[CSH Workshop] Interrogating The Social Dynamics of Dance Practices – The Case of Odissi (B. Čurda)

[CSH Workshop] Interrogating The Social Dynamics of Dance Practices – The Case of Odissi (B. Čurda)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Workshop


Barbara ČURDA

(Anthropologist and Marie Curie Fellow)

Interrogating The Social Dynamics of Dance Practices – The Case of Odissi


Tuesday, 30 May 2023, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm IST


Centre de Sciences Humaines
IFI-CSH conference room (ground floor)

2 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi – 110011

To register: Kindly fill the  Registration form

Abstract: During the 20th century, in varied countries, many dance forms developed, that showcased national cultures. Indian classical dances, which appeared in the context of India’s move towards independence, are one example of such phenomena. However, in the India of the 2020ies, historical, economical, urban, social, technological situations have considerably evolved. So what is the relevance of these practices to those who continue to engage with them?
This presentation will highlight the particular case of Odissi classical dance in India, and more specifically in the State of Odisha, considered to be its home. Drawing from research touching different periods of its development since its inception in the 1950ies, it will examine aspects of the transmission of Odissi. How has the dance, over decades, inscribed itself not only into the agendas of cultural policies, but also into the particular interface of the rural and urban dynamics of the State Odisha, especially around its capital city, Bhubaneswar?
As through the transmission of this dance, interactions take place between people who belong to a wide span of socio-cultural groups – notably rural/urban, Odiya/ non Odiya, male/female -, the presentation will highlight the particular patterns of class and gender relations that have emerged, favouring specific power configurations within the networks of Odissi dance practitioners. How do these show in the daily interactions between these individuals? How have the greater economic, urban, technological developments affected these equilibriums, and how is the dance affected by such changes? Looking both at the overall dynamics and at detailed qualitative analyses, these are some of the questions that will be addressed here.

Barbara Čurda is an anthropologist, presently working as a Marie Curie fellow on the project GATRODI* (Gender asymmetry in the transmission of Odissi dance in India – a case study), funded by the European Commission as a partnership between the University Clermont Auvergne (UCA) in France and the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) in India. Her present research focuses on relational dynamics and conceptions of know-how amongst dance practitioners, using qualitative methodologies involving classical ethnographic methods, but also videography. Barbara has been teaching general anthropology and anthropology of dance at the University Clermont Auvergne in France, and also at the University of Vienna in Austria. Additionally, she initially trained as an Odissi dancer.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101033051

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CSH Workshops are in hybrid mode. We request you to pre-register before Tuesday, 30 May, 2:00 p.m. IST for both offline and online registration.

To attend at venue: Please note that the room capacity is limited. Seats will be reserved on a first come first basis. Kindly carry an ID proof to be granted access to the venue.



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