chapter  10
13 Pages

Decolonising dance history

ByPrarthana Purkayastha

This chapter discusses dance in the late colonial and postcolonial periods, a window of time which offers a glimpse into complex processes of cultural identity formation during a volatile political period in India's history. Since the 1980s, historical writings on Indian dance have been particularly suspicious of a grand nationalist discourse. The chapter considers three main emergent themes. First and foremost is interdisciplinarity in dance history. Recent scholarship has shown how Indian dance history has become a vibrant area of academic enquiry, dialoguing with multiple disciplines of research and thinking, ranging from law to transnational citizenship and neoliberalism. The second major theme to have emerged in dance historical research is transnationalism. The third theme relates to the notion of ideology and the ways in which it informs and even produces certain histories, and ignores or suppresses others.