7 LOVELY GIRLS 7     DIVINE DANCES      SWEET SONGS  Its a 20th century Variety Show!   LOOK OUT!    WATCH!   Coming Shortly

Of course not every nautch girl was a refined courtesan, more often than not they were jobbing dancers.  This advertisement for Sheela’s dance in 1934 is because in smaller Lahore cinemas that screened old films or B-grade films, a live song and dance by a local dancing girl (often from Heera Mandi) was common to draw in audiences (Lahore:  A Sentimental Journey, Pran Nevile from which the book extract is taken).  

The 2012 Sheela’s song might have changed a lot but the item number is part of a long tradition.

Notes

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