The South Asia Initiative seeks to draw attention to South Asia and South Asian Studies at Case Western Reserve University. It is the mission of South Asia Initiative to encourage scholarly discourse, appreciation and understanding of South Asian cultures and issues.
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath is a PhD candidate at Emory University's Graduate Division of Religion. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a master's degree in Theological Studies. Her dissertation examines the construction of gender categories in South Indian dance and literature. Harshita has studied Kuchipudi dance for over twelve years under the guidance of her teacher, Sasikala Penumarthi, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Talk: Men Dancing Women: Cross-Gender Guising in South Indian Classical Dance
*This lecture demonstration will discuss the practice of cross-gender guising in Kuchipudi, a South Indian classical dance form that dates back to the 15th century. For several centuries since its inception Kuchipudi was originally an exclusively male dance form in which male dancers would take on cross-gender guises to enact female roles. While the practice of men dancing women is still part of the Kuchipudi repertoire, the overwhelming number of female Kuchipudi dancers in recent years has meant that women often perform male roles. This lecture demonstration will explore the practices of cross-gender guising by both male and female Kuchipudi dancers and include video clippings and a live demonstration of such practices.
Co-Sponsored by the Department of Dance and the Women's and Gender Studies Program.