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Interpretive Aspects of the Poetic Ṭhumrī in Kathak Dance

A talk by Dr. Purnima Shah
(Professor at Duke University)

During the 18 th century, Lakhnau, the capital of the royal state of Awadh, emerged as the refined centre for the arts. Kathak maestros and elite tavaifs enthralled the patron connoisseurs with their exquisite ṭhumrī performances, receiving lavish rewards.

Ṭhumrī exemplified an aesthetic synthesis of the bhakti and worldly themes based on undifferentiated love situated in śṛṅgāra rasa. Ṭhumrī performance epitomized the poetic nāyikā who dominated the prolific classic and regional literature over the millennia.

This presentation is an attempt to highlight the infinite performative possibilities improvised by the dancer, and the connoisseur spectator’s interpretive response in culturally specific meaning making.

Date: 28 October, 2023 (Saturday)
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm (Tea & Refreshments will be served at 5:30 pm)

Venue: Lecture Hall, L D Museum


For Ages: 18 and above

For registration, please contact:

Call: 079-26306883 | WhatsApp: +91-9408536883

About the Speaker

Dr. Purnima Shah is a Professor at Duke University and a performer of Kathak and Bharatanatyam, trained with gurus, Padma Bhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia and Padma Bhushan Smt. Mrinalini Sarabhai.

She is the recipient of the Richard K Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award at Duke University.

She acquired her PhD in Performance Studies and Ethnography from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.


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