Dancing Hevajra Surrounded by Dancing Yoginis, circa 1200, northeastern Thailand; former kingdom of Ang kor, bronze, H. 46 cm × D. 23.9 cm, Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Maxeen and John Flower in honor of Dr. Stanislaw Czuma, 2011.143
The Lords of the Cremation Ground Dancing, circa 1400–1500, Tibet, pigments and gold on cotton, H. 45.1 cm × W. 36.2 cm, Rubin Museum of Art, F1996.16.5
The Mother Goddess Chamunda Dancing, circa 800–1000, India; Rajasthan, sandstone, H. 58.4 cm × W. 38.1 cm × D. 17.8 cm, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, B62S39+
Krishna Dances with the Cowherd women, circa 1850–1900, India; Rajasthan (Nathadwara), opaque watercolors, gold, and silver on cotton, H. 300 cm × W. 300 cm, Cincinnati Art Museum; Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art, 2018.115
Attributed to Pandit Seu (Indian, 1680–1740), Dancing Villagers, circa 1730, opaque watercolors on paper, 24.8 cm × W. 36.2 cm (image); H. 27.3 cm × W. 38.7 cm (sheet), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase, M.77.19.24
Western & Southern Galleries (Galleries 232 and 233)
Friends of South Asian Art, Islamic Art and Antiquities
Press Release (PDF)
The exhibition Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art considers the compelling visual language of dance in the arts from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayan region from the first to the twenty-first century. Through religious, courtly, and everyday objects, the exhibition illustrates how dance occupies a uniquely important place in the region. The dance of the gods can provide religious and ethical lessons and can also symbolize power and majesty. In daily life, people have long danced for worship, for festivals, for the entertainment of emperors and princes, and for their own enjoyment. Experience the exceptional importance and power of dance in religious thought, literature, politics, and societal structures. Dance was–and is–not only for delight.
Jointly organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum, the exhibition premieres in Cincinnati before travelling to San Francisco in 2023. Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art is accompanied by an interdisciplinary, multi-author publication – available now from the museum shop in person and online.
This exhibition has an accessible pathway, large print labels, and an audio exhibition available via QR code.
Watch 2000 Years: The Art of Dance and Dance in Art.
Enjoy a captivating lecture-demonstration led by Dr. Ainsley M. Cameron, Curator of South Asian Art, Islamic Art, and Antiquities, and Mekala Krishnan, a trained Bharatanatyam dancer.
Download complete Beyond Bollywood large print labels, optimized for screen reader.
Hear verbal descriptions of highlighted artworks and interpretive content for the exhibition, wherever you are.
If you need accessibility accommodations for this program or event, please email [email protected]. Please contact us at least two weeks in advance to ensure accommodations can be made.
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 4–7 p.m.
Thursday, November 10, 2022, 5–7 p.m.
Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7–8 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 at 12 and 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 2022, 11 a.m.—5 p.m.
Saturday, December 17 at 12 and 2 p.m.
Saturday, January 21 at 12 and 2 p.m.
Sunday, February 5, 2023 2 p.m.
Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art is accompanied by an interdisciplinary, multi-author publication, with new scholarship presented by dance and film historians, art historians, and scholars of religions. It is the first publication dedicated to exploring dance in the arts from the wider Indian cultural sphere. Contributions include thematic essays by Dr. Ainsley M. Cameron, Cincinnati Art Museum’s Curator of South Asian Art, Islamic Art, and Antiquities and Dr. Forrest McGill, Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, San Francisco, with additional essays by Dr. Laura Weinstein, Dr. Padma Kaimal, and Dr. Esha Niyogi De.
The Museum brought together a small Community Advisory Committee to plan and execute programming initiatives related to the exhibition Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art. The museum is grateful for the time, collaboration, humor, and dedication offered from the individuals listed below.
Ainsley M. Cameron, Curator of South Asian Art Islamic Art, and Antiquities at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Carolyn Guideo Clifford, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Cincinnati Ballet
Trudy Gaba, Curatorial Assistant of South Asian Art Islamic Art, and Antiquities at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Carrie Atkins Maras, Associate Director of Community Engagement at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Haley Perkins, Assistant Director of Interpretive Programming at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Anu Mitra, Cincinnati Art Museum Trustee and Docent, and Faculty at Union Institute and University
Anita Raturi, Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati in Political Science and Government
Kamellia Smith, Balinese dance teacher and performer
Rodney Veal, Board president for Ohio Dance, independent choreographer, and host of Southwest Ohio’s The Art Show