Dancing around Tagore

By Fiona Harvey

18th September 2014

As I sit down to write this next part of my exploration, I am distracted by the thought that it is Referendum Day in Scotland. Will we live in a different country tomorrow ? And it reminds me of all the many separations and mergings of nations in other parts of the world, in particular Partition of India in 1947.

Back to my voyage round the Archive. I had hoped to look at some of Tagore’s dance-dramas on video at the Centre, but they are unfortunately in too fragile a state and need to be transferred to a more robust medium.  So I was able to read about them in some of the English language writings in the archive.



Only about one third of Tagore’s writing has been translated into English so I was glad to learn that there were also some commentaries in English. And, of course, there are inummerable posts on Youtube showing different dancers’ interpretations. I particularly like this one :


because it includes some introductory explanation about the work. I am a keen dancer myself, pursuing Contemporary and Ballet primarily, although I have performed a variety of Indian folk dance with a group at Lohri Festival in Ahmedabad.

Fiona in Ahmedabad

I wondered how feasible it would be to develop some kind of crossover piece of work which blended Tagore’s style with a contemporary European approach. My aim would be to sever the boundaries of time and place, consolidating and developing the heritage.

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