Three: Dance and the Dancer who Performs the Feminine 27
3 DANCE AND THE DANCER WHO PERFORMS THE FEMININE: SOCIO-HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS his chapter recounts the socio-historical context of the dancers within each tradition in an attempt to uncover the experiences, expressions, and understandings of the dancing women. As such, this chapter explores the histories of the phenomena of Bharata- natyam, the kabuki onnagata, whirling dervishes, and Israeli folk dance. It is my aim to offer an overview of each dance’s history so that the main themes and historical movements of each dance form are clear enough to illustrate how the dancer’s faith and empower- ment is influenced by their particular dance. This chapter shall take us back in time to the origins and development of each dance form. Bharatanatyam For wherever the hand moves, there the glances follow; Where the glances go, the mind follows; Where the mind goes, the mood follows; Where the mood goes, there is the rasa (flavour).1 According to Prathibha Prahlad, to speak about Bharatanatyam is to “enter into a philosophical discourse on ethics, aesthetics and social reality all at once.”2 The origins of Bharatanatyam stem from a variety T Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions 28 interrelated sources. The most widely accepted source for Bharatana- tyam stems from the ancient devadasi system; the devadasi are temple dancers dedicated at a young age to be consorts of the gods. Their evolution is pivotal in understanding the development for Bharatanatyam, so I will explore their history in detail. Yet, before examining...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.