Geographies of Indian Dance: Mid-Twentieth Century Kathak on Stage and on Screen

Sawjani, Paavan (2021) Geographies of Indian Dance: Mid-Twentieth Century Kathak on Stage and on Screen. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis engages debates around non-representational theory, subalternity and cultural hybridity in its exploration of the internationalist construction of India’s classical dance, kathak. Embedded within the political context of late colonial India, kathak along with other cultural art forms (re)emerged in the twentieth century out of nationalist claims to sovereignty, having been supressed during British purifying and civilising campaigns. Inspired by my personal interactions with kathak as part of the Indian diaspora in the UK, this thesis traces the lives and performances of Leila Sokhey and Uday Shankar, whose western dance tours exemplified a hybridity that emerged through their own identities and, significantly, was manifest in their dance forms. Located in the digital archives – necessary due to coronavirus restrictions – Sokhey and Shankar embody the gendered and postcolonial aspects of Indian classical dance. The critical engagement with representations, developed analyses of more-than-textual sources and the exploration of new methodologies offered by digital research enable this thesis to study mobility at the body-scale and at the global scale where kathak’s internationalist construction is realised.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Legg, Stephen
Beckingham, David
Keywords: Indian classical dance, kathak, Leila Sokhey, Uday Shankar
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 65186
Depositing User: Sawjani, Paavan
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 04:41

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