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Classicism, post-classicism and Ranjabati Sircar’s work: re-defining the terms of Indian contemporary dance discourses

Lopez y Royo, Alessandra (2003) 'Classicism, post-classicism and Ranjabati Sircar’s work: re-defining the terms of Indian contemporary dance discourses.' South Asia Research, 23 (2). pp. 153-169.

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Abstract

This essay discusses contemporary dance in India foregrounding the link between dance and politics. The author proposes that contemporary dance in today’s India can be seen as a continuum, under which is tension and rupture. It embraces on one hand, ‘classicism’- strictly speaking ‘neo-classicism’ - on the other, an ideological move away from this ‘classicism’, which constitutes itself into an heterogeneous movement motivated by a search for new dance languages. These new languages, growing out of ‘traditional roots’ (variously defined), claim to be sustained by the ‘classicism ’ of Indian dance. This movement can be referred to, for convenience, as ‘post-classicism’; this ‘post-classicism’is otherwise known as ‘Contemporary’ dance – with a capital c , in accordance with a western model. Dance in today’s India, whether ‘classical’ or ‘post-classical’ is wholly entangled with the issue of an Indian religious and secular identity, increasingly dominated by a Hinduising discourse, and this informs the artistic choices of dance artists. The essay will discuss the work of Ranjabati Sircar, here seen as ‘post-classical’, against this scenario, and will begin to reflect on the impact Ranjabati Sircar’s choreography and her cosmopolitanism has had on dance in contexts other than India, such as the British South Asian diaspora.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: Indian contemporary, dance, Hinduization, post-classical
SOAS Departments & Centres: ?? 100 ??
ISSN: 02627280
Depositing User: Dr Alessandra Lopez y Royo
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2004
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/62

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