This volume brings a critical lens to dance and culture within North East India. Through case studies, first-hand accounts, and interviews, it explores unique folk dances of Indigenous communities of North East India that reflect diverse journeys, lifestyles, and connections within their ethnic groups, marking almost every ritual and festival. Dance for people of North East India, as elsewhere, is also a way of declaring, establishing, celebrating, and asserting humans' relationship with nature.
The book draws attention to the origins and special circumstances of dances from North East India. It discusses a range of important folk-dance forms alongside classical dance forms in North East India, with a focus on Sattriya dance. The chapters examine how these dance forms play an important role in the region's socio-cultural, economic, and political life, intertwining religion and the arts through music, dance, and drama. Further, they also explore how folk dance cultures in North East India have never been relegated to the background, never considered secondary, aesthetically, or otherwise, but have become expressions of political and cultural identity.
An evocative work, this volume will be of interest to students and researchers of pedagogy, choreography, community dance practice, theatre and performance studies, social and cultural studies, aesthetics, interdisciplinary arts, and more. It will be an invaluable resource for artists and practitioners working in dance schools and communities.
Debarshi Prasad Nath is Head of the Department of Cultural Studies at Tezpur University, Assam, India. Debarshi was the Principal Investigator for a partnership programme with UNICEF India, working on the empowerment of adolescents using folklore as a medium of communication, focusing primarily on folk music and dance. Debarshi's wide-ranging academic areas of interest are evident in his critical contributions from Cultural Theory to Contemporary Cultural Practices. His wide-ranging interests are reflected in his publications, covering areas of translation, literature, folklore, films, societies, and cultures in transition.Ralph Buck is an award-winning teacher and academic leader. He is on the International Editorial Boards of Research in Dance Education (RIDE) and the Journal of Dance Education (JODE). He has collaborated with UNESCO in raising the profile in arts education around the world. He initiated, advocated for, and planned UNESCO's International Arts Education Week. He is on the Council for the World Alliance for Arts Education. Ralph's research and publications focus upon dance teaching and learning and community dance.Barbara Snook is a Professional Teaching Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Auckland where she engages in researching the use of arts integration in primary school classrooms. She is also currently serving as an adjunct Professor at Tezpur University in Assam. Barbara was the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance at the University of Otago in 2008. She is a successful author of dance textbooks widely used in Australia and New Zealand and was the recipient of an Osmotherly Award in 2007 for services toward the development of dance education in Queensland Australia. Barbara is currently researching the area of dance for older adults.