Subversive bodies: Feminism and New Dance in India | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X



This article explores how the Indian navanritya or ‘New Dance’ body, as crafted by choreographers Manjusri Chaki Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar, provided an alternative to the hegemonic representation of femininity in Indian classical dance. The Sircars’ feminist ideology-driven rebuttal of institutional and patriarchal dance pedagogy and praxis produced local critiques of cultural nationalism in and through the dancing body. This article discusses how these new bodies, shaped by a simultaneous eschewal and espousal of Indian cultural legacy, produce a complex picture of negotiation, one in which dialectical relationships between culture and the bodies that are situated within it are seen to emerge.


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