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An intimate ethnography

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This essay delineates the pleasures, paradoxes, and predicaments of representing the South Asian dancing body in visual terms. While the racialized body is often regarded as a metonym of culture, the author proposes “an intimate ethnography” as a strategy of subverting the exoticizing impulse inherent in the dominant gaze. The artists offer new visions of dance that interrogate the naturalized links between the body and culture-suggesting ambiguity, partiality, and evocation as other ways of contemplating the photographic image and constructing another politics for looking at dance.

Keywords: South Asian performance; collaborative art; dance; photography; politics of representation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Performance Studies, New York University, New York, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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