Bhaktapur is called the cultural capital of Nepal, so it was a fitting location for the dance created by Rochak Thapa to represent the many cultures of this ancient country. Sixteen dancers, drawn from throughout Nepal, performed the dances of the Himalayan, Plains and Hills peoples. Behind them rose the temples and shrines where thousands of believers were engaging in devotionals, and where visitors from around the world we--momre marveling at the cultural wonders.
Manish Adhikary, the local unit producer, and the indefatigable Bambie Panta were helping with a thousand tasks. Amal and Otsup, our capable production assistants, aided by wardrobe master and makeup artists, held back the traffic for each take.
From early morning through the blazing afternoon, with numerous costume changes, the dancers performed as we shot around them. Passers-by stopped in amazement to watch. They came to see the temples--but were delighted to see the culture brought to life by these young artists.
By the late afternoon, every last ounce of energy had been used up. A long shoot day--but a happy one. We felt we had absorbed and captured the essence of Nepal's rich history and artistry in one massive--and highly concentrated--shoot. Saying goodbye to Manish--who is nothing short of a miracle worker--and the creative team was really difficult. However, we feel it's just the beginning of a long and beautiful collaboration.