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Telugu నర్తనశాల
Directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao
Produced by Lakshmi Rajyam
Sridhar Rao
Written by Samudrala Raghavacharya (dialogues & lyrics)
Sri Sri (lyrics)
Screenplay by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao
Story by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao
Starring S. V. Ranga Rao
N. T. Rama Rao
Music by Susarla Dakshinamurthi
Cinematography M. A. Rehman
Edited by S. P. S. Veerappa
Vauhini Studios
Bharani A. L. S. Studios
Distributed by Rajyam Pictures
Release date
11 October 1963
Running time
175 minutes
Language Telugu

Nartanasala (English: The Dance Hall), was a 1963 Telugu epic dance film based on the Virata Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The film was written and directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao, starring S. V. Ranga Rao, N. T. Rama Rao, and Savitri in pivotal roles of the ensemble cast. The film was produced by Rajyam Pictures in Black and White.[1] Upon release the film received positive reviews, and has won awards for Best Production Design and Best Lead Actor at the Third Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Jakarta. The film was screened at the Tashkent Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival, and the International Film Festival of India.[2][3][4]

The film is cited among CNN-IBN's list of the hundred greatest Indian films of all time.[5] The film has also garnered the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film in 1963 at the 11th National Film Awards, and the Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Film.[1]


Narthanasala is based on the Virata Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The film explores the endeavors and tribulations of Pandava's during the 13th year of their exile of the Virata Parva dance episodes. When Indra invites Arjuna to his abode and honors him, on this occastion Indra's consort Urvashi falls in lust with Arjuna during his stay. However, Arjuna refuses her advances, alleging that he had heard of her relationship with his ancestor Pururava, and hence she had the status of a mother, equal in respect to Kunti. Urvashi, annoyed at this, curses him that he would become a eunuch who would have to live among women, dancing and singing. However, upon Indra's request, and regretting her anger, Urvashi subdues her curse to a period of one year of Arjuna's choice considering his generosity as a human being.

At the same time, Pandavas along with their wife Draupadi take refuge in the Kingdom ruled by King Virata. Along with his brothers, Arjuna spends his last year of exile in the Matsya Kingdom. At this juncture, Urvashi's curse is implemented and Arjuna transforms into a eunuch named Brihannala, and Pandavas call him Vijaya. At the King Virata's palace, Arjuna teaches dancing, and singing, the qualities he had learnt from Chitrasena (King of the Gandharva's in Devaloka), to the King Virata's daughter, Uttara. Later, Arjuna arranges for Uttara to become his daughter-in-law by marrying his son Abhimanyu to her. At the same time, he prevents Subhadra from marrying Abhimanyu to Balarama's daughter Vatsala, as the Kurus find marriages between cousins a sin. But Arjun and Subhadra are cousins too since Kunti (Arjun's Mother) and Vasudeva (Subhadra's father) are siblings. Hearing about the death of Keechaka, Duryodhana presumes that the Pandavas were hiding in Matsya. A host of Kaurava warriors attack Virata, presumably to steal their cattle, but in reality, desiring to pierce the Pandava's veil of anonymity.


Actor Character
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Arjuna /Brihannala
Savitri Draupadi
Dandamudi Rajagopal Bhima
S. V. Ranga Rao Keechaka
Mikkilineni Radhakrishna Murthy Yudhishthira/Kankubhattu
Relangi Venkata Ramaiah Uttara Kumara
Mukkamala Virata
Dhulipala Duryodhana
L. Vijayalakshmi Uttara
Sandhya Sudheshna
Dr. Prabhakar Reddy Karna
Tadepalli Lakshmi Kanta Rao Lord Krishna
Kaikala Satyanarayana Dushasana
Allu Ramalingaiah Vaala /Varatulya
Sobhan Babu Abhimanyu
Vangara Venkata Subbaiah
C. Lakshmi Rajyam Subhadra
Nellore Kanta Rao Jeemutamalludu
Lolla Suryanarayana Indrudu

Additional Crew[edit]

  • Production Design: T. V. S. Sarma and Pratibha Sarma
  • Second Unit Director : Madhavapeddi Ramgopal
  • Sound design : S. Rama Rao
  • Choreographer : Vempati Pedhasathyam
  • Costume Designer : Achyutha Rao


Track list
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Jaya Gana Nayaka" Samudrala Ghantasala, S. Janaki 05:15
2. "Dariki Raboku Raboku Raaja" Samudrala P. Susheela 03:01
3. "Evari Kosam Ee Mandahasam" Sri Sri Ghantasala, P. Susheela 03:05
4. "Janani Shiva Kaamini" Samudrala P. Susheela 03.54
5. "Naravaraa O Kuruvaraa" Samudrala S. Janaki 04:13
6. "Salalita Raga Sudharasa Saaram" Samudrala Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, Bangalore Lata  
7. "Sakhiya Vivarinchave" Samudrala P. Susheela 02:43
8. "Sheelavati" Samudrala Bangalore Lata 04:56

Awards and Honors[edit]

International Honors - Third Afro Asian Film Festival
  • S. V. Ranga Rao won the Best Lead Actor
  • T. V. S. Sharma won the Best Production Design.[2]
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Other Awards


Dandamudi Rajagopal who acted as Bhima in this film participated thrice in the Olympic games in 1948, 1952 and 1956 in the field of Weightlifting.[7] NTR's son Balakrishna announced plans to act and direct in the remake of the film in 2003, and a launch event was held in Hyderabad during March 2003. Produced by Pusapati Lakshmipati Raju, the film was announced to have an ensemble cast also featuring Soundarya, Srihari, Saikumar, Uday Kiran and Asin in lead roles.[8] However, despite a grand launch, the film was later shelved following the sudden demise of actress Soundarya.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "11th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Lindsay, Jennifer (1 January 2012). "Heirs to World Culture: Being Indonesian, 1950-1965". BRILL – via Google Books. 
  4. ^ "SVR's versatility remembered". 19 July 2010 – via The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". IBNLive. 
  6. ^ Sanmana Satkaralu, Viswa Nata Chakravarti, M. Sanjay Kishore, Sangam Akademy, Hyderabad, 2005, pp: 65.
  7. ^ "The Hindu : Remember the Titans". 
  8. ^ "Opening function of Bala Krishna's Telugu film Naratana saala". 
  9. ^ "Big movies which got shelved after launch". 

External links[edit]