Dancing in the Family: An Unconventional Memoir of three Women

Dancing in the Family: An Unconventional Memoir of three Women

$17
Item Code: IDE309
Author: Sukanya Rahman
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8129105942
Pages: 173 (B & W Illus: 57)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 250 gm
From the Jacket:

As a child, Sukanya Rahman secretly prayed that her family would 'become normal'. This never happened. Dance was, and remained, the family obsession. Eventually, Sukanya too was swept up by the excitement of her mother's and grandmother's daily domestic life - where 'home' could shift from a comfortable apartment in New Delhi, to a snake-infested room in an Orissan village, and the only stable figure in a long line of foot-tapping gurus, table players and dancers, was Ayah with her tin trunk - to leap into her ancestral footsteps, thankful that her prayers had remained unanswered.

Dancing in the Family is the story of how Sukanya's grandmother, born Esther Sherman, in Petoskey, Michigan, transformed herself into Ragini Devi, classical Indian dancer, pioneer and writer of the first book in English on the dances of India. It is the story of her mother's struggle to shake off the 'stigma' of becoming India's first Miss India in order to prove herself, as Indrani Rahman, as one of India's foremost classical Bharata Natyam and Odissi artistes. It is also the story of Sukanya's own struggle to stay afloat in this family of dynamic, indomitable women.

written with rare honesty and humour about matters close to the heart, this is an insightful and fascinating look into the Indian dance scene from the 1920s on. More than 50 archival family photographs, dating from 1893, contribute to making the book a gem in the history of Indian dance.

Excerpts from Review:

'…a funny engaging memoir of three generations of unconventional women - Ragini Devi, Indrani Rahman and Sukanya…it deserves to be read not merely because it is about extraordinary women set against the historical backdrop of Indian classical dance, but primarily because it is a story well told…'

- The Hindu

CONTENTS

Acknowledgementsxi
Preface

xiii
1.Rehearsal1
2.Esther Luella6
3.Ragini Devi13
4.Kite Strings19
5.Veil of Illusion24
6.On the Road34
7.Spring Festival Dance41
8.Panch Number52
9.Indrani63
10.Lower Circular Road68
11.Miss India76
12.Nani84
13.The Dance of Shiva91
14.Cultural Goodwill104
15.Puri Pilgrimage112
16.The Trunk with the Pink Roses121
17.Le Club Solitaire132
18.A Family Affair140
19.Curtain Call148
Postscript154

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