Aunties and gurus: Women's contributions to Asian Indian dance
India holds a unique place in the dance world, with its array of different dance techniques. Each technique has its own history, and women have played important roles in most of the styles, having been identified as the most frequent performers of dance in history, through textual references and scriptual evidence. Odissi, Bharata Natyam, Kathak, and Manipuri dance styles are discussed, showing the contributions made to their development by female dancers. It is demonstrated that, for women, dance is a vehicle for crossing boundaries established by society to enforce the male-dominated social hierarchy. Part of the research for this thesis was a study, by the author, of Indian dance teachers in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area during 1995-1996, which found that the teachings of these women, like those of their counterparts in India, perpetuate the oral tradition of Indian dance.