Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) 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.
‘Nautch’ comes from the Hindi ‘nac,’ dancing.
“A vague notion prevails that a nautch is a very naughty and improper exhibition. My experience is limited, but I must say that in the few I have seen there was nothing that a sergent de mile at Mabille could have objected to.”
“There was a nautch, which I thought very stupid, for the girls did nothing but eat sweetmeats, and occasionally ran forward and twirled round for a moment with a half-bold, semi-conscious look; and only one was barely good-looking.”
“When they ran they had an ungainly, dislocated motion, somewhat like the contortions of an Indian nautch or a Theban danseuse — a dreamy, undulating movement, which even the tail, with its long fringe of black hair, seemed to partake of.”