- Subject index
The book is a comprehensive critical history of women performers in Indian theatre and dance of the colonial and postcolonial periods. Its underlying premise is that one cannot evaluate performance in the Indian context without looking at dance and theatre together, unlike the course taken by traditional scholarship. Issues of sexuality and colonialism, and culture and society come together in this study to provide a holistic account of women performers in India.
New information and insights have been provided in the discourse by a close reading of archival materials, field surveys, and extensive interviews, which are the distinguishing features of this book. The book is divided into two sections. The first one is on the Actress, while the second is on the Danseuse in the Indian ...
Chapter 1: Actresses of the Colonial Space: English Actresses in India (1789–1842)
The actress, as Nora, in all her splendour comes hesitantly on the ‘Indian’ stage,
…it was not merely an apartment in a house, temporarily fitted up for a single representation, but a distinct edifice completely furnished with every usual convenience and decorated with every ornament customary in familiar places of exhibition—in short a perfect theatre differing only from a public one in its dimensions and agreeing with it in the essential point of being appropriated to amusement without which we might fear that we had tasted joy only to lament the loss of it. (Calcutta Gazette 1789)1
Almost 50 years later, Calcutta's favourite actress, a star of her ...