Dancing Girl, Western India

This is a portrait of an unidentified dancer from Western India.  The dancer is photographed seated against a very peculiar wallpaper. She holds a hand-held fan in one hand and a small bowl in the other. She is dressed in a very simplistic style with a zari bordered sari and wears minimum jewellery. This photograph… Read more »

Dancer and Musicians, Bombay

This is a photograph of an unidentified nautch party in Bombay. It was taken by a French photographer Eugene Auguste Taurines who was active in Bombay from the mid-1880s to around 1901 and ran a studio in the city.  Starting around the Mughal era, entourages of dancing girls performed for rulers and chieftains, not only… Read more »

Means of Transport and Music and Dance

This print is from Auguste Racinet’s “Le Costume Historique,” (Paris, circa 1880).  Auguste Racinet’s ‘Le Costume Historique’, published in France between 1876 and 1888, was the most extensive costume study ever attempted for its time. The six-volume work is highly peculiar in its details and attempts to cover the history of style from around the world,… Read more »

Dancing Queens

When Sarmaya got the chance to host an event with two of the most celebrated figures in Indian dance, we knew we had to push the envelope. We partnered with the dance company beej to bring Mallika Sarabhai and Anita Ratnam to Mumbai and engage them in a conversation about the transformative power of dance.… Read more »