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The Courtesan: An Enigma Stories | Theatre | Dance


Nov 25 2022 to Nov 25 2022 7 p.m.



Bangalore International Centre

7 4th Main Rd, Stage 2, Domlur 560071

Event Description

‘The Courtesan Project’ is a unique research and documentation exercise via which Manjari seeks to chronicle the historically remarkable role of the tawaif in artistic life: as muse to poets and painters, writers and kings, musicians and leaders. In doing so, she seeks to claim for these maligned women the reverence due to them for their learning and their performance art; their intelligence and wit; their talent and raw sensual power. This project is a medium to draw the attention of the society towards our erstwhile courtesans and how discriminatory practices impacted not only their life but also of their families. Thus, advocating and creating much required space for them as an ‘artist” in the society through cultural activism and social change. Those forgotten dancers called tawaif & nachnewali who do not find space in the documentation of performing arts, whereas their counterpart men performers are referred to as Ustads and the incredible women merely as Nautch Girls. These were the women who moved from the Kotha and formed the part of the Parsi theater and then subsequently were the first women performers for the big Hindi Film Industry. And their contribution to art largely remains un acknowledged. This project brings their art to the foreground. Manjari recreates the dance of these incredible women performers, the royal performers of the erstwhile Indian courts and recreate a bygone era. This production has an actor who narrates in English, stories and anecdotes from the lives and the times of the Tawaifs and the Courtesans. The concert incorporates dance by Dancer Manjari Chaturvedi and theatrical story-telling performances by Actor Neesha Singh.

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