Hari Krishnan, artist-in-residence in the Dance Department, was featured in the March 13 issue of The Toronto Star. In an article titled, “Dance: Traditional Meets the Postmodern,” Krishnan speaks about his dance troupe, InDANCE, which performs Indian classical dance style bharatanatyam with Western contemporary eroticism.
Krishnan was raised in Singapore, part of the small island republic’s Indian minority. He studied bharatanatyam and an imported European form of ballet. He embraced Western contemporary dance as an undergraduate in Canada. He holds a master’s degree in dance from York University in Toronto.
As a result, he’s hard to categorize and this has proved to be a problem for inDANCE, the ethnically diverse, multi-disciplinary company he founded in Toronto a decade ago.
“The handicap for me,” he says, “is that we do all kinds of work. We are not afraid to show skin, to talk about eroticism or sexuality using bharatanatyam as our medium. So, we have a problem accessing a solid audience in Toronto because people always want to box us. Either you’re a bharatanatyam company that propagates Indian family/cultural values or you’re not.”
According to the article, Krishnan travels widely, “commuting during the academic year to Middletown, Conn. – where he’s been artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University since 2001 – visiting India regularly for research, study and performances, and teaching in Britain.”