Noted Manipuri Dancer – Savita Ben Mehta’s ‘Home Movies’ Enters NFAI Collection

Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired a substantial collection of home movies belonging to the well-known Manipuri dancer Savita Ben Mehta.

The NFAI has acquired the celebrated artist’s personal collection of Kodachrome and Kodachrome II ‘home movies’ for preservation, as these footages can emerge as important social documentation. These collections are in 8mm and super 8mm film formats, which were used to shoot films recorded without any professional equipment or expertise – termed as ‘home movies.’

                                Photo Credit : PIB

According to PIB report, Kodachrome & Kodachrome II were introduced in 1935 and 1961 respectively, specifically meant for amateur use, with the latter being superior to ‘regular Kodachrome’.

Mehta is a peerless exponent who popularized the Manipuri form of dancing globally. She attained the highest qualifications and honors in Manipuri dancing. Interestingly, she was born in Gujarat, and pursued her education in the Arya Kanya Vidyalaya of Baroda.

She also made a remarkable contribution in the field of ballet as the Director & Choreographer.

Manipuri dance is counted among major classical dance forms of India, especially noted for themes based on Vaishnavism and spectacular execution of ‘Ras Lila’, dance dramas based on love between Radha and Krishna. It is characterized through graceful costumes, expressive and delicate postures.

“I am happy to receive such a significant collection of 8mm films, which itself is a rare addition to NFAI. It is widely understood that 8mm & super 8mm movies were prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. This collection might have footage of her dance performances along with footage shot in North-East India. We would be digitizing these soon. I am thankful to the family of industrialist Mr. Jay Mehta, who is nephew of Savita Ben Mehta.” –  informed the Director of NFAI, Prakash Magdum.

“Mehta was proficient in many languages and the footages have her handwriting in the Meitei (of Manipur) language.” – further added the NFAI Director.

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