This is Part 1 of a video of a presentation given at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and I think I like it almost as much for the explanations given in English (thank you) as for the performances themselves. Dhanashree Pandit Rai did some fine singing here, but she also did some fine translation and history telling. And I was very amused by the part of her explanation in which she talked about the instruction that the courtesans learned from the Kama Sutra, “Bol Banana”…which she translated as “How to make a fool out of a man.” And then when she translated the first line of the thumri as “Your killer looks are driving a dagger into my heart,” many movie mujras flashed through my mind. How many variations of that line have we heard? That was perfect.
This clip does not include the kathak dancing, but it is still my favorite of the four parts. I might post some or all of the rest, but I felt that this deserved a post of its own.