Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Ronnie Brosterman

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

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© 2013 Avantika Saraogi


This thesis deals with the “item number” genre of Bollywood song and dance sequences. I argue that the item song has evolved from a combination of the historically rich culture of prostitution in old India and the western influence of modern times; and that it contributes highly to the male dominated patriarchal society perpetuated by Hindi films by means of the voyeuristic male gaze and objectification of the female body. In conjunction with this research I choreographed a dance called Item No. 3 that was performed in Scripps Dances 2013. A discussion of the significance and decisions behind the choreography is also included in this written document. A record of the performance as available on DVD through the Scripps College Dance Department or at

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