Lecture and Workshop Series
Spring 2023 Dance Program Lecture and Workshop Series
Dr. Sneha Gole
Thursday January 26th at 4:30 PM
Kathak in Maharashtra: The making of the classical in the region
The story of the making of the classical in the Indian context through the twin processes of classicalization and vulgarization in the context of a gendered nationalist imaginary is a well-established one. However, the narrative gets complicated when one brings in the region, since the trajectories of the classical have been shaped differently. This talk focuses on the region of Maharashtra and what focusing on the regional story can tell us about the social history and the cultural politics of a classical form like Kathak. Bringing this into conversation with the contemporary performance and pedagogical practice of the dance, the attempt would be to decode the caste-gender linkages which shape the classical form.
Jennifer EunJung Row
Tuesday February 7th at 4:30 PM
Crip Walks: Dance and Disability in the Early Modern World
“Dance has always been recognized as one of the most honest & most necessary [disciplines] in forming the body,” declared the king Louis XIV in his 1662 decree founding the French Royal Academy of Dance. In early modern France, ballet was viewed as an art form, a tool of diplomacy, and a necessary means of training an agile and graceful military body. But some bodies could not–or would not– conform to this royal ideal. How was disability, limping, slouching, or wobbling portrayed? Should disabled bodies be mocked, marveled at, or eliminated? Could these “crip walks” be corrected by dance? Or would they serve as the site for creative fodder and unexpected other gains?
Thursday February 23rd at 4:30 PM
The Cross-Cultural in the Queer Black Postmodern Aesthetic of David Rousseve
What is the role of queer black dance in the cross cultural? How does one body express the coming together of complex ethnic, racial, gendered, and sexual worlds? How does a queer aesthetic sustain itself in dance and film, even as the identity and presence of a black queer subject remains invisible in the choreography? Such questions emerge in the dances and films of choreographer David Rousseve and his dance company “REALITY” in ways that lead to concerns for the intersectional, cross-cultural, transnational meaning of queer black embodiment in postmodern dance.
Thursday March 2nd at 4:30 PM
Who gets to be holy? Various hues in South Indian "temple dance" cultures
“We Kalavantulu sing and dance only for the Lord. He will be present here in his human form when we sing!” my Kalavantulu teacher says with a glint in her eye when she teaches me a song with erotic lyrics.
I am from the Kalavantulu families, who trace their lineage to the temple communities in Andhra Pradesh. While our families served the temples by extracting sandal paste for worship, our labor of dance and music was in the zamindar’s (feudal landlord’s) court for the connoisseurs of art. My grandmother did not seek glorification from our families service to the temple. Instead, we were proud that the artistry of our song and dance remained treasured in Telugu literature. So, I ask who gets to be holy by associating with the temple? Or rather, who chooses to be called ‘holy’? I explore through dance and lecture the “politics of the sacred” in temple dance cultures of south India.