Political Resistance Through Classical Dance, Questioning the ‘Ideal’ Body and More With Ranjana Dave

Jan 9, 2023


In this episode, independent dance practitioner and writer Ranjana Dave talks to us about the evolution of Indian classical dance, and what it means for dance to be political.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:00:47:09- How do we interrogate the relationship between classical dance and contemporary Indian society? Is classical dance a rigid art form, or is there scope for fluidity and evolution of the form with time?

00:05:17:06- What notions of gender and gender roles do we see in these narratives, and do dancers question some of these narratives through the way in which they perform them?

00:08:50:04- Are contemporary performers of classical dance bringing ideas of queerness and consent into stories they depict, especially canonical ones? 

00:10:39:24- Are there common notions of the perfect ‘ideal’ body that are espoused across different dance forms? How are contemporary movement artists questioning these notions?

00:13:38:15- Do ideas of transgressive desire percolate in classical dance forms? Are there ways in which contemporary movement artists are making those speak to society?

00:17:41:18- Does theIndian classical dance community resist these transgressive narratives and interpretations of canonical stories, because of ideas about the purity of form?

00:19:33:16- Has there been a history of resistance through dance in India?

00:22:28:02- As the internet becomes central to our content consumption, in what ways is dance interacting with the digital medium, and is this resulting in an evolution of the form?


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