Dancing for themselves: Folk, tribal, and ritual dance of India
by Mohan Khokar
India dances to the rhythms of a million rural feet. With no formal training in dance, unaware of classical traditions, the innocent dancers of the villages dance because they must. A happy, vigorous ode to life and living. The richness and variety, expanse and extent of the country’s folk-dance forms are captured in this book, in their entirety. Several unknown forms-some on the verge of extinction-have been featured, as a record of the last century, a period of change and transition. The book is in many ways the first of its kind, for it also encapsulates ritual, martial and tribal dances.
Mohan Khokar (1924–1999) pioneered dance documentation in India. He learnt Kathak and the Uday Shankar style in Lahore and Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra in Madras. He was the earliest Indian authority on Indian dance, writing nationally on dance for magazines, journals and newspapers. As he was his own photographer too, he illustrated articles and books with appropriate pictures. In his lifetime, he took over 200,000 photos, collected 50,000 brochures and 25,000 press-clips and also saved priceless manuscripts and books. He wrote five definitive books plus thousands of articles on dance and set syllabi for universities, which are still in use. He mentored many dancers, researchers and scholars, and he saved certain dance-forms from extinction. Some of his taped recordings with masters-no-more are the only records of their life and times, in their own voices. He helped organise special events, festivals and dance seminars that remain a reference point. He contributed significantly to our understanding of Indian dance in its totality.
Publisher:Distributed by English Book Store (1987)