Pudding Seminar: R. Ranjini on Indian Classical Dance as a mirror to the Nation

R. Ranjini (MCR), ‘Whose Dance is it Anyway? Indian Classical Dance as a mirror to the Nation’

How do we look at Indian classical dance as a lens to view the state of the nation today? This talk asks questions about dance as a cultural tool deployed to repeatedly re-inscribe and transmit religious and social hierarchies through the practice and performance of Indian classical dance. How would the form look if it was to resist a Hindu majoritarian and upper-caste narrative? How do state cultural organisations, the pedagogic system, and 20th-century conceptions of the Indian national identity play a role in the the transmission and codification of such dance styles?

Ranjini is an MPhil student at the Faculty of Education, in Arts, Creativity and Education. She is also a Kuchipudi practitioner, a dance style from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India.