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Queer Dance$
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Clare Croft

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199377329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199377329.001.0001

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“Our Love Was Not Enough”

“Our Love Was Not Enough”

Queering Gender, Cultural Belonging, and Desire in Contemporary Abhinaya

(p.45) 2 “Our Love Was Not Enough”
Queer Dance

Sandra Chatterjee

Cynthia Ling Lee

Oxford University Press

This essay recounts and analyzes the Post Natyam Collective’s process of creating the contemporary abhinaya work, “rapture/rupture.” Working in a feedback loop between theory and practice, it researched ways to denaturalize Indian classical kathak’s script of idealized femininity to facilitate fluid, diverse possibilities for performing gender and cultural belonging in South Asian aesthetic contexts. “Rapture/rupture” produces a dancing subject whose ethnic mismatch, hybrid movement vocabulary, gender nonconformity, and same-sex love across cultural difference exceed the boundaries of a kathak discourse that calls for purist notions of culture, race, nation, religion, and femininity. In theoretically analyzing how gender, cultural belonging, and desire are conceptualized through abhinaya, postmodern dance, US identity politics, and poststructuralist critiques of identity, it argues that embracing lack—being “not enough”—is a mode of exceeding dominant boundaries that enables a multilayered, intersectional dance-making practice that queers gender, queers cultural belonging, and embodies queer female desire.

Keywords:   kathak, South Asian, “rapture/rupture, ” Post Natyam Collective, gender nonconformity, same-sex love, abhinaya, cultural belonging

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