A digital magazine on sexuality, based in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

Music Dance and Sexuality

In Plainspeak English Audit In Plainspeak English Audit 100% 10 Painting of a woman playing sitar, sitting on a bench in a park. She is wearing an orange saree and a black blouse, and has her hair tied in a low bun. Screen reader support enabled. Painting of a woman playing sitar, sitting on a bench in a park. She is wearing an orange saree and a black blouse, and has her hair tied in a low bun.

The Editorial: Music, Dance and Sexuality

"Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I have diamonds at the meeting of my thighs?" Maya Angelou Through dance and song we explore deep and intricate connections between our lives and issues related to sexual desire, pleasure and agency. In a way, music and dance are…
Anita Ratnam in an orange saree doing Bharatnayam outside an old temple.

Interview: Anita Ratnam

In December TARSHI interviewed Anita Ratnam, who is a leading Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer based in Chennai. In her own words, she is in dance, “because this is my own way of connecting with myself and the world.  I consider myself a contemporary classicist.” As a supporter of contemporary Indian dancing, she spoke about the…
An animated figure of Sita, with big kajal-laden eyes, wearing a crown, pink lehnga, and having four hands. She holds a shell, a lotus, and a sudarshan chakra in three hands. The background is watery green.

Sita Sings the Blues

“For every incarnation of Rama, there is a Ramayana”, says AK Ramanujam in his essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’. So, too, there should be three hundred Ramayanas for every incarnation of Sita, the latest being in the form of a curvy, coquettish, jazz-singing Betty Boop. Nina Paley's 2012 film Sita Sings the Blues (available for free) is a wonderful,…
Back and front cover of the book, "Wild Girls Wicked Words". Blurb and testimonials are written in black on the back cover, and the title of the book is written in bold in black on the front, on a pink background colour.

“The more you confine me, the more I will spill over”

The collection Wild Girls, Wicked Words is an anthology of poetry translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmstrom. The collection contains the work of four contemporary women poets Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirthani. In the preface, Holmstrom mentions that these poets came into prominence in the early 2000s when there was a rise of…
Two men dancing on a stage with red flourescent lights. The dance pose shows the man in front turning over his shoulder to kiss the man standing behind him.

When Transparency Meets Fluidity, Dance Is Born

I just celebrated my twenty years in India last October and designed a performance for the occasion: ‘What is dance?’ As I was writing the text for the brochure of the show, looking back at this most amazing journey, I realised that if I had to choose one word to encapsulate the essence of this…
A boy performing Bharatnatyam on stage. He wears kajal, and an orange dupatta hung around his neck falls from both sides till his waist. The photo ends at his torso.

A Lingering Tingle

I started learning Bharatanatyam in 1988, when I was six years old. Looking back, it feels like beginning to learn to dance was, somehow, a key moment in my personal gender and sexuality history. It was the time I started, formally, to condition and train my body to move in specific ways. Earlier, in school,…
Poster of the film "Memoirs of Geisha". It focuses on face of a fair South Asian woman with straight hair, blue eyes, wearing red lipstick.

Reel Review: Memoirs of a Geisha

The Hollywood rendition of the Geisha world, with Edward Said’s Orientalism [1] thrown in, reminds us of a simple fact: things that are unknown to us, will always be misunderstood/mis-interpreted/mistranslated into our language. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) gives us a bird’s eye view of the Geisha culture and a limited interpretation of ‘sexuality’ [2] (a…