By Royona Mitra
Via seven key case reviews from Khan's oeuvre, this ebook demonstrates how Akram Khan's 'new interculturalism' is a problem to the Nineteen Eighties western 'intercultural theatre' undertaking, as a extra nuanced and embodied method of representing Othernesses, from his personal place of the opposite.
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Extra info for Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism
Cantle, ‘About Interculturalism’) Cantle suggests that while past models of multiculturalism have essentialised identities on the basis of race alone, thereby treating identitypositions as fixed, interculturalism considers all forms of diversity in relation to identity including gender, sexual orientation, class and faith. He further suggests that interculturalism dislodges identities as fixed and emphasises their processual nature such that identity-positions are now chosen as opposed to inherited.
The othering inherent in Khan’s new interculturalism thus teeters strategically between resisting mainstream whiteness and pacifying it at superficial levels through the commodification of his and others’ non-white otherness. This echoes Graham Huggan’s concept of the postcolonial exotic. Huggan distinguishes between postcolonialism’s critique of imperialist trends and postcoloniality’s ‘global condition of cross-cultural symbolic exchange’ (Huggan ix). He explains the dual function of exoticism within the field of postcoloniality: Within this field, exoticism may be understood conventionally as an aestheticising process through which the cultural other is translated, relayed back through the familiar.
Amongst them the voice of Rustom Bharucha remains a cornerstone. 12 He goes on to observe: At one level, there is not much one can do about stopping such productions. After all, there is no copyright on the Mahabharata (does it belong to India alone? ). I am not for a moment suggesting that westerners should be banned from touching our sacred texts. ] All I wish to assert is that the Mahabharata must be seen on as many levels as possible within the Indian context, so that its meaning (or rather, multiple levels of meaning) can have some bearing on the lives of the Indian people for whom the Mahabharata was written, and who continue to derive their strength from it.