The Indian dancing bear, the sloth bear, has entertained villagers for centuries. Yet, under contemporary Indian law, the sloth bear is entitled to the same protection as the tiger. Traditions are hard to change and the bear is still used as entertainment and a source of income by bear owners from the Qalandar community of India. The Last Dance follows an undercover operation of a surrender of a dancing bear. An old way of life comes to an end but a new beginning emerges for the bears.
Ashima is a Mumbai based international award winning photographer and the 2004 recipient of the Commonwealth Photographer of the Year Award (for Asia), and the Ramnath Goenka Indian Press Photographer for Nature & Environment, 2006. She has shot for leading lifestyle magazines, including Elle, L’Officiel and Teen People (U.S.A). Her portfolio ranges from shooting endangered Asiatic Lions in Gir, orangutans in Borneo to Bollywood film posters. In 2006 she directed her first documentary on Mumbai’s flamingos,
In The Pink which was later sold to the Discovery Network.