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Prestigious concert named "MAIN TAWAIF" a presentation by Manjari Chaturvedi to be staged from on April 21
New Delhi, April 15 (Scoop News)-The prestigious concert named "MAIN TAWAIF" a presentation by Manjari Chaturvedi to be staged at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on April 21th.
A modern day Classical dancer, seeking recognition for the dancers and singers of yesteryears. "Main Tawaif" questions the role of the people, the society and in the way history sees the women performers who perform on stage.
Main Tawaif is a presentation by Manjari Chaturvedi, under The Courtesan Project Series. 14 years into existence the series is founded and conceptualized by Classical Dancer, Creator of Sufi Kathak, and Restorer of the Dance of Tawaifs, Manjari Chaturvedi. The performance is a profound exploration of the gender dynamics within the arts, unveiling the pivotal influence of women performers – the enigmatic Tawaifs and Baijis – of North India from the 16th to the 20th century. The performance is set as an intimate mehfil performance of how the Tawaifs would perform in yesteryears. Their music, their stories, their dance enacted by a single performer.

This is a bold statement by a Classical Dancer to title her concert as Main Tawaif, and only a powerful performer like Manjari can go beyond the available narrative and create a new narrative from the perspective of women. This is needed to finally accord respect for the performance art of the Tawaif, to go beyond the drawing room sniggers and laughter associated with the word Tawaif, and to finally acknowledge their role in perfoemance art history. It personally took Manjari ten long years to finally use the term Tawaif for a classical concert, without being ridiculed for it. A modern day Classical dancer, finally seeking recognition for the dancers and singers of yesteryears.


Through a mesmerizing blend of evocative monologue, dance, music, and stories, the audio-visual spectacle will delve deep into the heart of history and societal perceptions. It questions the roles of individuals, society, and history in defining the place of women performers, challenging preconceived notions, and striving to honor their invaluable contribution to the world of art and culture. Main Tawaif is an endeavor by a modern-day dancer, Manjari, seeking recognition for the dancers and singers of yesteryears, dedicated to preserving and promoting the intangible cultural heritage of the tawaifs while removing social stigmas associated with courtesans, ultimately recognizing them as artists of unparalleled caliber.


These extraordinary women transitioned from the confines of the kotha to grace the Parsi theatre stages and subsequently became the pioneers of the burgeoning Hindi Film Industry. Their stories have regrettably been relegated to the shadows of history. This concert and the larger Courtesan Project aim to illuminate their art and narratives, bringing to these unsung heroines much-deserved attention, status, and respect. Manjari Chaturvedi shares stories of women who were integral to Hindi cinema.



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