Dance in the British South Asian Diaspora: Redefining Classicism

Alessandra Lopez y Royo


This paper discusses South Asian dance forms and genres in Britain, one of the major locations of the South Asian diaspora. It addresses issues of "classicism," "neoclassicism" and "contemporaneity" in South Asian dancing, particularly important as in the British context availability of public funding depends on the artists demonstrating an innovative engagement with their own practice. The author focuses, as a specific case study, on the work, Moham, choreographed and danced as a solo by bharatanatyam artist Chitra Sundaram in 2002 and argues for the need to address issues of difference and cultural specificity, questioning the underlying assumptions of western notions of classicism, as these impinge on South Asian dance praxes in the British context.


Bharatanatyam in contemporary Britain

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