Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Popular Hindi Cinema

  • 20 Dec
    2019

    Community Engagement

    Usha Iyer

Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Popular Hindi Cinema

Image: Azurie in Bal Hatiya (Ram Daryani, 1935)

Drawing from her forthcoming book on dancer-actresses in Indian cinema, Usha Iyer discusses how the dancing woman, considered marginal to the history of Indian and indeed most cinemas, is actually a central figure in articulating South Asian cultural modernity. Through Azurie and Sadhona Bose, once-famous, now-forgotten dancing stars of the 1930s-40s, Iyer examines questions of cultural labor, resistance to gender norms, and women’s visibility and participation in the public sphere. Situating Bose, the Bengali bhadramahila, and Azurie, the mixed-race dancing girl as co-choreographers of new mobilities throws light on cosmopolitan, transnational dance networks that intersected with nationalist projects of modernity.

Duration -

December 20, 2019

Timing: 6:30 PM

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Usha Iyer

Usha Iyer

Usha Iyer is Assistant Professor in the Film and Media Studies program, Department of Art and Art History, at Stanford University. Her forthcoming book, Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Popular Hindi Cinema (Oxford University Press), examines the role of dance in the construction of female stardom in Hindi cinema from the 1930s to the 1990s. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Camera Obscura, The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory, South Asian Popular Culture, Women Film Pioneers Project, among others.