Talk at Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, Las Vegas NV (3-6 Aug 2017)
I presented a talk, “South Asian Approaches to Devising and Choreography” at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conference in Las Vegas from 3-6 August, 2017. The presentation was part of a roundtable discussion by Asian theatre scholars entitled “Integrating Asian Performance into Your Theatre Curriculum.” My talk focuses on how key aesthetic concepts from South Asian dance-theater may be used to inspire experimental devised performance and choreographic explorations. Drawing from Indian classical dance’s rich traditions of nritta (abstract rhythmic dance) and abhinaya (emotional expression), I offer pedagogical tools for translating movement precepts, spatial geometries, rhythmic principles, and theories of rasa (emotional flavor) into contemporary performance work. Treating South Asian aesthetic principles as compositional source rather than raw material to be shaped by Western sensibilities, I offer ways to reverse the sway that Euro-American art dance and theater have historically held over the category, definitions, and creative methodologies of contemporary performance.