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At Home in the World
Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage
Janet O'Shea

2007 • 240 pp. 21 illus. 6 x 9"
Dance / Asian Studies

$26.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6837-3

“This is an important book, a highly stimulating read and a true gem...”—Alessandra Lopez Royo, South Asia Research

The compelling story of a beautiful and versatile South Indian dance form

One of the most popular and widely performed dance styles in India and around the world, bharata natyam has made the transition from its beginnings in the temples and courts of southern India to a highly respected international phenomenon. In this study of a classical dance form, author Janet O’Shea tracks the choreographic transformations that accompanied the transfer of bharata natyam to the urban concert stage in the 1930s and 1940s. At Home in the World situates these changes within the political debates of their time, and further ties the concerns of this period to present-day practice. The history of this dance is also a history of India itself, and readers can trace various national struggles over gender identity, regionalism, and globalism through O’Shea’s narrative. With over 250 teachers in the United States alone, bharata natyam offers a remarkable case study of how a traditional art form moves into the world.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“This is an important book, a highly stimulating read and a true gem... O’Shea provides a meaningful exposition, without bias, with full awareness of its of its contradictions, of the history of bharatanatyam.” —Alessandra Lopez Royo, South Asia Research

“Original, pioneering, and substantial, At Home in the World is a clear and nuanced historical study of bharata natyam. It fills a long-standing gap in South Asian studies and dance history.”—Indira Viswanathan Peterson, David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies, Mount Holyoke College

“This remarkable book weaves the cultural politics of the twenty-first century through the shifting choreographies and histories of bharata natyam, always keeping the dance, its performers and transformers, at the core.”—Helen Thomas, University of the Arts, London

JANET O’SHEA is a reader in the department of dance at Middlesex University in the U.K. and a dancer. Her articles have appeared in The Drama Review, Asian Theatre Journal, and Dance Research Journal, and she was the 1998 recipient of the Society of Dance History Scholars’ Selma Jeanne Cohen Award.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 15:26:56 -0500