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Bells of Change (Kathak Dance, Women and Modernity in India)

Bells of Change (Kathak Dance, Women and Modernity in India)
$30.00
Item Code: NAF057
Author: Pallabi Chakravorty
Publisher: Seagull Books Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9781905422470
Pages: 223
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.5 inch X 6.5 inch
weight of the book: 500 gms
Back of the Book

‘I do not claim this to be an impartial and neutral ethnography; rather, I engage in a politics of intervention along with the subjects of my study to interrogate the dominant power structure in classical culture.

At the same time, I see this work also engaged in a critical postcolonial anthropology that refuses to be contained by easy definitions of the self and other or seamless descriptions of culture and identity. My identity as a native anthropologist and as a dance practitioner unsettles several boundaries, including the one between native/halfie anthropologist and the subjects of her research.’

About the Book

The first critical study of Kathak dance within the discourses of the modern and the global, tracing the arc of two centuries of Kathak: the colonial nautch dance, classical Kathak under nationalism and postcolonialism and ‘innovation’ and ‘new directions’ under transnationalism and globalization. It blends various approaches from anthropology, ethnomusicology, and performance, media and gender studies to map the journey of Kathak from baijis and tawaifs to the global stage. The book uses dance as a lens to explore the interaction between the actors and forces of cultural change from power and patronage to television and film.

About the Author

Pallabi Chakravorty, visual anthropologist and Kathak exponent, is founder and artistic director of contemporary dance ensemble Courtyard Dancers in Philadelphia and has specialized in Kathak for more than 20 years under guru Bandana Sen. Chakravorty’s scholarly and choreographic works reflect her long immersion in Kathak, ethnographic methods and social theory. Author of numerous scholarly papers, this is her first book. Forthcoming edited volumes include Performing Ecstasy: The Poetics and Politics of Religion in India, with Scott Kugle, and Dance Matters with Nilanjana Gupta. She is a faculty member, Department of Music and Dance, Swarthmore college, USA, where she will be serving as acting director for dance from Fall 2008.

Author’s Note

Part of the second chapter was published in a book titled Culture Studies: An Introduction for Indian Readers (ed. Nilanjana Gupta, Worldview Press: New Delhi, 2004), part of the third chapter appeared in the journal Visual Anthropology [17 (1), January 2004] with the title ‘Dance, Pleasure, and Indian Women as Multisensorial Subjects’ and in the proceedings from a symposium titled ‘Dance in South Asia: New Approaches Politics and Aesthetics’. I have retained the names of the dancers and choreographers I interviewed and interacted with, as this is what they wished.

Contents

Acknowledgementsix
Author's Notexi
Locating Dance1
From Nautch to Classical Kathak26
Public Modernity and Classical Kathak59
Women and Kathak in Everyday Practice97
Tradition and Innovation138
Sustainable Pluralism171
References Cited191
Select Bibliography206
Index211

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