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The Kathak dance of the courtesans

As part of Roehampton Dance Festival 2012 Roehampton's Centre for Dance Research presents an interdisciplinary dialogue between artists and scholars in 'Thumri Rasrang'.

Posted: 11 May 2012

image for news story The Kathak dance of the courtesans
Roehampton's Centre for Dance Research presents an interdisciplinary dialogue between artists and scholars in 'Thumri Rasrang'

As part of Roehampton Dance Festival 2012 Roehampton's Centre for Dance Research presents an interdisciplinary dialogue between artists and scholars in 'Thumri Rasrang'. As a light vocal classical music genre, thumri is believed to have evolved in the mid-nineteenth century court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow to accompany Kathak, a form of Indian Classical dance. 

Thursday 17th May 2012, 16.00 – 17.00
Terrace Room, Grove House
Free, no booking required

Dr Margaret Walker from the Queen's University, Ontario, Canada will be presenting her lecture 'Subtle Glances and Graceful Stances: The Gentrification of Women's Dance in North India' that investigates how the traditional performative elements of the hereditary female performers of the nineteenth-century in North India were adapted and appropriated while classicising Kathak dance in the twentieth-century for the new audience.

The paper presentation will be followed by two solo performances by Natalia Hildner a Roehampton MA South Asian Dance Studies student who has trained in Kathak from multiple teachers since her childhood. She will perform two thumris. Through her performance she will highlight embedded feminist counter-cultural techniques within the form, her dance pieces will compare how thumri might have been performed in the past by the courtesans and how it has been adapted today into a virtuosic devotional stage dance by several women Kathak artists of this contemporary generation.

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