Best Telugu Dance Films Prabhas Pournami Sagara Sangamam

Dance has always been integral to films from all Indian languages and this has been the case with the Telugu film industry as well. With star performers like Chiranjeevi and Allu Arjun being able to create a separate fan base for their dance moves alone, the importance dance plays in one’s ascend to superstardom is at times, much larger in Telugu than in other industries. But that does mean that we’ve had many films that placed the art-from of dance as an important narrative tool, extending beyond the song sequences. Before the release of Love Story, starring Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya, we take a look at examples where a dance form got as much prominence as a central character.  

Here are five such films and interestingly, two of them have been directed by filmmakers who were themselves star choreographers.  

Siri Siri Muvva (1976)

Viswanath’s Siri Siri Muvva is about a mute girl Hyma (played by Jaya Prada) who is passionate about dancing but has to forgo her dreams because of her stepmother, who wants only her biological daughter to learn dance. She is supported by Sambayya (played by Chandra Mohan) after her father’s death and relocates to a city where she starts to earn by performing at events and eventually marries Sambayya. The film is regarded as a classic and is still fondly looked up to. The music of the film, composed by K.V. Mahadevan was very memorable and the track “Jhummandi Naadam” has won P.Susheela a National award.

*Streaming on YouTube

Sagara Sangamam (1983)

There are very few Telugu-speaking people who do not recognise the song ‘Takita Tadhimi’, where Kamal Hassan dances around a well in K.Viswanath’s Sagara Sangamam. It is a lasting visual and  in the film, Balakrishna (played by Kamal Hassan) is an underprivileged aspiring dancer who turns into an alcoholic after he fails to achieve his goals (his mother passes away before his big performance). He then turns into a dance teacher for another aspiring dancer, who happens to be the daughter of his former love interest. The film not only portrays multiple Indian classical dance forms in all it’s elegance, but it also makes for an engaging drama.

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 Swarna Kamalam (1988)

Swarna Kamalam is a movie about a woman Meenakshi (played by Bhanu Priya) who is the daughter of a reputed dance teacher. She is initially disinterested in dancing even though she is forced to do so by her sister and father. The story is about her discovering the beauty of the craft, with the help of her neighbour Chandrasekhar (played by Venkatesh Daggubati), and establishing herself as a successful dancer.  The film has the most memorable music album composed by Ilayaraaja.

*Streaming on YouTube

Pournami (2006)

Pournami starring Prabhas, Trisha and Charmme Kaur, is Prabhu Deva’s second venture in the direction department. The film is about Kesava (played by Prabhas) who is determined to fulfill the dying wish of his wife Pournami (played by Trisha) to make her sister dance at an auspicious event. Pournami was actually the one that was supposed to do the traditional dance but fails to do so because of the village zamindar who is after her. The film has an excellent music album and  a very gripping climax dance sequence by Charmme.

*Streaming on MX Player

Style (2006)

Style, directed by Raghava Lawrence, revolves around Raghava and his team training for a  competition to beat their rival team.The movie revolves around the struggles of the troop during their practice and how they overcome them. Anthony, the rival gang’s leader, is an old rival of Ganesh (played by Prabhu Deva) who stages an accident in which Ganesh loses his legs. Ganesh, then becomes Raghava’s dance teacher, trains them to beat Anthony’s team at the dance competition. The final dance competition choreographies are spectacular.

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