Intercultural Journeys – Close Ups: Pallabi Chakravorty
January 12, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Through compelling performance and a thoughtful academic lens, dancer, choreographer, professor, author, and anthropologist, Pallabi Chakravorty brings classical Indian dance forms into contemporary, postcolonial conversations. From the page to the stage, Pallabi’s Kathak-inspired work speaks to universal themes of gender, power, globalization and migration.
Anthropologist, dance artist, and choreographer Pallabi Chakravorty studies performance in India. She does fieldwork in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad. Her first book (Bells of Change, 2008) is on Kathak, the classical dance form of North India. Her recent book (This is How We Dance Now, 2017) is on dance reality shows. She has co-edited three books: Performing Ecstasy in 2009, Dance Matters, also in 2009, and most recently, Dance Matters Too in 2018. She has published dozens of journal papers and book chapters, edited a proceedings (Dance in South Asia, 2002), and an ethnographic film (Kathak in the City). Her training in visual anthropology and Kathak allows her research and choreographic projects to be deeply interdisciplinary. Her works bring together the visual and performing arts, history, anthropology, film and media studies, and gender and postcolonial studies.
Pallabi founded Courtyard Dancers in 2000 to make dance works that express a postcolonial modernist voice. Her choreographies are based on historical and contemporary events in India, such as partition, the anti nautch movement, globalization, migration, and violence. Courtyard Dancers is a non-profit community-centered arts organization (with branches in Philadelphia and Kolkata) interested in developing dance/movement for cultural literacy and empowerment. It hosts the first and only dance and music festival devoted to the South Asian diaspora in Philadelphia (Facing East, presented in 2015 and 2017).