Film Screening and Q&A

Film Screening and Q&A: Naach (The Dance) with Director, Saba Dewan, and
Director of Photography, Rahul Roy

The Sonpur cattle fair in rural Bihar comes alive every evening when more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience. A barbed wire fence separates the performers from the spectators.

Originally part of the nautanki, a popular folk theatre genre of north India, the dance of the female performer today has become a replay of Bombay films and music videos that span rural and metropolitan landscape. It is a performance charged with sexual energy. The girls dance, make eye contact, beckon, gesticulate and even abuse a highly responsive all male audience.

What meanings related to contemporary construction and practice of gender, sexuality, labour and popular culture can we read in the dance of the female performer?

Watch the trailer here.