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Lecture | Studium Generale

Mujarewali

  • Drs. Jolanda Boejharat, dance scholar, choreographer, artistic director of the Monsoon Foundation
Date
20 September 2017
Time
Serie
India in Leiden
Address
Lipsius Building
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Room
019

Courtesans and their art of seduction

Mujara is a North-Indian entertainment genre performed by courtesans (the ‘mujarewali’) that combines singing and dancing. The art was originally based on the classical Hindustani music tradition. Dancing girls have long been a part of Indian public life and were already mentioned in Vedic times ( 1000 B.C.). Courtesan arts flourished under royal patronage and had its heydays about 200 years ago. This splendour abruptly came to an end with the arrival of the British who despised and next stigmatised it as mere prostitution. In present day India, Mujara as a consequence is hence still severely tabooed. However, there are still small pockets of practitioners of this ancient art, powerful women who still consider themselves as heir to the mujarewali.
Jolanda Boejharat will present some of her materials that she collected during previous fieldwork trips  among the mujarewali of Safedabad and will demonstrate what this former art of seduction may have looked and sounded like.
 

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