Dance occupies a prestigious place in Indian performing arts, yet it curiously, to a large extent, has remained outside the arena of academic discourse. This book documents and celebrates the emergence of contemporary dance practice in India. Incorporating a multidisciplinary approach, it includes contributions from scholars, writers and commentators as well as short essays and interviews with Indian artists and performers; the latter add personal perspectives and insights to the broad themes discussed.
Young Indian dance artists are courageously charting out new trajectories in dance, diverging from the time-worn paths of tradition. The classical forms of Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri, to name a few, are rich resources for choreographers exploring contemporary dance. This volume speaks about their struggles of working within and outside tradition as they grapple with national and international audience expectations as well as their own values and sense of identity.
The artists represented here continue to question the uneasy relationship that exists between the insular world of dance and outside reality. Simultaneously, they are actively creating new dance languages that are both articulate in a performative context and demand examination by researchers and critics.
Urmimala Sarkar Munsi is Visiting Faculty, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Vice President — South Asia, World Dance Alliance — Asia Pacific.
Stephanie Burridge lectures at Singapore Management University and is a dance critic, author and editor of the book series 'Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific'.
"Contributing to the increasingly sophisticated literature on Indian dance, this is a welcome addition to dance studies. And it achieves the series purpose of introducing Asian dance into current dance discourse. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals."--J. L. Erdman, CHOICE (February 2012)