Characterizing South Indian Dance Traditions – Aparna Keshaviah – India 2006

Characterizing South Indian Dance Traditions – Aparna Keshaviah – India 2006

As an independent Fulbright scholar in Dance, I spent a year traveling to more than 60 Bharatanatyam (south Indian classical dance) schools around Chennai, Bangalore, and Delhi. I interviewed more than 200 teachers and students about their practice of Bharatanatyam. That unprecedented study of how the dance form is being expressed differently in different cities, bodies, and generations contributed to a more nuanced understanding of Bharatanatyam traditions and their evolution. My Fulbright research also laid a foundation for my own creative adaptation of Bharatanatyam today as a professional dancer and choreographer .

The results from my Fulbright research were presented at the 41st Annual Congress on Research in Dance and published in the international Pulse Dance magazine focused on south Asian dance forms. For more details, visit

Aparna Keshaviah – Fulbright to India 2006

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1 Response

  1. Aparna! Exciting to discover the wider scope of your studies in india in 2006-7. You may remember me, Bernard Poole, a fellow Fulbrighter attending the conference in Aurangabad in 2007. I have a series of photos I took of you striking this and that dance pose–at the Ajanta Caves and elsewhere. I’ll be happy to send them to you if you would email me. My email: I’m retired now, but I expect you are very much enjoying the peak of your exciting career. If you visit my website (URL below), there is a link there to my memoir of my Fulbright experience in 2006-7. It’s titled A Waking Dream. I write about you in there, but you may like to read of some of my other experiences at that special time in my life.


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