Wednesday, August 01, 2012

An excellent book on some devadasis

in coastal Andhra and parts of Tamilnadu Unfinished Business:Devadasis, and Modernity in South India by Davesh Soneji. Apart from the politics, economics, legislations, the author actually meets several devadasis over a period of several years. The book is interspersed with accounts of these meetings, particularly chapters 2,4 and 5. A version of parts of Chapter 5 is available online
and also of Chapter 2
Some of these ladies are in their seventies, their reminiscences, still singing and dancing for themselves and their friends are some of the most enjoyable parts of the book. Some of these arts are to some extent preserved under the names Andhra Natyam by Nataraja Ramakrishna and Vilasini Natyam by Swapnasundari.
On the whole a very enjoyable book for laymen like me. I became aware of this book through Minai whose excellent posts on dances have been mentioned several times before.

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