Monday 4 November 2019

Profile - Gender, Nationalism: Sitara Devi - The Fiery Queen of Kathak - Navina Jafa

Remembering Sitara Devi on her birth anniversary on 8th November, the Queen of Kathak dance is as much about her fiery personality as it is about locating the legendary dancer in a wider frame. Hers is a story representative of women empowerment in the Indian performing arts, about middle-class ‘respectability’ and about culture during the National Movement against the British.

Read more in the site


  1. Erroneously or inadvertently, budding dance writer Navina Jaffa has stated "1945.... First dance festival.... Under first Secretary of SNA, Nirmala Joshi ... Not correct or possible. India was born in 1947! SNA was set up much later by an Act of the Parliament. Same para wrongly states pt. Achchan Maharaj , choreographed 2 ballets for this festival (which actually was 1954/55; maybe digits got interchanged.) Fact is he died in 1947. I have heard of ghost writers but never of ghost choreographers! Navina has got dates and facts all mixed up and should be more circumspect and careful in future,if serious about writing on dance history. Such falsification or flippant writing can be quite damaging to a researcher, reader or PhD student , who might quote from here.

  2. Sir, as a trained historian, and now in 50s I think I am no longer young or budding ! 2. 1945 was the first festival NOT by SNA but under the aegis of Snagit Bharti. My training as a historian does not quite allow for not only checking facts, but checking out primary material. Regards DR. Navina Jafa ( Cultural Technocrat)