The long-standing dominance of history in the adjudication of debates on postcolonialism and modernity in India has resulted in the relegation of the knowledge claims of 'classical' performance traditions and aesthetic concepts to the domain of the essentializing and the untrustworthy. This paper argues that performances of music and dance have preserved an understanding of tradition that is more dynamic and agential than that put forward by nationalist understandings of tradition, and that aesthetic conceptions continue to illuminate the values and efficacy of these practices in engaging the affects of spectators. The paper explores in particular the subject position of the rasika as offering a distinctive way of inhabiting the present. The class privilege implicit in being able to take up such an invitation is explored in the second part of the paper.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 1|
|Publication status||Published - May 2011|