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Durham e-Theses
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Shaping the Body, Transcending the Self:
Experience and Meaning in Odissi

CATALANO, ELENA (2014) Shaping the Body, Transcending the Self:
Experience and Meaning in Odissi.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This dissertation examines embodied experience in Odissi, a classical Indian dance. In particular, it investigates how experiences of body, mind, identity and self are shaped by dance practices and discourses, and informed by values and meanings which are considered culturally specific. In order to achieve this goal, this research involves dance practitioners who both do and do not ascribe themselves to the cultural context with which the dance is associated. The purpose is to understand whether or not Odissi dancers share similar ways of making sense of their embodied experience, and to investigate the extent this shared embodied culture is shaped by training and performative practice.
This research focuses on the common aspects of dancers’ embodied experience, at the same time discussing the tensions that characterise practices and discourses about dance. It especially examines how these tensions reflect relations of power based on gender, ethnicity and artistic expertise, and how aesthetic discourses and artistic practices are woven together with cultural ethics. In other words, this dissertation investigates on the one hand how cultural categories inform embodied experience, and on the other hand how dance practitioners ‘inflect’ these categories to make sense of their own experiences and to question the inclusion of certain subjects in the practice of dance.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Odissi, Embodiment, Somatic Experience, Body, Mind, Self
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Oct 2014 15:18

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