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Fusing Indian Classical Dance and Western Modern Dance

Tulsi Mehta ('12); Mentor: Laurie Cameron

Abstract: I began research endeavoring to create a dance that fused the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam and American Modern dance. I had trained in Bharatanatyam professionally in India before I came to college here, where I was first introduced to Modern dance. I fell in love with how free Modern was compared to the structured symbolisms of Bharatanatyam, how every movement the body could make was dance. I aimed to combine aspects of both dance styles without foregoing the essence of either. From a seemingly straightforward choreographic venture, this study turned into a rethinking of my culture, body and emotions. It became a reflecting and revisiting of past and present. Learning movement analysis tools at Pomona, helped me to observe Bharatanatyam from a new perspective and I am exploring different ways to approach this choreographic project while I relearn the complex Bharatanatyam movements that now seem unfamiliar, to a different me.
Funding provided by Pomona College SURP

Research at Pomona