from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A dance in South Asia, performed by professional dancing girls.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An entertainment consisting chiefly of dancing by professional dancing (or Nautch) girls.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In India, a kind of ballet-dance performed by professional dancers called by Europeans nautch-girls; any kind of stage-entertainment, especially one which includes dancing.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an intricate traditional dance in India performed by professional dancing girls
A vague notion prevails that a nautch is a very naughty and improper exhibition.
The musically inclined colonizers, even during the time of Warren Hastings used to refer to dancers as 'nautch' girls (naach for dance in hindi) and even used to host 'nautch' parties in their residence; some of them even attempted to play their raga based music on harpsichords.
But Polly's was like the mad and lawless ceremonial of some heathen temple where incense arose and nautch girls writhed.
Whether represented by an oil painting of heroic British women or images of sultry nautch girls, Lucknow in this last gallery is reduced to a series of competing icons.
Ruler Nasir al-Din Haidar appears in Kettle's portrait wearing a European-style crown, while a 1786-88 portrait of Antoine-Louis Henri Polier, a French officer and tireless art collector, shows a mustachioed European in caftan and turban sitting on cushions watching a nautch girl caught middance, one arm raised, an ankle encircled in bells.
If he had been the true commander here, he would have put a stop to all of these unseemly festivities, ordered a halt for prayer five times a day, had the camp swept free of the women of ill repute and the nautch girls.
I let out an astonishing noise, and was trying to steady myself for a plunge, but she checked me with a lifted hand, slid one foot forward, crooked her arms like a nautch-dancer, and came gliding slowly towards me, swaying that splendid golden nakedness in time to the throbbing of the music beneath our feet.
I came out rotten with fleas, stinking of nautch-oil and cheap perfume and cooking ghee, with my ears full of beggars 'whines and hawkers' jabbering and the clang of the booths - but that was all.
It may be significant that he never saw her face clearly on that occasion, and his description of the encounter might seem to suggest that the lady who entertained him was a professional nautch-dancer or courtesan, rather than the Rani.
There are some two hundred nautch-girls there; but they are forbidden to dance before men, though I have heard that the law can be evaded on occasions.