Bharatanāṭyam Repertoire and its Female Performers in Early Indian Cinema

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2020-10-20
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Philosophie
Advisor: Oberlin, Heike (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2020-07-23
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
Keywords: Kino , Indien , Schauspielerin , Tänzerin
Other Keywords:
Indian cinema
Female performers
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This thesis is an exposition of the overlapping interrelationship between two powers – Bharatanāṭyam and Indian cinema – during a highly entropic period in the Indian society between the 1930s to 1950s characterized by social reform movements, arrival of sound in Indian cinema, developments in the status of women, freedom struggle, Indian independence, nationalistic agendas, colonial politics and so on. At the apex of reform and revival movements of a dance form piloting towards its transfiguration as Bharatanāṭyam, Indian cinema was infusing Bharatanāṭyam into its early films. This has left a lasting impression on both, Indian cinema and Bharatanāṭyam. This study seeks to examine the evolution of Bharatanāṭyam in Indian cinema and the permeation of its female performers, dance masters, and their characteristic styles in Indian films. Further, it evaluates the representations of Bharatanāṭyam in the Indian cinematic space based on a case study. This work is a mirror of Bharatanāṭyam in Indian cinema during the 1930s to 1950s, albeit one of many. A reconstruction of the past and modelling of the ‘flux period’ (1930s–1950s) facilitates the perception of the underlying forces. To validate the Bharatanāṭyam items that were showcased in Indian films of this period, a clarification of the fundamental standards is furnished. Tools like movement analysis, music notation, concepts of philology and Indian aesthetics are utilized for validation. Beside the analysis portion carrying attention and visibility to the work of female performers of India and their outstanding contributions made as dancers in early Indian films, it contains an in-person interview with a celebrated Bharatanāṭyam dancer and actress. Additionally, this research displays a sample reflection that Indian cinema entertained through Bharatanāṭyam concerning the prevailing social norms in the Indian society. While this work is intertwined in dance anthropology and sociology, by and large, this thesis is an attempt to push the envelope of research in areas of performance studies and dance studies.

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