Dance, Music and Cultures of Decolonisation in the Indian Diaspora provides fascinating examples of dance and music projects across the Indian Diaspora to highlight that decolonisation is a creative process, as well as a historical and political one.
The book analyses creative processes in decolonising projects, illustrating how dance and music across the Indian Diaspora articulate socio-political aspirations in the wake of thinkers such as Gandhi and Ambedkar. It presents a wide range of examples: post-apartheid practices and experiences in a South African dance company, contestations over national identity politics in Trinidadian music competitions, essentialist and assimilationist strategies in a British dance competition, the new musical creativity of second-generation British-Tamil performers, Indian classical dance projects of reform and British multiculturalism, feminist intercultural performances in Australia, and performance re-enactments of museum exhibits that critically examine the past. Key topics under discussion include postcolonial contestations, decolonising scholarship, dialogic pedagogies and intellectual responsibility. The book critically reflects on decolonising aims around respect, equality and the colonial past’s redress as expressed through performing arts projects.
Presenting richly detailed case studies that underline the need to examine creative processes in the cultures of decolonisation, Dance, Music and Cultures of Decolonisation in the Indian Diaspora will be of great interest to scholars of South Asian Studies, Diaspora Studies, Performing Arts Studies and Anthropology. The chapters were originally published as a special issue of South Asian Diaspora.
Table of Contents
1. Dance, music and cultures of decolonisation in the Indian Diaspora: towards a pluralist reading
Tina K. Ramnarine
2. Dancing the rainbow nation as it bleeds: the Surialanga Dance Company in post-apartheid South Africa
3. Music competitions, public pedagogy and decolonisation in Trinidad and Tobago
Christopher L. Ballengee
4. The BBC Young Dancer and the decolonising imagination
5. Decolonising Indian classical dance? Projects of reform, classical to contemporary
6. Gender, new creativity and Carnatic music in London
7. Decolonising moves: gestures of reciprocity as feminist intercultural performance
8. Decolonising human exhibits: dance, re-enactment and historical fiction
Tina K. Ramnarine is a musician, anthropologist and global cultural explorer. She has published widely, including Beautiful Cosmos: Performance and Belonging in the Caribbean Diaspora (2007), Musical Performance in the Diaspora (Routledge, 2007), and Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Collective Creativity and Social Agency (2018).