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Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India

Davesh Soneji (Editor) Indira Viswanathan Peterson (Editor)
Synopsis Performing Pasts discusses the interface of performing arts and modernity in South India. The essays illuminate, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, the processes by which dance and music were re-constituted as classical traditions in the modern era. From the nineteenth century textualization of court dance repertoire to twentieth century Dalit Christian renderings of a Karnatak kirttanai, this volume critically examines the making and contestation of cultural categories related to the performing arts at specific socio-historical conjunctures. It demonstrates how inventions of tradition in South Indian Music and Dance were effected by continuous negotiations among agents of diverse caste, class and gender affiliations with varying degrees of power and authority. Highlighting the role of multiple agents and cultural ideologies--orientalism, colonialism, nationalism and globalization--this volume underlines the complex processes through which indigenous performing arts were recast as national symbols in Modern South India. Interrogating the elitist project of the 'classicization', it also documents the agency and voices of those who were marginalized or excluded. The introduction provides a concise and critical historical overview of South Indian Classical Music and Dance. Incorporating a variety of interpretive perspectives--textual, historical and anthropological--this interdisciplinary volume will be useful for teachers, students, and scholars of history, sociology, ethnomusicology, performance studies, literature, religion, and cultural studies, particularly those concerned with dance, music and the cultural history of South India.
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About the authors

Davesh Soneji

Davesh Soneji is Assistant Professor, South Indian Religions, Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, Canada.

Indira Viswanathan Peterson

Indira Viswanathan Peterson is David B. Truman Professor Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. A specialist in Sanskrit and Tamil literature and South Indian history, she has published widely, including Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints, and articles in previous Marg volume: Eternal Kaveri, Chidambaram: Home of Naaraja and Portraits in Princely India 1700-1947. Her most recent research is on literature and culture in Thanjavur in the Maratha period. Her monograph Serfoji II of Tanjore: Enlightement, Modernity, Cosmopolitisam is forthcoming.

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Bibliographic information

Title Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 09.02.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780195690842
length xiv+356p., Figures; Notes; References; 23cm.