish versions.

Running time: 90 minutes.

The DVD of Shyama is available from Amazon, as is the English translation. However please note that the DVD is shipped from the US, which can make it very expensive to get it delivered to some countries, particularly India and Bangladesh. Buying the HD download using the button in the Distrify window above may be more convenient.

A 3-minute excerpt from Shyama (‘Lovestruck’ on the Shyama soundtrack album):

The track ‘Lovestruck’ from the soundtrack album:

 Posted by at 11:13 am

  14 Responses to “Tagore dance film trilogy: Shyama”

  1. […] a dance-drama. This was the birth of our film versions of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance-dramas Shyama, Chandalika and […]

  2. Hello Kaberi
    I was wandering, if I can purchase any DVD for “Shayma”, not the audio only also the video that is uploaded in this link.
    Please let me know the process. price.
    I really appreciate your help.

    Thanks &

    • Dear Uzwal,

      Thank you so much for your interest in the DVD of Shyama and for pointing out that I had missed out this information. I have now added an extra paragraph about this, including the relevant link.

      The answer depends a lot on which country you would like to receive the DVD. Outside the US, I’m afraid the postage can sometimes be more expensive than the DVD itself!

      Kind regards,


  3. Very impressive work, indeed. Congratulations Kaberi di & Obhi da for creating this production. I will share with Tuna when she returns from Kolkata, I am sure she’ll like it, too. All the best and thanks Obhi da for sharing this link. Wonderful! Shobhon

  4. […] in different languages and are making the films available worldwide. You can already watch Shyama and Chandalika on my website. The première of our film version of Chitrangada will be on […]

  5. […] is the third and final film in our Tagore dance film trilogy. The world premiere of Shyama was organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in May 2009. The world premiere of […]

  6. […] widescreen film versions of Tagore’s dance-dramas, the others being Chandalika (1938) and Shyama (1939). Elements from Chitrangada were included in the promotional trailers and videos created for […]

  7. […] first feature-length film was Rabindranath Tagore’s dance-drama Shyama. In it, Tagore addresses a number of issues which are as topical today as they were in 1939, when […]

  8. […] return to Tagore’s Shyama, after Shyama hears why Bojroshen has been imprisoned, the Companions sing about the oppression of […]

  9. […] we decided to make a film version of Shyama, we were fortunate that Jitenda agreed to be the dance director, as well as performing the role of […]

  10. […] to warn the world about the dangers of nationalism over 100 years ago. His 1939 dance-drama Shyama , written in the context of growing tensions of pre-Independence India and the rise of nationalism […]

  11. […] Jatindra (Jiten-da) Singh, my dance guru, was our Dance director for Shyama, with Ashok Ganguli (Ashok-da) as our Music director. Jiten-da reprised his famous role as Uttiyo […]

  12. […] film versions of Rabindranath Tagore’s three dance-dramas (Chitrangada, Chandalika, & Shyama) are now available to rent or buy ‘on demand’ through Vimeo. The films are in the […]

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