The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History.
Degree: PhD, Dance Studies, 2014, York University
This dissertation is dedicated to theorizing the Debaprasad Das stylistic lineage of Indian classical Odissi dance. Odissi is one of the seven classical Indian dance forms recognized by the Indian government. Each of these dance forms underwent a twentieth century “revival” whereby it was codified and recontextualized from pre-existing ritualistic and popular movement practices to a performance art form suitable for the proscenium stage. The 1950s revival of Odissi dance in India ultimately led to four stylistic lineage branches of Odissi, each named after the corresponding founding pioneer of the tradition.
I argue that the theorization of a dance lineage should be inclusive of the history of the lineage, its stylistic vestiges and philosophies as embodied through its aesthetic characteristics, as well as its interpretation, and transmission by present-day practitioners. In my theorization of the Debaprasad Das lineage of Odissi, I draw upon Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the habitus, and argue that Guru Debaprasad Das's vision of Odissi dance was informed by the socio-political backdrop of Oriya nationalism, in the context of which he choreographed, but also resisted the heavy emphasis on coastal Oriya culture of the Oriya nationalist movement.
My methodology for the project has been ethnographic, supported by original archival research. In the second chapter, I examine the twentieth century history of this stylistic lineage in the context of the Odissi revival of the 1950s, and in the third chapter, I examine the life and artistic work of its founder, the late Guru Debaprasad Das. The fourth chapter is dedicated to analyzing the stylistic characteristics distinct to this style of Odissi, and examining some of the underlying politics of representation, classicism, and regional affiliations which have informed the repertoire and movement lexicon of this lineage. I point to how this lineage has been historically marginalized in scholarship, discourse, and the international stage, and analyze some of the reasons for this marginalization. The fifth and sixth chapter are dedicated to the current practice of the lineage, including pedagogical practices by current teachers, as well as examination of the creation and performance of new repertoire pieces within this lineage, and the various contexts in which this style of Odissi is performed globally. Ultimately, I examine the divergent artistic voices from within the Debaprasad Das lineage itself and argue that the Debaprasad Das lineage of Odissi is itself marked by heterogeneity via multiple and often divergent understandings of the philosophies of the late Guru Debaprasad Das.
Advisors/Committee Members: Alcedo, Russ Patrick (advisor).
Subjects/Keywords: Dance; Asian studies; Folklore; Paromita Kar; Guru Debaprasad Das; Dance studies; Classical Indian dance; Odissi dance; Dance history; Dance research; Odissi; Stylistic lineage; Lineage; Dance lineage; Dance heritage; Sociology; Multisited ethnography; Archival research; York University; Fieldwork; Guru Srinath Raut; Guru Durgacharan Ranbir; Nrutyayan
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Kar, P. (2014). The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History. (Doctoral Dissertation). York University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27615
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Kar, Paromita. “The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History.” 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, York University. Accessed October 14, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Kar, Paromita. “The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History.” 2014. Web. 14 Oct 2019.
Kar P. The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. York University; 2014. [cited 2019 Oct 14].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27615.
Council of Science Editors:
Kar P. The Debaprasad Das Tradition: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Odissi Dance History. [Doctoral Dissertation]. York University; 2014. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27615