Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor

Dr Srinivasan presents a performative lecture from her interdisciplinary book Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor with singer Uthra Vijay. She uses performance as research to think through Indian dancers as transnational migrant workers and wage earners, who negotiate citizenship and gender issues through performative acts.

Methodologically, Priya uses ethnography, history, critical race theory, performance and post-colonial studies to investigate the embodied experience of Indian dance as socio-politico-historical act/acts. Shifting away from the usual emphasis on Indian women dancers as culture bearers of the Indian nation, she re-frames the movements of nineteenth century transnational hereditary Indian dancers as forms of unrecognized labour. In doing so, Priya proposes a transformative theory of dance, gendered-labor, and citizenship based on archival embodiment and kinesthetic repertoire.

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