Dance Professor's Article Explores Teaching Odissi in the Western World

Kaustavi Sarkar
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Kaustavi Sarkar's article appears in Dance Education in Practice.

An article by Assistant Professor of Dance Kaustavi Sarkar appears in the current issue of Dance Education in Practice, a journal for dance educators that publishes four times a year. In the article, "Indian Classical Dance Education in Diaspora," Sarkar reflects on her experiences teaching Odissi in the United States within both South Asian diasporic communities and American academic dance departments. She explores teaching Odissi as a form of cultural expression and a rigorous dance technique and draws lessons from both approaches that can apply generally to dance educators within and outside of South Asian diasporic communities.

"From my experiential narratives, I present practical recommendations not only to Indian classical dance educators, but to all dance teachers who, I believe, will benefit from a culturally embedded system of teaching and learning kinesthetic concepts and embodied execution," she writes in the article abstract.

Sarkar, who grew up in East India and studied Odissi there for a decade, has taught Odissi for 13 years, instructing more than 100 students. Since coming to the U.S., she has sought to build bridges between her dance training and culture and the European/American dance training that dominates dance education in the U.S. In addition to her work at UNC Charlotte, she continues her research in the Indian diasporic community by teaching and inspiring youth in the apprentice-learning system, a celebration of which will be through the upcoming event, Mancha-Pravesh: Shifting Stages on September 27.  

Read more about her in this faculty spotlight.