Nartanasala is a Telugu-language mythological film released in the year of 1963, directed by Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao. The movie is produced by N. T. Rama Rao under the banner of Ramakrishna Cine Studios. The story of the film is based on the Mahabharata epic and tells the story of Arjuna's exile to an unknown kingdom where he lives as a dance teacher named Brihannala.
The movie follows the life of Brihannala (N.T.Rama Rao), who disguises himself as a woman, to protect Arjuna (K.V. Nageswara Rao), from the clutches of his enemies. Through this disguise, Brihannala teaches dance to the princess Uttara (Savitri), who later falls in love with him. Brihannala also earns the respect of the King Viraata (Dhulipala), who appoints him as his dance teacher.
The story of the film takes an interesting turn when the King's son, Prince Utthara Kumara (Rajagopal Dandamudi), develops feelings towards Brihannala, unaware of his true identity. Meanwhile, Arjuna meets Uttara and falls in love with her. However, he is hesitant to express his feelings for her as he is in the guise of Brihannala.
The film has some notable dance sequences performed by Savitri, who portrays the role of Uttara in the film. The movie features some of the most iconic songs that were composed by Susarla Dakshinamurthy and sung by P. Susheela, Ghantasala, and Madhavapeddi Satyam.
The movie's storyline is well-crafted, and every character has a significant role to play. The performances by the lead actors are commendable, and they have done justice to their roles. N.T. Rama Rao, who plays the lead role of Brihannala, delivers an outstanding performance as the androgynous dance teacher. Right from his dialogue delivery to his body language, he encapsulates the character to perfection.
Savitri, who plays the role of Uttara, shines in her part, and her dance sequences are a visual treat for the audience. Her chemistry with N.T. Rama Rao is fantastic, and they both share some of the most poignant moments in the film. Rajagopal Dandamudi, who portrays the role of Prince Utthara Kumara, also delivers an impressive performance.
The film's direction by Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao is exemplary. The way he has treated the subject is noteworthy, and he has skillfully woven the different elements of the story. The cinematography by C. Nageswara Rao is excellent, and the movie's visual appeal is outstanding.
Overall, Nartanasala is an excellent movie that blends mythological elements with romance and drama to create a captivating film that is enjoyable for audiences of all ages. The movie's success at the box office inspired several remakes over the years in various languages, including Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi. Even after several decades of its release, the film continues to be a favorite among cinema lovers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.