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Opening Function - Nartanasaala
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1st march 2004
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Lakshmi Priya Pictures
Production No.1

Nandamuri Bala Krishna (Arjuanudu, Bruhannala, Keechakudu)
Srihari (Beemudu)
Uday Kiran (Abhimanyudu)
Sai Kumar (Duryodhanaudu)
K Viswanadh
Kota Srinivasa Rao (Virata Raju)
Sarath Babu (Dharmaraju)
Asish Vidyardhi
Soundarya (Droupati)
Asin (Uttara)
Krishna Bhagavan (Uttara Kumarudu)
Naveen (Nakul)
Vinay (Sahadevudu)

Screenplay - dialogues - direction: Bala Krishna Nandamuri
Producer: Pusapati Lakshmipati Raju
Camera: VSR Swamy
Art: Bhaskar Raju
Music: Madhavapeddi Suresh
Lyrics: Veturi
Stunts: Raju
Choreography: Srinu & Shiva Shankar
Co-director: Gurudev

The muhurat of the remake of 'Nartanasala' in the direction of Nandamuri Bala Krishna was held at Ramoji Film City on 1st March 2003 at 7:30 am at a specially erected Parnasaala set. Bala Krishna, Sarath Babu, Srihari, Naveen, Vinay and Soundarya were clad in holy saffron dress. Big wigs of Telugu film industry like - ANR, D Rama Naidu, MS Reddy, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, K Viswanath, Uday Kiran, Chalapati Rao etc.

Mohan Krishna Nandamuri clapped the first shot. Rama Krishna Nandamuri switched on the camera. K Raghavendra Rao directed the first shot. First shot was taken on Pancha Pandavulu and Droupati.

Speaking on the occasion, Bala Krishna said that there used to be historical films (poranikaalu), folklore films (jaanapadaalu), fantasy films and social films in the golden era of Telugu cinema. And at present we have only social films that are being churned out. As a step towards making Telugu cinema a multidimensional one, Bala Krishna has taken the onus of making this epic. He said that this story has been made in Telugu twice before in the form of 'Nartanasaala' and 'Virataparvam'. Bharatam is called as 'pamchama vedam' and it epitomizes all the incidents that generally happen in the society. He also said that all the social films that are made in Telugu have similarities to the incidents of Maha Bharatam.

Bala Krishna said that people would embrace 'Nartanasaala' like they did for 'Aditya 369' and 'Bhairava Dweepam' in the past. The 'Vyasa Bharatam' is taken as the origin for the dialogues of this film. Bala Krishna also said that he is taking the help of eminent Telugu writers like Nagabhairava Koteswara Rao, Tripuraneni Maharadhi and Paruchuri brothers in preparing dialogues.

Bala Krishna said that he has done lots of experiments before. He agreed that some of his films did well and some films did not do well. But this film would become a blockbuster for sure, he said. He also said that NTR did not put his name as the director in the title cards of 'Seetarama Kalyanam' though he directed it. Likewise, Bala Krishna would not have his name in title cards of the film 'Nartanasaala'.

He said that he is doing both the roles of hero and villain in this film. Hero would be having two getups - Arjuna and Bruhannala. Villain is Keechakudu. He said that it is not new for him to do characters of grey shades. His said that his character in Lakshmi Narasimha has negative shades to it. He also said that the expertise of the direction lies in imagining the things.

Bala Krishna praised that Sarath Babu is apt for the role of 'Dharmaraju'. He remembered 'Nippulanti Manishi' film which he acted with Sarath Babu. Bala Krishna said that the film bombed at box office because both he and Sarath Babu were the villains of the film.

Bala Krishna commended the kind of efforts Soundarya is putting up for this film. She is said to have seen the VCD of Nartanasaala for innumerable times and keeping a note of the histrionics of Savitri in that film. Bala Krishna praised Soundarya as the actress of Savitri caliber.

Why LP Raju
Upon asked why he chose to make LP Raju the producer of this dream project when there were so many big producers available, Bala Krishna said that he did not see any big producer coming forward to produce it. He said that everybody in the film industry knows about Balayya's aspiration to direct 'Nartanasaala'. And Balayya is a kind of star who does not force any producer to producer a film of his taste. It was LP Raju who came forward to produce the film. He thanked LP Raju for the nice gesture. LP Raju is also giving free hand to Bala Krishna as a director.

Why Nartanasaala
When asked why he fixed upon Nartanasaala when there were so many old classics, Bala Krishna said that Nartanasala is one film where all navarasas were packaged in the right proportion. He also said that the story would be appealing to new generation as well.

Two technicians
Two technicians - Gurudev (assistant director) and Srinivas (Art) - who worked for old classic Nartanasaala would also be working for the remake of this grand epic. Srinivas worked as assistant to Bapu at that time.

Entire film to be shot at RFC
The first schedule of this film started on 1st March and it would take place till 5th March. The next schedule would start in May 2004. He said that the entire film would be shot in the sets erected at Ramoji Film City.

Lucky to play Droupati role
Actress Soundarya said that she is feeling lucky to play the role of Droupati. She is also feeling very responsible to be a part of this great epic. She thanked Bala Krishna for the compliments he has given.

Sarath Babu said that it is a kind of educational experience to the younger generation people to watch Nartanasaala and wished that Bala Krishna would prove to be the greatest director in India with Nartanasaala.

Srihari said that he was fortunate to do 'Duryodhana role in 'Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddam' with Bala Krishna. And he is feeling extremely happy to do Bheema role in this film.

Senior most cinematographer VSR Swamy said that he has been working as cinematographer for the past 20 years and he handled most of the Bala Krishna's projects so far. He said that historical films were more successful at Box office in Telugu compared to any other language mainly because the Telugu film industry possess beautiful faces. He said that Nartanasaala is a dream project. This film has generated lots of craze and media interest.

Madhavapeddi Suresh said that his uncle Madhavapeddi Gokhale worked as art director for Nartanasaala. He said that he would put best of his efforts to squeeze the best music for this film. Three songs have been recorded so far. Lyrics for one song is ready.

Tail piece: Shooting of this film is taking place under the scorching heat of the sun. Putting heavy makeup and donning unusual cloths and working under the combined heat of arc lights and sun show the passion and dedication of Bala Krishna Nandamuri. He should be appreciated for his contribution to Telugu cinema by making such films like 'Bhairava Dweepam' and 'Nartanasaala'

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