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At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage (Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction) [Hardcover]

By Janet O'Shea (Author)
Our Price $ 59.50  
Retail Value $ 70.00  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 31, 2007
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819568368  
EAN  9780819568366  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
One of the most popular and widely performed dance styles in India and around the world, bharata natyam has made the transition from its beginnings in the temples and courts of southern India to a highly respected international phenomenon. In this study of a classical dance form, author Janet O'Shea tracks the choreographic transformations that accompanied the transfer of bharata natyam to the urban concert stage in the 1930s and 1940s. At Home in the World situates these changes within the political debates of their time, and further ties the concerns of this period to present-day practice. The history of this dance is also a history of India itself, and readers can trace various national struggles over gender identity, regionalism, and globalism through O'Shea's narrative. With over 250 teachers in the United States alone, bharata natyam offers a remarkable case study of how a traditional art form moves into the world.



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More About Janet O'Shea

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JANET O'SHEA is a reader in the department of dance at Middlesex University in the U.K. and a dancer. Her articles have appeared in The Drama Review, Asian Theatre Journal, and Dance Research Journal, and she was the 1998 recipient of the Society of Dance History Scholars' Selma Jeanne Cohen Award.

Janet O'Shea was born in 1968 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The fascinating true story of the classical dance form of Bharata Natyam.   Aug 7, 2007
Dancer and award-winning dance history scholar Janet O'Shea presents At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage, the fascinating true story of the classical dance form of Bharata Natyam. Widely performed in India and around the world Bharata Natyam underwent choreographic transformations as it moved to the urban concert stage in the 1930s and 40s. Examining these changes in the political context of the time, and comparing them to modifications in present-day Bharata Natyam performance, At Home in the World effectively traces the evolution of this beautiful art form, now known to have over 250 teachers in the United States alone. A handful of black-and-white photographs, a glossary, list of references, and an index round out this in-depth study of how a traditional form of art can blossom into global expression.
 
eloquent, meaningful and sometimes beyond the perception of the viewer  Aug 4, 2007
Dance from India is eloquent, meaningful and sometimes beyond the perception of the viewer. A book of this magnitude is capable of explaining the nuances of these cultural dance forms in both gross and minute detail. One particular style was performed by temple initiates, known as devadasi, and while it is a peculiarly female arena, there are men who dance it today who are lauded for their ability. This sacred art form hit the concert stage in the '30s and '40s.

These temple dances are discussed in detail, as well as contemporary works that take various events and bring them to the stage. One example is "Unable to Remember Roop Kanwar." Roop Kanwar was an eighteen year old woman who was condemned to die on her deceased husband's funeral pyre, as tradition commanded in modern day 1987. While the practice of "widow immolation" may be unique to a given area, the core issue is domestic violence. This is one example of the performances that weld national issues on a global perspective.

The book explains classical and modern dance pieces in great detail. Body position, mudras (hand positions), lighting and other components are reviewed and explained. Because this dance style is so heavily nuanced, there are footnotes, appendices, references, a glossary and an amazing index to help explain detail within detail. The black and white photography may not show the detail of costumes and makeup, but they serve the dramatic aspect much better. One promotional photo of Ana Pavlova (choreographer/ballerina) for her 1923 Hindoo Dance, is especially stunning.

The upside of this book is how well it captures Bharata Natyam. Even the more "casual" student of India's dances will find something of value to bring to their dance interpretations. If you know nothing of Bharata Natyam, you will be given an education that may be overwhelming. It is a true study and evaluation of the art form and leaves the reader feeling inundated with information.
 

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