At the heart of Indian literature, Dance Theatre of India: Crossing New Aesthetics and Cultures by Katia Legeret Manochhaya, is a book where the author explores the various rasas of Bharatanatyam and other dance forms, both as a dancer and a researcher. In the milieu of diverse linguistic and cultural interpretations, the book is a field of experimentation where the modalities for expressions and cultural differences would forever reinvent themselves. The photographic portraits of various live dance performances throughout the book uphold the author’s perspective for the readers.
As one browses through the pages, one is transported to a world of dance and drama reading the various expressions of the artists in colourful costumes narrating stories from all over the world. The examples proposed are linked with knowledge which derives from the erudition of Sanskrit texts or from the collective creativity of artists from several cultures of India and other countries. Like the art forms it discusses, the book is a transcultural piece of work in its very essence.
Katia Legeret is Professor of Performing Arts and Aesthetics in the Department of Theatre at University Paris 8 and director of the research laboratory EA 1573, part of the doctoral school Edesta: Aesthetics, Sciences and Technologies of the Arts. She is particularly interested in the aesthetics of Indian dance and theatre with regard to traditional and modern aspects, this theatre’s influence on European directors and how it is staged theatrically in contemporary France and Europe. Since her adolescence and in parallel with her studies, she has pursued professional training in Bharatanatyam. She has choreographed and directed a number of performances.