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Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions


Angela M. Yarber

Dances that embody the «feminine» teach the dancer and the observers inside and outside the faith tradition about women’s experiences, expressions, and understandings within their respective faith traditions. In Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions, the author immerses herself in four dance traditions and explores what their dance teaches about women’s experiences in their faith tradition. Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance stemming from the devadasi system; kabuki onnagata are Japanese male enactors of «female-likeness»; the Mevlevi Order of America allows women to train as «whirling dervishes»; and Gurit Kadman created folk dances for Jewish women and men.


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Glossary of Non-English Terms 139


GLOSSARY OF NON-ENGLISH TERMS Bharatanatyam abhinaya: The aesthetic art of expression in Hindu performing arts. adavu: Intricately stylized footwork in Bharatanatyam. agramandapa: Fore-hall of the Hindu temple. aharyabhinaya: The decorative presentation aspect of abhinaya. alaripu: The Bharatanatyam dancer’s entrance, utilizing the basic grammar of movement in Bharatanatyam. angikabhinaya: The physical presentation aspect of abhinaya. arrangetram: Debut recital of Bharatanatyam or a devadasi dancer. asparas: Female celestial nymphs in Hindu mythology. bhakti: Devotion. Active involvement of a devotee in Hindu worship. bhanga: The bending posture cheshtakritas. bhava: Expression in Hindu aesthetics. bhoga: Release through sensual enjoyment in variations of coital positions as described in the Kama Sutra. bhramari: Whirling movement cheshtakritas. camphor: Waxy substance that is a white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odor used in Hindu ritual. chari: Movements of the feet cheshtakritas. cheshtakritas: Movements of the entire body in Bharatanatyam. dasiattam: Type of dance practiced by devadasis in the Telugu district. dhavani: Upper cloth covering usually worn over the skirt and blouse in Tamil Nadu or Bharatanatyam. gati: Movements of the feet cheshtakritas. gejjaipuja: Ritual presentation of the first set of ankle bells to a deva- dasi. haarati: Music used during the Tillana portion of a Bharatanatyam recital. iduppu-kachai: Semi-circular black belt piece in a Bharatanatyam costume. jatiswaram: Introduction to melody and abstract rhythms in the second section of the Bharatanatyam repertoire. kalyanam: A devadasi’s marriage to the deity. Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions 140 Kama Sutra: Ancient Indian Hindu text considered...

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