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Dance at Swarthmore College – Virtual – Moving for Justice: Indian Dance and Dissent
April 16 @ 9:45 am - 1:00 pm
One event on April 17, 2021 at 9:45 am
Keynote Speakers: Nilanjana Gupta (Jadavpur University) and Urmimala Sarkar Munsi (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Speakers: Pritika Agarwal (Temple University), Aishika Chakraborty (Jadavpur University), Nicole Cox (University of Illinois), Harshita Kamath (Emory University), Kareem Khubchandani (Tufts University), Satakshi Nandi (Independent Artist), Ameera Nimji (University of Puget Sound), Priya Srinivasan (Independent Scholar/Artist, Sangam Arts)
In this urgent moment of civil disobedience and transnational collaborations, we want to rethink the interrelation of dance, culture, and bodies, focusing on India, within the pervasive context of the erosion of democracy. In this seminar, organized collaboratively by Jadavpur University, Kolkata (School of Media, Communication, and Culture) and Swarthmore College (Department of Dance and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility) we ask what kinds of actions can the practitioners and scholars of dance undertake to address the crucial issues of the times from a transnational and local perspective. The seminar will explore the intersections of the different forms of dance in India (from classical and folk/tribal styles to popular forms such as Bollywood and HipHop) with state ideologies and markets. The bodies or identities of dancers, including Indian, non-Indian, and diaspora, will be examined on issues of access, power, pedagogy, and practice. As Indian Dance Studies gets global visibility, we want to engage with the ethics of dance research, power relations, and community engagement. Some of the questions we will address include:
• How can we deepen awareness of the entrenched inequalities of casteism/classicism, anti-Muslim practices, gender violence, and patriarchy perpetuated directly or indirectly through Indian dance?
• Does the system of gurus and parampara reinforce the creation of docile bodies?
• How may it be possible to create points of rupture or resistance to the deep-rooted state ideologies that aggressively disenfranchise citizens and perpetuate an elite and/or monolithic understanding of Indian dance.
• What are the nuances of the relationship between the researcher and the subjects of her research in embodied practices? What are the ethics of doing dance research?