Intercultural Synthesis, Radical Humanism And Rabindranritya: Re-Evaluation Of Tagore’s Dance Legacy

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South Asia Research


Rabindranath Tagore imbued Indian dance and music with a new modern sensibility. He created novel and eclectic dance-and-music genres, Rabindranritya and Rabindrasangeet, when the national trend was toward classical revivalism. He inspired Indian women to dance on the national stage at a time when dance was associated with immorality and cultural degeneration. This article explores Tagore’s song and dance creations, connecting them to his radical political and philosophical thought on universal humanism. Focusing on his views on creativity and freedom, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and women and essentialism, it is argued that this eclectic intercultural synthesis of ideas served to promote individual consciousness, empowerment and cosmopolitanism without rejecting their Indic cultural roots.

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