Sandip Roy

Opinion
4:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

From A Calcutta Prison To The Classical Stage

Nigel Akkara plays Ratnakar the Bandit in the dance drama Valmiki Pratibha.
Courtesy of Nigel Akkara

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 6:31 am

A new Indian feature film was inspired by a group of prisoners who formed a well-known classical dance company. Commentator Sandip Roy has the true story of a famous Indian dancer and the convicts she befriended.

Alokananda Roy walked into Calcutta's Presidency Jail on International Women's Day, 2007. The Indian classical dancer had been invited to watch female inmates perform, but it was the men who caught her eye.

"They shook me," she says. "Their body language — it was as though they had no future, nothing to look forward to."

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