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Dance and Performance Studies
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Languid Bodies, Grounded Stances
The Curving Pathway of Neoclassical Odissi Dance
234 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-368-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2016)
eISBN 978-1-78533-369-9 eBook
“This is a significant work of scholarship as Sikand also draws attention to important methodological approaches in the future study of odissi, its historiography and sources such as paintings and palm-leaf manuscripts which have only been studied by very few scholars… These are the voices who are attempting to answer the question, how does an art form continue to flourish for generations to come? May such work continue to be explored and appreciated.” · Pulse Magazine
“Through its study of an underexplored style of Indian dance and performance, this book adds to the now well-established field of how colonial and nationalist politics have reshaped the arts in India. What is especially welcome is that it adds to the less developed field of how one might integrate the historical narrative with aesthetic concepts embedded in performing arts practice, thus expanding the possibilities of social science methodology.” · Kalpana Ram, Macquarie University
Widely believed to be the oldest Indian dance tradition, odissi has transformed over the centuries from a sacred temple ritual to a transnational genre performed—and consumed—throughout the world. Building on ethnographic research in multiple locations, this book charts the evolution of odissi dance and reveals the richness, rigor, and complexity of the form as it is practiced today. As author and dancer-choreographer Nandini Sikand shows, the story of odissi is ultimately a story of postcolonial India, one in which identity, nationalism, tradition, and neoliberal politics dramatically come together.
Nandini Sikand is an odissi dancer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. She is the co-founder and co-director of Sakshi Productions, a neo-classical and contemporary dance company, and an Assistant Professor in the interdisciplinary film and media studies program at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.