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Nrithya Pillai

Critical Perspectives on Bharatanatyam Dance

September 23, 2022
Harold Prince Theatre
Guest Events

In this evening of performance and commentary, Nrithya Pillai, a performer and activist from the hereditary community of South India's former courtesan artists, presents her unique critical perspectives on the practice and politics of Indian dance in the twenty-first century. Moving away from ideas of dance as nationalist heritage, as a manifestation of politicized Hinduism, and as an "unbroken classical tradition," Nrithya brings issues of caste, power, and critical social history to the foreground in her representation of the dance form called Bharatanatyam. Her performance will be accompanied by four musicians, and is presented as part of the "Caste and Race Initiative" in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.