Representations of Gender and Sexuality by Selected Contemporary Indian Dancers
Professor Ketu H. Katrak, Drama Department, UCI
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Abstract: This talk delineates the hybrid form--movement, voice, theatrical tools, multimedia--of Contemporary Indian Dance and representations of gender and sexuality by selected performing artists. Contemporary Indian dancers in India and the diaspora (within global flows of increased travel, border crossings, the internet) challenge stereotypes of sexual identities, and engage critically in their creative choreography with rigid female roles—women are often regarded under patriarchy as the “guardians of tradition” however oppressive; scenarios of domestic violence, and other situations where the body is on the line. My theoretical frame is guided by notions of the in-between, rasa, and heteroglossia. I situate the notion of sexuality within India's philosophical and aesthetic traditions where it coalesces with sensuality and at times with spirituality. The selected artists whose works I discuss believe that arts play a role in raising social awareness and inspire change for a better future for women, men, and communities.
Bio: KETU KATRAK, Professor in the Drama Department, University of California, Irvine, specializes in Dance, Drama, Performance and Feminist Theory. She is the author of Contemporary Indian Dance: New Creative Choreography in India and the Diaspora (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and Politics of the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers (Rutgers UP, 2006), Her essays on South Asian American Literature and expressive arts (mainly on Indian dance) appear in journals such as Amerasia, South Asian Popular Culture among others. Katrak is the recipient of a Fulbright Research Award to India, Bunting Fellowship, and is currently on the Fulbright Senior Specialist roster.
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Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia