Indian Classical Dance and the Making of Postcolonial National Identities: Dancing on Empire's Stage, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Indian Classical Dance and the Making of Postcolonial National Identities

Dancing on Empire's Stage, 1st Edition

By Sitara Thobani


192 pages

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pub: 2017-03-22
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Indian Classical Dance and the Making of Postcolonial National Identities explores what happens when a national-cultural production is reproduced outside the immediate social, political and cultural context of its origin.

Whereas most previous studies have analysed Indian classical dance in the context of Indian history and culture, this volume situates this dance practice in the longstanding trasnational linkages between India and the UK. What is the relation between the contemporary performance of Indian classical dance and the constitution of national, diasporic and multicultural identity? Where and how does Indian dance derive its productive power in the postcolonial moment? How do diasporic and nationalist representations of Indian culture intersect with depictions of British culture and politics? It is argued that classical Indian dance has become a key aspect of not only postcolonial South Asian diasporic identities, but also of British multicultural and transnational identity.

Based on an extensive ethnographic study of performances of Indian classical dance in the UK, this book will be of interest to scholars of anthropology, sociology, South Asian studies, Postcolonial, Transnational and Cultural studies, and Theatre and Performance studies.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the Scene: Theorising Indian Dance in Post/Coloniality

2. Keeping Time: Constructions and Performances of Historical Narrative

3. Covering Space: Mobility, Transnationalism, Ethnicity

4. Playing Roles: Postcolonial Performances of Gender

5. Marking the Stage: Finding the Religious, Spiritual and Secular in Indian Classical Dance

6. Conclusion

About the Author


Sitara Thobani received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, UK. She has lectured at Simon Fraser University, Canada, and at the University of British Columbia, Canada

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Anthropology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General