Bells of Change

Kathak Dance, Women and Modernity in India

Pallabi Chakravorty


6.25 x 9.25 inches, 240pp, 13 halftones. September 2008

ISBN : 9781905422470 & 9781905422487

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The first critical study of Kathak dance within the discourses of the modern and the global, tracing the arc of two centuries of Kathak: the colonial nautch dance, classical Kathak under nationalism and post-colonialism and ‘innovation’ and ‘new directions’ under transnationalism and globalization. It blends various approaches from anthropology, ethnomusicology, and performance, media and gender studies to map the journey of Kathak from baijis and tawaifs to the global stage. The book uses dance as a lens to explore the interaction between actors and forces of cultural change from power and patronage to television and film. 

Pallabi Chakravorty is an anthropologist, dancer, choreographer and cultural worker. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Music and Dance at Swarthmore College, USA, where she teaches Kathak technique and theory courses on anthropological approaches to performances. She is the founder and artistic director of Courtyard Dancers, a progressive dance and ensemble based in Philadelphia.


Theatre And Performance Studies
Gender Studies