Ijjodu- our “step” into cinema-by Geetha Ballal

For most of us, who use English as a language for all communications, IJJODU seemed like an alien word. After many an argument, we finally find that Ijjodu – meaning duality/two, is a film directed by M.S.Sathyu – an eminent filmmaker, and that Nritarutya was to choreograph and dance for the title track.


In the blink of an eye, everything around me seemed to buzz with excitement. “Now, turn your hip a little more”, “hold that pose, now smile”, “where’s the file I saved yesterday?”, ‘you think this shade looks better on the eyes?”, “ I think red is the colour for costumes”, “brighten those eyes- it’s for the camera!!”, “did you get those plaits?”- My routines never got bored ever – research on what costumes to wear, what accessories need to be purchased, what kind of ‘look’ to be presented, amid hectic rehearsals – each shot conceptualized, changed, focused, changed yet again…. It had to be perfect; after all it was our first movie.
The day arrives when my company and I have to travel to the location – the beautiful temple of Lakshminarayana in Belawadi – a village near Hassan. Our schedule for the coming 3 days was to finish the 5 minute title track, covering roughly about 40 shots. But first, I pick up my set of brush and paints, yes paints, to finish up some unfinished leaves and lines on our stark red leotards.


Early next day, I wake up to loud knocks on the door and shouts from the production manager at sharp 4.30am- that’s the way he likes waking his ‘crew’
As we prepare for the first shot, rehearsing the movements, trying different angles with the camera and setting the lights, I am amused to see curious onlookers – who thought we were famous film personalities; few who dared asked us our names and details of the film. I would often look at them and smile only to receive howls of laughter and sniggers in return… Sigh! So much for congeniality.


I would often find myself lost in the depths of this beautiful temple- delicately carved pillars, serene looking courtyards, brilliantly sculpted figures on the walls, above all the jet black idols of the Gods and Goddesses adorned with colourful flowers and the sweet smelling incense giving a heady feeling……pic-5pic-6

I bring together my concentration to the task at hand – we had to give our best in the hot sun, be it delivering complicated lifts with ease, moving perched on the slippery roof tops/gopuras without looking scared, hanging upside down on narrow stairs, rolling over a hundred marbles and not flinching, hanging from a shaky pipe, spinning plaits wildly without hitting anyone… the list is endless.


The heat of the place added more woes to my tired and tanned body. At times when others were in a shot, I would collapse just about anywhere to catch a siesta.


One has to be innovative instantaneously, what works from the mind’s eye may always not work from the camera. I was curious to know how the shots looked, whether the thought and concept of my choreographer was translated or not.. How did the composition look.. Did I do a good presentation.. Well, I must say I’m quite proud to see the result of this very exciting shoot. What more, the movie has been specially screened at prestigious film festivals like TIFF (Trishur International film festival), OSIANS film festival- Delhi and the PANORAMA-IFFI (International film festival of India)


The shoot has taught me a lot of things, patience being one of the prime most. As I waited for the shots to be set up, positions of lights being changed, shifting spots for better shots, trying out variations of movements, or just waiting for my turn in the shot with the costume and makeup intact, I realise all of them work towards getting the BEST nothing less!! There may be another chance – to go back and re-shoot what didn’t work, but this moment, the feeling of the first shot, the first shout of “action” will never come back… It will forever remain a memory in my mind….



  • Dhruti

    8th December 2009 at 10:15 pm Reply


  • Vinoth J

    9th December 2009 at 12:27 pm Reply

    Great work guys!
    Hope I was there to witness the song filming 🙂
    BTW Geetha, when is the movie getting released.


  • manoj

    20th December 2009 at 2:49 am Reply

    Ambiance is not the only word that i can think for NRITARUTYA… they are totally exuberant n marvellous wen on stage and also as a team. I feel really proud for being part of ijjodu choreography… this movie did get few critical claims as best movie as its based on social theme(BASAVA CULT).luv u nritarutya…
    all the best

  • Suhas

    6th January 2010 at 6:13 am Reply

    Waiting to catch this on video!!

  • Dominica Alisauskas

    8th May 2010 at 10:27 pm Reply

    Hi everyone! Do any one notice this filmmaker Mr. J Fusco? The person done an actual video known as Chloe a – z, but i suppose the person could be described as in no way enormously widley known. I have browse mr. fusco now resides inside new york. I and my friend aspire to positively seek out which various other movie films this man has produced, could well any person from this blog offer my friend and me quite a few good informations around Joseph Fusco?

  • Blair Deroberts

    14th June 2010 at 12:28 am Reply

    Hola. Excelente artículo, agregaré tu blog a mi lector de noticias RSS. Hasta luego!

  • Athreya Arvind

    19th June 2010 at 5:12 am Reply

    Dear Geetha, U should write more often I’ve never seen, heard or read anything like this. You have a flair for writing its like watching things with my own eyes as though I was there, pls do continue writing. you keep it simple and describe very well that perhaps is your strongest point.


  • Aditya Bellur

    22nd June 2010 at 8:02 pm Reply

    Hi Geetha,
    Nice reading abt ur foray into cinema. I agree with Athreya Arvind above, u do have a flair for writing.

    Good Luck and TC

  • Sukanya

    27th June 2010 at 2:21 am Reply

    cool sis!!!! eagerly awaiting the video

  • Mayuri

    14th February 2011 at 2:43 am Reply

    will check..thxs

  • raghava ballal

    23rd August 2012 at 5:38 pm Reply

    good work

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