Subversion and reinforcement of gender norms in the Tamil reality dance competition show Maanada Mayilada | Intellect Skip to content
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Reality Television in South Asia: Performance, Negotiation, Imagination
  • ISSN: 2059-0660
  • E-ISSN: 2059-0679

Abstract

This article explores the ways Tamil-language dance reality competition show () () interacts with and partially subverts the gender norms of Tamil cinema. While the structure of supports and promotes female contestants, the choreography tends to reinforce the gender stereotypes found in the larger industry. The show, consisting of male/female song-and-dance sequences, privileges women in a way the larger film industry does not. The choreographers are all male, and they conceptualize the dances, select and edit the music, and compose the movements for the contestants and backup dancers. The performances are then evaluated and scored by a panel of female actors and choreographers led by Kala Master. They sometimes praise dancers and choreographers for breaking gender stereotypes and at other times admonish them to work within them. positions women in such a way that it does not default to their objectification and exploitation as is common in the reality show genre.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Award
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2022-08-01
2024-05-26
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