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Dancers at Trivandrum Gopinath

Kathakali performance featuring the great Indian dancer Guru Gopinath, filmed in remarkable colour by ‘envoy of the Raj’ Clarmont Skrine

Amateur film 1946 7 mins Silent


This Kathakali dance performance by the palace troupe at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) features the great Indian dancer Guru Gopinath (1908-87). It was filmed by Clarmont Skrine - known in India as ‘Skrino’ – who had a long career as an ‘envoy of the Raj’. During his time as a Resident in South India a friend wrote: “He was so unlike the stereotyped ICS [Indian Civil Service] dignitaries (the Heaven-born), he was so human and approachable.” The BFI National Archive holds 25 amateur films made by Skrine between 1934 and 1961.