Talk: Exploring the female body in Kathak dance

Kathak guru Abha Auti and artist Pinar Yolaçan will discuss their collaboration for the video piece “Kathak” which is currently on view at The Waterside Lauriston Gallery as part of the group show She Appeared to Vanish in partnership with HOME.

Auti and Yolaçan will discuss how the male and colonial gaze were reflected on the conceptions about dancers and how the representations of the female dancers in Indian Classical Dance marked these different periods and were used to shape historical, colonial and nationalistic narratives.

Kathak is the only genre of Indian Classical Dance which went through several modifications over different historical periods such as the ancient period, the Mughal period, colonial period and the independence era in North India.

Yolaçan will talk about her research involving ancient non Western forms of dance such as belly dance, African dance and Kathak and their origins as ritualistic practices centered around the female body.

If you were unable to attend this talk and would like access the zoom recording, you can access the recording here.

Guests include:

Abha Auti
Abha Auti is a Kathak dance guru, performer and the founder and the artistic director of Laheja School of Performing Arts (LSPA) in Pune, a contemporary hub for dancers and other creatives to learn and explore. For over two decades she has been a student of Kathak artist and guru Smt. Roshan Datye and the late Kathak Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate, who is one of the most important exponents in India in the field of dance. She received her Master’s degree in Kathak from Bharati Vidyapeeth University and has been selected as an A-Grade Doordarshan artist and an empaneled artist for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) representing India globally. 

Pinar Yolaçan
Pinar Yolaçan is a Turkish multidisciplinary artist who creates bewitching photographic portraits of the female figure that dissolve traditional boundaries between photography, sculpture and painting and grapple with issues of beauty, femininity, fashion, cultural heritage and art history.  She graduated from The Cooper Union with a BFA in 2004 and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Image credit: Pinar Yolaçan, Video still from Kathak. 2017

Presented in partnership with

If you were unable to attend this talk and would like access the zoom recording, you can access the recording here.