Photo Essay: Men Embracing Feminity In “Bin Baykancha Tamasha”.

It’s a popular notion that it takes the beauty, grace and experience of being a woman to perform Lavni (a traditional Marathi folk theatre). Bin Baykancha Tamasha is an all men dance troupe that has broken new ground in this usually women-centric art form. The femininity of men embrace by this performance can only be experienced as an audience, and Punit Reddy tries to capture this through his photo essay of the performers getting ready before they go out to perform.

“In this wide spectrum of gender identity in India, I came across this interesting troupe who don’t identify themselves to any soci-religious-cultural trans identity but their art from is inspired from traditional dance called Lavni (which is primarily women oriented dance) wherein their feminity is embraced by a non queer audience to enjoy this seductive form of the performance created by men. For me, it was an idea to see how an artist gracefully blend in to this gender-queer identity and through art form they create a perspective to the grass root section of society”.

“This event took place at Matunga cultural centre during the pride month of 2017 in Mumbai. I reached the place like 2 hour prior to see and understand what was happening. I somehow managed to get into the backstage to document behind the scenes, and later it came out to this story.”

The beauty lies in the beholder eyes, we see how this human form of expression merges with society’s nomenclature and how art becomes a tool to blur all the lines.

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Jo Krishnakumar is a trans queer researcher interested in all things sex, sexuality, gender and how different groups/people experience these wor(l)ds. Their work is informed by their constant learning/unlearning of the privileges they have due to their social location as a dominant/oppressive caste person (Nair) while also occupying space as a (mentally) disabled trans person of colour. Find them on their unfinished webspace www.waytojo.com.
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