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Dancing Through the Diaspora
Free and open to the public.
April 23, 2018 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Oshman Hall, McMurtry Building, 355 Roth Way - Map Link
Event times are tentative.
An interactive multimedia duet between Ramya Harishankar and Dr. Priya Srinivasan, this piece explores the ways that performance as research can come alive.
Based on Srinivasan’s book “Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor” which examines the history of Indian dance from 1880 to the present in the US in relation to restrictive anti-Asian immigration policies (between 1924-1965), the performance features her long relationship with Harishankar, her students, and teaching processes while questioning dance not just as an aesthetic form but its relationship to socio-political, historical, cultural, racialized, and gendered forms of power. While audiences of Bharata Natyam often see dance as a polished end product, Sweating Saris exposes dance as a form of labor. The piece uses postmodern frameworks and structured improvisation (which is part of both Indian and contemporary dance) to unpack what is often unsaid, unseen, invisible and foreground the “behind the scenes” including the ways in which the book was created.
Choreography by Ramya Harishankar and Dr. Priya Srinivasan with Susan Rose
The piece has been performed in parts and supported by the Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India), Center for Ideas and Society, UC Riverside and the Korzo Theatre (The Hague, Netherlands) and more recently premiered at Dance Conversations 2016 in Irvine, CA.