Dancing Queens : A Celebration of India's Transgender Communities

The Dancing Queens

Dancing Queens : A Celebration of India's Transgender Communities

18 November 2015

In April 2014, India’s Supreme Court recognized the third gender in a landmark judgement. However, not much is known about the aspirations, lives and struggles of our country’s transgender communities.

On November 18, the Godrej India Culture Lab was proud to host the Dancing Queens, Mumbai’s premiere transgender-led professional dance contingent, in a collaborative performance curated by our Lab’s very own scholar-in-residenceJeff Roy

The performance interweaved dance with short films made by and for the transgender community. Dance is not just an art, but a forum for social justice and inter-gender understanding. In this presentation, the Dancing Queens revealed what it means to identify as transgender in India, the obstacles faced by the community, and methods for prevailing over them. Choreographed numbers by the group and guest performers exemplified the experience of triumph in achieving personal freedom and family acceptance, and addressed some of the ways we can create real, tangible change.

The Dancing Queens is a transgender-led dance troupe, headed by Abhina AherUrmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode. The talented members of the group exceed boundaries of personal and ideological expression. Founded initially as part of the Mumbai Pride Festival 2009, the Dancing Queens uses dance to break through the boundaries formed by words. Through sensitive choreography, the Dancing Queens embodies, promotes, and fights for the rights of everyone to be who they want to be and love who they want to love.

Jeff Roy is a filmmaker, musician and Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. Roy has directed and produced two award-winning documentaries surrounding themes of gender and sexuality: Mohammed to Maya (2012) and Music in Liminal Spaces (2013). He is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the Godrej India Culture Lab.

Before the event, we called for support for people to break stereotypes about transgenders with a simple project. Equipped with just a slate and chalk, people from across Godrej made a powerful statement for change. Take a look at the project here.