Writing Out Otherness

Coorlawala, Uttara
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University of Hawaii at Manoa Center for South Asian Studies
“Writing Out Otherness” is inspired by dancers, their journeys to identity, which are the result of who they are, their bodies AND where they are located in discourse, and in global markets. I stage crises of alterity, of the discomforts of participant-observation, of dichotomizing gazes, of performing pluralities of Asianness from within the glass walls of Euro-American dance discourse. Can one theorize about dance without betraying dancers? By what theories are we restraining performers, even in those writings that valorize resistance and interventions? How may the other, redefine himself or herself and be heard? How do we write non-violently so that identities can continue to travel amidst moving spaces, between cultures, persons, theories and theatres. One might call for a profound epistemological shift in re-valuing the links between senses, language, and receptors. But I plead that writings on dance disassociate from any singular foundational logic, and engage with the ways that writing is itself an activity, and like movement systems and the performance of identity, writing is always contingent on the temporal, socio-economic, geo-cultural deep structures.
Coorlawala, Uttara, "Wiritng Out Otherness." Paper presented at the Center for South Asian Studies 30th Annual Symposium, "Sensing South Asia," Honolulu, April 17-19, 2013.
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