chapter  15
4 Pages

Disrupting the ‘foreign’ and the ‘indigenous’

Teaching dance as an investigative practice in the contemporary Indian context
WithMeghna Bhardwaj

This case narrative brings forth my observations from a three-day contemporary dance workshop I taught to students of Indian classical dance in September 2018. Given my own training in so-called western dance forms, it identifies the moments in which I encounter the ‘foreign-ness’ of my training in the presence of dancers trained in ‘indigenous’ forms. It suggests, how in a culturally complex setting such as this, what works as a strategy is a devising of ‘fundamental’ principles of movement in order for the space to sustain itself as democratic. With an aim to interrogate connections between contemporary dance pedagogy and dilution of forms, techniques and cultures in dance, it attempts to ask what it is that a dancer embodies as ‘intercultural’ and how, as a pedagogue, must one value the notion of ‘ambiguous’ movement in dance so it can effectively challenge the coherent categories of the ‘east’ and the ‘west’.