ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dancing the Night Away

The varied trajectories of Bengali cabaret/bar dancers who ferried themselves between the two cities of Mumbai and Kolkata in search of livelihood and shelter since the last decades of the 20th century are mapped. Taking Kolkata as the epicentre of research, the author proposes to trace the eviction drive of the city’s erotic dancers ascribing their large-scale exodus to the cultural crusade waged by the progressive state that forced out many poor and labouring dancers, calling them out as visceral symbols of apasanskriti or pervert culture.

Re-Casteing the Narrative of Bharatanatyam

In this article, the author highlights the ways in which her subjectivity and selfhood as a hereditary Bahujan woman practitioner of Bharatanatyam are entangled with the past and with an enduring and dark politics of exclusion in the industry of so-called “classical” music and dance. Bharatanatyam—India’s quintessential “classical” art—has today, understandably become a vehicle for theatrical representations of Hindu mythology, Brahminic ethics and supremacy, and thus for majoritarian cultural politics. The author reflects on the practice and connotations of Bharatanatyam that are accepted today and historically embedded with the ugly truth of caste mimesis, the inheritance of appropriation, the danger of religious majoritarian culture, and the silencing of voices of dissent.
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