This contribution accompanied Indian Dance: Articulations/Tensions/Negotiations with Shivaangee Agrawal and Mandeep Raikhy, an online durational session discussing the embodiment of Indian dance in our current world. Based on their artistic practices and concerns, guests across India and the UK, with diverse perspectives were invited to contribute to the conversation that revolved around questions of language, criticality, globalisation, caste interacting with dynamics of race, histories, access, and pedagogy – arriving at no neat conclusions.
To watch the video with closed captions, click CC on the bottom right of the screen.
This event was part of International Festival of Learning #2 supported by Arts Council England
Navtej Singh Johar is a Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer, a yoga practitioner, a scholar, and a social activist. He has formally trained in Bharatanatyam at Rukmini Devi’s Kalakshetra, and with Leela Samson at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi; he later studied at the Department of Performance Studies, New York University. Johar is trained in Patanjali Yoga at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai, under the guidance of Sri T.K.V. Desikachar, and holds the Grand Parent Certification (500 hours) from the Yoga Alliance.
In 2004, Johar founded the Abhyas Trust: a non-profit organization dedicated to yoga, dance, and urban design. A Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee in Contemporary Choreography, Johar is a recipient of the Times of India Fellowship 1995, Charles Wallace Fellowship 1999, and a research fellowship at the “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, International Research Centre, Freie University, Berlin.
Navtej Johar was the lead petitioner challenging the section 377 of the Indian Penal code, which considered consensual homosexual sex between adults as unnatural, unconstitutional and illegal. In a landmark decision in 2018 the Article 377 was scrapped. Johar is also an urban activist and runs a project; POS (Power of Seeing) which sensitizes school children about the environment and sustainable living.