Bharatanatyam in Great Britain is currently identified as a South Asian dance. This understanding of the art as a transnational genre of a geolocal area contrasts with the Indian perspective of the form as an Indian national art of the nation state. This paper traces the development of the term "South Asian" in U.S. academic practice in the post– World War II era and notes the adoption of the term in the British academy and by dance practitioners in the United Kingdom. The South Asian label was transformative in that it transnationalized and hybridized the historical identity of Indian bharatanatyam in the 1980s. This transformation was realized not just through the juxtapositing of local/global terms but through the establishment of local/global institutions. The history and implications of the borrowing are detailed.


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pp. 298-328
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