Kala (Black) for Kalbeliya, Saphed (white) for Kalbeliya. Intercultural dialogues between Indian and Euro-American practitioners of Kalbeliya dance

Start - End 
2017 - 2021 (ongoing)
Department(s) 
Department of Languages and Cultures
Research group(s) 
Research Period 
Research Language 
Research Methodology 

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Abstract

Indian dances have since long inspired women around the world, not only increasing the international success of staged performances, but also inspiring large numbers of Euro-American women to learn and/or become professionals in these dance styles. This project will study the relationship (the ‘intercultural dialogues’) between Indian and non-Indian performers, who cultures, disclose information about cultural exchange, and reveal how transnational travelling of dance practices influences global and local discourses on neo-Orientalism, gender, social stratification and livelihood. I will explore why and how women based in India, Europe and the USA produce and modify Indian dance together. I will question how these 3 groups of dancers represent each other and themselves? How do they deal with different discourses (on ‘Gypsy’ dance unite non-Indian and Indian performers or does it emphasize differences in identity (cultural appropriation and discursive power relations)? Are these performances an artistic pastime or a way to earn money (artistic identity vs. socio-economic identity)? By applying multiple methods (dance ethnography, historical research, and textual media studies), I will gain full insight in transnational dance cultures of today. 

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