The Newsletter 69 Autumn 2014

Illicit dancing

Lalita du Perron

Reviewed publication:
Morcom, A. 2013. Illicit worlds of Indian dance: cultures of exclusion, London: Hurst & Co., ISBN: 9781849042796

On Tuesday 16 July 2013, the Supreme Court in Mumbai upheld a high court verdict from 2006, which had quashed the Maharashtra state government’s order to ban dance bars in the state. This fact, and the research that will undoubtedly follow it, are all sequels to Anna Morcom’s brilliant new book, which went to press before the Supreme Court had reached its verdict. After seven years of being banned, dance bars were allowed to open again. This was certainly good news for the tens of thousands of women who had been employed in these bars, and whose loss of livelihood as performers had catapulted many of them into the very sex work from which the ban was supposed to save them.