1 online resource : illustrations (black and white)
Until the 1930s no woman could perform in public and retain respectability in India. Professional female performers were courtesans and dancing girls who lived beyond the confines of marriage, but were often powerful figures in social and cultural life. In her study, Anna Morcom investigates the emergence of illicit worlds of dance in the shadow of India's official performing arts. She explores over a century of marginalisation of courtesans, dancing girls, bar girls and transgender performers, and describes their lives as they struggle with stigmatisation, derision and loss of livelihood.