03 October 2006

Dance Like A Woman 2

At 'Bin Baykancha Tamasha', men are the fairer sex, reports Mini Chandran-Kurian

In the garish yellow light of the naked bulb, their painted faces look larger than life. They are the 'nachya poras' of Bin Baykancha Tamasha — an eclectic version of the traditional tamasha featuring male dancers in female form.

"Aho suna raaya, sanga mee kashi diste?" asks the lead dancer coquettishly, and the audience collectively sighs, to break into loud clapping.

Says Anil Vasudevan, who conceptualised and choreographed Bin Baykancha Tamasha, "This performing art elicits unexpectedly uninhibited responses from the audience, particularly to male dancers."

Vasudevan, a dancer, who put in over 30 years at Mafatlals at a desk job, and then gave it up to adopt choreography as a full-time profession; does make-up for Bharat Natyam artistes, besides choreographing classical and folk performances. In the last two years Bin Baykancha Tamasha has given over 250 performances, and an elated Vasudevan says his boys have enthralled disparate audiences including housewives, politicians, businessmen and corporate executives.

Tickets are priced between Rs 50 and 100, and therefore the dancers are still paid only Rs 200 to 500 per show. The singers are a huge draw, especially Vinay Koli and Jayesh Kale who sing in both male and female voices. Koli who works in Syndicate Bank by the day, says that it is a gift from God. "I cannot act like a woman or dance like a woman, but I can sing better than one!" So is he constantly requested by neighbours and others to sing in both voices? "No, I can't do that," he says candidly. "It's only when I am on the stage that I open my mouth and the voice just pours out…"

Do the dancers ever face an identity crisis? Nitesh Jadhav who is hailed as the most exquisite 'woman' in the show replies in the negative. "It doesn't affect me. Once I wear my sari, I become a woman.” Rajesh Sukant Bodke who is a lecturer at Bodke Classes, and Anil who runs a telephone booth, feel that they would be unable to find this kind of admiration in any other profession, and that the little discomforts do not count in the larger picture.

However, Vasudevan admits, "Some men in the audience do laugh at them, but the women simply love them! They are great performers and ultimately that's all that matters."

The seduction is complete, right from the moment the mujra begins, with the dancers making a dramatic entry, their backs to the audience; and then flinging off their pallus and turning around to face the audience… The Gavlan song follows and then the tongue-in cheek Karbhari Damana, the boisterous Kheltana Rang Bai Holicha and the ever popular Ya Ravji, Basa Ravji…

Clearly, here are Mumbakars eager to take in a spot of culture, not out of the ordinary for a city that thrives on the unusual and the unexpected.

Source: Mumbai Mirror - (contributed by Jaya)

Watch a Video of a NDTV report on the same subject: Men no Bar


  1. hai dear this is butiful looks good thanks/

  2. A Classic Revival of age old tradition. In the earlier days when it was considered a taboo for womens to act on stage men used to don womens role and outclassed womens in their style and grace. The Scene however changed with time. What now seems laughable to some audience is an ancient tradition of India. Congratulations to Vasudevan and his group for this attempt of revival.

    It also reminds me of a marathi play "Moruchi Mavshi" where Chetan Dalvi(Not Sure) made a brilliant performance in Womwn attire. An Article worth mentioning on this blog :)

  3. Hats off to vasudevan and his team for reviving the age old tradition of india.In the earlier days when female casting was a taboo males used to don women attire and give splendid performances. Their grace outclassed womens. The people who find vasudevan and his troop laughable should review the ancent history of indian art.

    The Blog also reminds me of a very sucssesful marathi play "Moruchi Mavshi" where chetan dalvi acted the female lead graciously.

    Thanx for such an informative posting :)


  4. @jay
    Thanks for your coments. Its great what they are doing and we should all go go and see their shows and encourage them.

    They are beautiful and gorgeous!

  5. Hi vasudevan
    Hi like u r Activity as dance in women because its very difficult to be a look like female and u r soo cool in that great
    Keep it up
    Even i also like to dress up as female for a moment its great feeling
    Thanks and god bless u

  6. i have seen this programme three times, it's really aussim, i have no words to explain their talent, i want to meet all of them, it's my hear wish, hope i will get the chance to meet the team of this men tamasha, but really want to say one thing only they are, ULTIMATE.

  7. hi mr.kandilkar i see your programme i join your binbaikancha tamasha dance programme so please send me your contact number.


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