"This curious case of a manuscript on Manipuri dance that Manipuris regard as an outright and clumsy forgery is an illuminating example of the Procustean framing of Manipuri culture for inclusion in an official modern Indian culture. It is also a throwback to the early 20th century when many of the Manipuri elite aspired to be a part of Indian culture.
The Bishnupriya origins of Guru Bipin, the accused in the case, with this Assamese community claim to a Manipuri identity based on the community's closer Hindu and Indian affinities, is probably relevant here. The case is therefore generally seen as an attempt to legitimize the efforts to establish a school of Manipuri dance on the Indian mainland under Guru Bipin. Ironically, it has probably fueled the anti-Indian backlash in Manipur of the last 40 years."
I’m reading Medium Raw on Scribd… This issue of the Marg magazine, published in September 1959, is dedicated to Kathak, the North Indian classical dance form. It is a landmark issue, and has been widely quoted in other publications on this subject.
In Contemporary India Classical Dance Became Extinct, Except In South India, Where Bharat Natyam Was Still Performed In The Temples By Deva Dasis, And In Eastern India, Specially In Orissa And Manipur, Where Odissi, Chou And Manipuri Were In Active...
"The dimension of embodiment of music and dance permitted by patriarchy represents a dichotomy between the soul and the body in which the soul is the pure inner sphere that connects the performer to the divine, whilst the body represents the material outer sphere that needs to be removed from the context. Women as custodians of this inner spiritual sphere were to learn and perform these arts, thus embodying them, but had to remove the erotic from their performances, which were seen as belonging to the sacred inner space. This solidified the understanding that ‘true religion’ was sacred and must be distinguished from the non-sacred."
"This work is a study of the process of change, transition and transformationthat has taken place in the traditional dance-drama forms of South India.The four forms under study here are Yakshagana of Karnataka, Kathakali of Kerala, Terukkuttu of Tamilnadu and Kuchipudi of Andhra."
During the countercultural '60s, American bands and artists had grown fascinated with South Asian music . But the first recorded group of South Asian performers arrived in the 1880s as dancers, jugglers, and snake charmers, Satya Gummurli explains.
"Guru Gopinath was born in 1908 to a family whose menfolk had for generations appreciated and engaged in the performance of the art form Kathakali. Naturally Gopinath too started practicing dancing from boyhood and adopted dancing as his life's career. Later in 1972, Gopinath joined the Kerala Kalamandalam, the celebrated training centre for Kathakali. The American dancer with Indian connections, Ragini Devi..."
History has many an interesting character but there is only one person whose name is synonymous with spying, espionage, intrigue, and sensuality, it is none other than Mata Hari, a purported German spy who was executed by the French during the First World War...
When she started her sensuous dancing show career in Paris, she announced…"I was born in the south of India on the Malabar Coast to a Brahmin family. My father was called Ashirvadam, known for his piety and pureness of heart. My mother was a dancer who died giving birth to me; she was only 14. The priests who adopted me gave me the name Mata Hari and I was raised in the great underground world in the temple of Shiva."...
The major attraction of Mata Hari was, of course, her brazen novelty in the prudish prewar Paris. She converted stripping into an artistic, exotic and acceptable format, now cloaked inside a Hindu religious dance form as though it was always the norm in Malabar (while the concept of Dasiattam was very much in vogue in Malabar and the Tamil speaking Kongunadu, stripping was not a custom though some classes of women were uncovered above their hips - in contrast, Mata Hari always covered her breasts)...
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