Dancing Odissi

Paratopic Performances of Gender and State

Arunima Banerji



6 x 9 inches, 256pp, 50 halftones, 22 facsimiles July 2018

ISBN : 9780857425539

Rs  799.00 (PB)
$35.00 (PB)
£22.00 (PB)

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Odissi holds iconic status as one of the eight classical dance forms recognized and promoted by the Indian government. Dancing Odissi traces the dance’s transformation from its historical role as a regional artistic practice to its modern incarnation as transnational spectacle, with a focus on the state’s regulation of the dance form and the performances of gender embedded within it. Using an interdisciplinary approach that brings together social history, political theory, and dance and performance studies, the book explores three original themes: the idea of the state as a choreographic agent; the performance of 'extraordinary genders', or those identities and acts that lie outside everyday norms; and the original concept of the 'paratopia'—a space of alterity produced by performance. Through an investigation of these themes, the author explores how Odissi has shown the potential to challenge dominant cultural imperatives in India.

Trained as a classical dancer, Arunima Banerji is an associate professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA and holds a PhD in performance studies from NYU. With Violaine Roussel, she has co-edited How to do Politics with Art.


Theatre And Performance Studies
Culture Studies