Movement in Stills mapinpub

Movement in Stills

The Dance and Life of Kumudini Lakhia
Reena Shah

"I can never say I was born to dance," she says with a subtle hint of pride.

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"I can never say I was born to dance," she says with a subtle hint of pride.
Yet for this very reason, Kumudini Lakhia went on to become one of the great modern innovators of Kathak, a North Indian classical dance form. Such paradoxes compose the fabric of Kumudini's life and personality—an uscringing in the waning days of the Raj characterized by a love for Indian art as well as British sensibilities, a temperament both warm and austere, and an ambitious energy as overwhelming as it is focused.

Like her life, her art itself came to embody an element of paradox—contemporary choreography within one of the most ancient dance forms in the world. A pioneer in her field, Kumudini confronted for the first time the possibilities and challenges of the modern stage, creating the concept of ‘group choreography’ in Kathak dance. Her work, criticized thirty years ago as sacrilege, is-now considered classic, and continues to inspire novel approaches to the dance form.

Unlike many Kathak exponents in the 1940s and 50s, Kumudini did not inherit the narrowly focused life of a traditional dancer. Instead, she was exposed to the modern world—attending an elite boarding school, developing curiosities ranging from agriculture to architecture, and touring Europe by the age of 18. Though studying Kathak throughout her life, her path to professional dance was shaped more by-circumstance than tradition.

Told through the refracted lens of writer and dance student, Movement in Stills offers a unique blend of biography and personal impression to depict the life and dance of one of India's great performing artists.

Reena Shah was born in Connecticut in 1975 and lives in New York City. She was a Fulbright Scholar in India from 2001-2003, where she studied and researched Kathak dance. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University. She is currently writing a book of short fiction and prose poems and working in the field of education.

▪ Preface
▪ Part 1: Early years
▪ Part 2: Abroad and Beyond
▪ Part 3: Delhi
▪ Part 4: Choreographing circumstance
▪ Epilogue Fragments in Present Tense
▪ Notes
▪ Selected Bibliography
▪ Photo Credits
▪ Acknowledgements
ISBN 9788188204427
Pages 320
Number of photographs 40
Size 5.5 x 8.5" (140 x 216 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2005
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) MapinLit
Rights Available Word rights