Kalpana (1948 film)

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Kalpana 1948.jpg
Directed byUday Shankar
Produced byUday Shankar
Written byUday Shankar
StarringUday Shankar
Amala Shankar
Music byVishnudas Shirali
CinematographyK. Ramnoth
Edited byN. K. Gopal [1]
Uday Shankar Production
Running time
160 min

Kalpana (English title: Imagination) is a 1948 Hindi film featuring a dance-drama, written and directed by noted dancer, Uday Shankar. It is his only film. The story revolves around a young dancer's dream of setting up a dance academy, a reflection of Shankar's own academy, which he founded at Almora.[2] It starred Uday Shankar and his wife Amala Shankar as leads and 16-year-old actress Padmini, making her screen debut.[3][4] It also marks Usha Kiran's debut film too.

Kalpana was the first film to present an Indian classical dancer in the leading role, and was entirely shot as a dance ballet and a fantasy.[5][6]

It was shown at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI-Goa) (2008), as a part of the section "Treasures from NFAI" (National Film Archive of India), with other "rare gems" from the archives.[7]



A still featuring Uday and Amala Shankar

Kalpana was shot at Gemini Studios over five years and inspired the 1948 Tamil film, Chandralekha by S. S. Vasan, which was shot at the same studio and featured the song with dancers over a large drum sequence; it was a major success, unlike Kalpana, which did not do well at the box office.[8][9]


In 2009, the film process of digital restoration was taken up by NFAI in collaboration with France-based Thomson Foundation.[10] In 2010, it was being restored by the World Cinema Foundation (director Martin Scorsese is a founding member).[11][12]


  1. ^ Kalpana at the British Film Institute's Film and TV Database
  2. ^ Synopsis, British Film Institute.
  3. ^ "Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu. 29 September 2006.
  4. ^ Subhash K Jha (24 September 2004). "What happened to the classical heritage in our films?". Sify.com Movies.
  5. ^ "Films featuring dance". Screen. 8 April 2005.
  6. ^ "East/west musicals: Play That Back". Outlook. 26 June 2006.
  7. ^ "NFAI brings its treasures to IFFI-Goa". Ministry of Information and Broadcasting PIB. 25 November 2008.
  8. ^ In Search of Uday Shankar's Kalpana (1948)
  9. ^ Armes, Roy (1987). Third World film making and the West. University of California Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-520-05690-6.
  10. ^ "French embassy donates 230 films to NFAI". The Times of India. 3 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Uday Shankar dance ballet, Kalpana to be on celluloid". Indiatimes Movies. 3 February 2010.
  12. ^ Subhash K Jha (4 February 2010). "Martin Scorsese to reviving Kalpana". The Times of India.

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