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 context. Although linked by the common trajectory of having been part of the same history, society, and culture, they emerge as having evolved in different ways as they encountered some common but many unique situations.

In trying to balance a historical narrative with emphasis on crucial individual topics, the book explores the theme of identity and body politics. It demands a pluralistic approach combining history, economics, cultural studies, popular culture, anthropology, ethnography, and feminist criticism. It will be a rich resource for professionals, scholars, and students specializing in performing arts, cultural studies, gender studies, and history. Archival photographs – some of which have never been published before – make this book a collector's item.

Natyasastra: Emerging (Gender) Codes and the Woman Dancer

Natyasastra: Emerging (Gender) Codes and the Woman Dancer

Natyasastra: Emerging (gender) codes and the woman dancer

The Context

In India, dance was an activity associated with socially, culturally and ritually sanctioned practices in all the traditional indigenous communities and enjoyed and participated in by both males and females. However, the classical dances essentially became a female domain as soon as they were formalized into the revitalized and restructured shape in the modern times, as far as the practice and performance was concerned. As in many other places in the world,1 the domain of the teachers, managers, patrons remained male bastions, while the audience is made up of both male and female viewers. It is an acknowledged fact that dance, as a specialized practice, definitely draws fewer males ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles