This Delhi Girl Is Doing Bharatnatyam Outdoors To Reclaim Public Spaces #IWillGoOut

Bharatnatyam dancer Tirna Sengupta is reclaiming women's rights to male dominated public spaces through her dance forms. Read here about the initiative.

Bharatanatyam dancer Tirna Sengupta is reclaiming women’s rights to male dominated public spaces through her dance forms. Read here about the initiative.

Seen dancing on the street to a poem composed by herself, Tirna Sengupta is breaking out of multiple shackles in one act of assertion. As a part of the #ChalkTheWalk campaign organised by @IWillGoOut.

#IWillGoOut had a nationwide gathering on 21st January, 2017 in solidarity against sexual harassment and misogyny, and to reclaim women’s rights to safe public spaces. They’re a collective of individuals and organisations across various cities in India.

The campaign being a year old last month, they posted a video of Tirna Sengupta dancing to a poem, reclaiming it and at the same time attempting to take Bharatanatyam out of ‘elite enclaves’ on to public spaces.

The idea of a woman being herself, and appropriating a space which has never been given to her is an absolutely amazing initiative. Especially when public places are often used by men to perpetrate violence and outrage against a woman’s body and privacy.

It becomes all the more important if we think of it with the perspective of the future. One girl dancing her heart out on a street can trigger so many reactions, that can lead to a collective influence over the perception of public spaces as inherently male-dominated. Women are rebelling, and subverting old ideas and notions to aid womankind in general, and what can be more wonderful than that?

When we reached out to Tirna Sengupta for her views, she said,

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“Bharatanatyam has been inaccessible and esoteric for a very long time. I see activism as an important part of art and I think it is my social responsibility to articulate rebellion. So I use movements, poetry and expressions to invite attention to the kind of resistance I attempt to present. I also try use my art to question my own privileges. I thought dancing on the streets would be an effective way to engage with the masses and democratise the art form. A woman dancing on the streets has tremendous potential to make a statement that we are going to occupy public spaces despite all threats.”

Let us all pledge to go out more, and claim our share of ‘public’ places! #IWillGoOut

Image Source: Facebook Video of I Will Go Out

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About the Author

Parul Sharma

New Delhi, India I like to read, write, and talk. A feminist through and through, with a soft spot for chocolate. read more...

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