A dynamic, living cultural practice of modern South Asia. Bharatanatyam is widely recognized as one of the world’s fastest growing dance
forms. This reader brings together some of the most important essays on Bharatanatyam written over the last two hundred years.
Drawing from history, dance studies. Anthropology, women’s studies, religious studies, and ethnomusicology, this volume shows how
Bharatanatyam has generated complex social histories and varied aesthetic practices. From the earliest essay published in 1806 to pieces by
legendary dancers, contemporary artists, and leading dance scholars, this collection captures the multiplicity of voices that constitute this
diverse cultural practice. For the first time, this volume opens a window on the history, aesthetics, and personal journeys that have shaped this
vital and ever-shifting art.
The comprehensive Introduction by Davesh Soneji provides a broad understanding of the historical, socio-political, and aesthetic
issues in Bharatanatyam alongside a contextual mapping of the sources.
This volume will be invaluable to students and teachers of performing arts, dance studies, South Asian cultural studies, women’s
studies, religious studies, and ethnomusicology.
Davesh Soneji is Assistant Professor, South Indian Religions, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He is the editor (with Indira
Viswanathan Peterson) of Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (OUP 2007)
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