Ethnomusicologist to Lecture on Diverse Realms of Indian Dance

By Caroline Kelsey

As part of the Year of South Asia, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will host guest speaker Anna Morcom, professor of ethnomusicology at Royal Holloway University of London, for a lecture related to her book, “Illicit Worlds of Indian Dance: Cultures of Exclusion,” which was awarded the 2014 Alan Merriam Prize. The free public talk will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in the Niles Gallery of Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.
Illicit Worlds of Indian Dance: Cultures of Exclusion,” looks at the evolution of the arts in India from the 1930s when no woman could perform in public and still be respected in India, to today's Bollywood dance craze. In the early years, professional female dancers were courtesans, but were powerful figures in social and cultural life. Today, upper-class women have taken control of the classical performing arts and also entered the film industry. At the same time, a Bollywood dance and fitness craze has recently swept middle-class India.
In her talk at UK, called “Courtesans, Bar Girls and Dancing Boys: Illicit Worlds of Indian Dance,” Morcom will cover these multiple worlds of Indian dance from courtesans to the present. In particular, she will also examine male, female and transgender dancers and detail the forces of inclusion/exclusion that have shaped these worlds of Indian performing arts.
For the seventh academic year, the UK College of Arts and Sciences has celebrated other regions of the globe in its Passport to the World program. Through seminars and classes, events and lectures, the College of Arts and Sciences has introduced the UK campus to South Africa, China, Russia, Mexico, the Middle East and Europe. This year, South Asia is the center of attention in a series of events and activities called the "Year of South Asia: Its People, Societies, Sciences, Arts and Life."
Anna Morcom’s talk at the university is being made possible with support from sponsors UK College of Arts and Sciences, the UK School of Music and the Rey M. Longyear Endowment.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue
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