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Rajputana, Jhalawar, Bundi & Katakali Dancers

A trip to the spectacular city of Bundi and a Kathakali dance performance, filmed in vivid colour by 'envoy of the Raj' Clarmont Skrine.

Amateur film 1940 11 mins

Overview

This amateur film was shot by Clarmont Skrine and features a trip he made with his wife to Bundi, Rajasthan. The footage captures numerous details of the city's spectacular architecture including the Taragarh Fort and Bundi Palace which Kipling described as "such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams - the work of goblins rather than of men". The film also comprises a sequence featuring a Kathakali performance - the traditional dance from Kerala, and presumably filmed in South India.

Skrine was known in India as 'Skrino' and 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.