Lecture | Studium Generale
- Drs. Jolanda Boejharat, dance scholar, choreographer, artistic director of the Monsoon Foundation
- 20 September 2017
- India in Leiden
2311 BD Leiden
Courtesans and their art of seduction
Mujara is a North-Indian entertainment genre performed by courtesans (the ‘mujarewali’) that combines singing and dancing. The art was originally based on the classical Hindustani music tradition. Dancing girls have long been a part of Indian public life and were already mentioned in Vedic times ( 1000 B.C.). Courtesan arts flourished under royal patronage and had its heydays about 200 years ago. This splendour abruptly came to an end with the arrival of the British who despised and next stigmatised it as mere prostitution. In present day India, Mujara as a consequence is hence still severely tabooed. However, there are still small pockets of practitioners of this ancient art, powerful women who still consider themselves as heir to the mujarewali.
Jolanda Boejharat will present some of her materials that she collected during previous fieldwork trips among the mujarewali of Safedabad and will demonstrate what this former art of seduction may have looked and sounded like.