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Celebrating the work of Indian dancers

September 16
02:49 2011

Professor Ketu H Katrak of the University of California, Irvine articulates in her book ‘Contemporary Indian Dance” the diverse tapestry of contemporary dance with a distinctive narrative that celebrates the work of dancers who impact and reverberate from an “ancestry of gesture”. An exciting book that stimulates the power and passion of a new language of dance – and the transformative power of imagination – multilayered and multi-vocal-in India and the Diaspora.

“This language,” she says “unfolds at the intersection of classical Indian dance forms with yoga, pan-Asian dance and martial arts traditions as well as modern and postmodern dance and theatrical tools that result in hybrid dance creations.”

The study is exciting as Ketrak taps into the natural creative energies, the bold spirit and innovative improvisation of the contemporary dancer while traveling to India, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York among other places to see dance programs and interview artists. Ethnicity, gender and sexuality are inspired by artist’s geographical locations in the global North or South. Exploring sources, compositions, structure, technique, indeed the entire creative process, the book introduces the reader not only to theoretical ways of looking at contemporary Indian dance but links us with the iconic Astad Deboo, Shobana Jeyasingh and other pioneers.
The study is grounded historically (the revival of Indian dance in early 20th century) and examines today’s phenomena of globalization and Diaspora that impacts artists around the world.

On a Fulbright Research Award Ketrak brings an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to these phenomena of globalization and Diaspora. The book includes 30 images of contemporary dance and includes discussions with a broad spectrum of artists.

Prem Kishore

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It’s a lovely book. It feels energetically clear and light. It’s easy to read, dip in and out and most importantly it offers information without fluff! Blessings on this project.

Jac O’Keeffe
Spirituality teacher based in USA.

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