The Dancing God: Staging Hindu Dance in Australia charts the
sensational and historic journey of de-provincialising and
popularising Hindu dance in Australia. In the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries, colonialism, orientalism and nationalism
came together in various combinations to make traditional Hindu
temple dance into a global art form. The intricately symbolic Hindu
dance in its vital form was virtually unseen and unknown in
Australia until an Australian impresario, Louise Lightfoot, brought
it onto the stage. Her experimental changes, which modernised
Kathakali dance through her pioneering collaboration with Indian
dancer Ananda Shivaram, moved the Hindu dance from the sphere of
ritualistic practice to formalised stage art. Amit Sarwal argues
that this movement enabled both the authentic Hindu dance and
dancer to gain recognition worldwide and created in his persona a
cultural guru and ambassador on the global stage. Ideal for anyone
with an interest in global dance, The Dancing God is an in-depth
study of how a unique dance form evolved in the meeting of
travellers and cultures.
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