The Dance Heritage is Us! by Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh

Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh, Assistant Professor of Practice at SIAS, Krea University presented a paper titled The Dance Heritage is Us! at the international seminar organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Government of India, New Delhi. The topic of the seminar was Temporal and Spatial Dynamics: Comparative Explorations through a myriad of Indian Perspective.

The life of a dance is short. It begins and ends with the dancer. Sculptures, paintings and writings have captured dance through their own conceptual and speculative potential to reproduce or retain the critical space for dance in the world. In becoming historical objects of India, such sculptures and paintings, simultaneously serve as deterritorialised material cultures, housed in monuments and museums, as well as people’s beliefs, hinged on fact-based infatuations with dance.

What is the value of time in understanding how these objects inform us of a dance danced in the past, or one that is to be danced in the future? Dr Ganesh invites the audience to investigate Indian dance sculptures as not merely a collection and validation of dancing bodies through time, but as bodily reading, memorization and survival of images that showcase Us! – the living and moving heritage of dance. 

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