Bharatanatyam in New Zealand: A story of dance, diaspora and cultural change

Swaroopa Unni


Experiences of migration or diaspora has led to new predicaments for maintaining dance traditions (Ahmed, 2013; Brooks & Meglin, 2011). Current research is exploring how migrants learn to inhabit these new geo-political spaces. This paper will serve as a springboard for investigating how classical Indian dance forms such as Bharatanatyam plays a role in enhancing Indian identity in New Zealand.  The study employs a combination of dance ethnography and autoethnography as methodologies for examining how this dance is being practiced in the South Pacific city of Dunedin.

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