Naach

Naach

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The Sonepur cattle fair in rural Bihar comes alive every evening when more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience. Originally part of the Nautanki, a popular folk theatre genre of north India, the dance of the female performer today has become a replay of Bombay films and music videos that span rural and metropolitan landscape. It is a performance charged with sexual energy. Emotions run high, and a barbed wire fence is necessary to separate the performers from the spectators. What meanings related to contemporary construction and practice of gender, sexuality, labour and popular culture can we read in the dance of the female performer? What do these women think about love, marriage, family and making a living?