Queen's University

Music, Dance and the Art of Seduction

Music and dance play a fascinating and complex role in social interactions in nearly every culture. The power of music to elicit physical reactions—from causing people simply to sway in rhythm, to inciting trances or even sexual excitement—has led to numerous different traditions of music and dance in the service of romance. Music, Dance and the Art of Seduction examines a broad range of such practices: from the dancing and singing of South Indian devadasis (courtesans) to the provocative dialogues exchanged between Chinese rural villagers; from the interplay of attraction and repulsion in Mozart’s operas to the “bump and grind” of dancers in nightclubs today. From anthropological, biological, and ethnomusicological perspectives, the essays in this volume explore the universality of the relationship between music, dance, and sexual attraction.

Chapter 16: Wounded with the Arrow of Her Eyelashes: Seduction and Sensuality in North Indian dance