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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. This article investigates the phenomenon of cultural revival in a non-Western context using kathak, the classical dance of North India, as a case study. Although the music and dance revival that accompanied Indian independence from Britain in 1947 shares many characteristics with other revivals such as links with nationalism, middle-class reclamation, classicization, and revised history, there are also significant themes including gender topics, class issues, and shifts in centers of power that seem closely connected to the process of postcolonial nation building. Placing the particular details of the Indian revival into the matrix of postcolonial theories of forced contact and resultant cultural hybridity allows a move towards theories that embrace revival as a global phenomenon. The article ends with the suggestion that in the search for purity and authenticity through revival of past practice, we actually reflect global hybridity.

Keywords: classicization, dance, gender, global, hybridity, India, kathak, nationalism, postcolonial

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