Ramya Harishankar & Dr. Priya Srinivasan present a multi faceted presentation which will include
– Thillana by students of Smitha Magal
– Abhinayam in Bharatanatyam by Ramya Harishankar
– Sweating Sarees – By Ramya Harishankar & Priya Srinivasan
– Panel Discussion
An interactive multimedia duet between Ramya and Priya, this piece explores the ways that performance as research can come alive. Based on Priya’s book “Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor” which examines the history of Indian dance from 1880 to the present in the USA in relation to restrictive anti-Asian immigration policies (between 1924-1965). The book and performance will feature her long relationship with Ramya, her students, and teaching processes while questioning dance not just as an aesthetic form but its relationship to socio-political, historical, cultural, racialized, and gendered forms of power.
While audiences of Bharatanatyam often see dance as a polished end product we expose dance as a form of labor. The piece uses postmodern frameworks and structured improvisation (which is part of both Indian and contemporary dance) to unpack what is often unsaid, unseen, invisible and foreground the “behind the scenes” including the ways in which the book was created.
– Moderated community panel discussion with dance teachers, dancers, dance and music students and their parents on the modern day relevance of bharatanatyam and carnatic music to students living in the US.