Featured Artist: Pallabi Chakravorty
Pallabi is a dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist who creates works of performance fusing classical Indian dance, popular dance, and Urdu poetry to explore spiritual, aesthetic and commodified emotions. Her artistic work showcases the power of emotions within an increasingly disembodied global culture, articulating life’s challenges within the context of contemporary urban America. Pallabi draws upon elements from her own experiences in India and as part of the South Asian American Diaspora to question cultural authenticity and essentialism, challenging hierarchical categories of ‘classical’, ‘folk’ and ‘commercial’ in the discourse about Indian cultural heritage. Pallabi also develops and performs work which focuses on the South Asian community in Philadelphia. She utilizes a new vocabulary of movement through the cross-pollination of two different classical forms (Kathak, from Islamic courts in India, and Bharatnatyam, from Hindu temples in South India) to craft an identity that is contemporary.
Video produced by Anula Shetty (LTA '07, WOO '04)