Uttara Asha Coorlawala

Professor (adj) Dance, Barnard College
Professor (Adj) Alvin Ailey Fordham University Professional Dance Program
Co-Curator, Erasing Borders festival of Indian Dance In New York City

Prior teaching experience includes modern dance (Graham, Cunningham & Horton based) hatha yoga technique, and dance studies courses at Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus BFA program, Princeton University, The Spence School, and Artist-in Residency programs in New York city.
As a dancer-choreographer Coorlawala initiated in India what has since become a movement towards intercultural innovation. Choreography was based on modern dance, (Graham-based & Cunningham techniques) Bharata Natyam and yoga (Siddha Yoga and Iyengar). Her first solo dance tours were sponsored by the United States Information Service (now a part of NEA) introducing American modern dance to audiences across India. Subsequently danced over several solo tours in India, Europe and East Europe, Japan and the USA. She was listed as an empanelled artist with the I.C.C.R. (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) NYFA –The New York Foundations for the Arts, and various arts-In-Education programs

Academic Focus: 

The global re-circulation of dance movements.


Dance in Asia - India
Indian Classical dance.

Awards & Honors: 

2011 Sangeet Natak Akademi grant for research in contemporary Dance in India.
2010 Sangeet Natak Akademi, Puruskar Award for Dance Performance and choreography.
2009 Asian Cultural Council, Discretionary Travel grant to mentor and participate in Choreography workshops in Kolkatta, Co-sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Sangeet Natak Akademi, and Patadik.
2005 Principal Investigator, for Asia Society/Ford Foundation: Artistic Production & Cultural Identity in U.S. Immigrant/Diasporic Communities. http://asiasociety.org/files/pdf/Artistic_Production.pdf
2003 Research Fellowship, The AHRB Research Centre for Crosscultural Music and Dance Performance, (Universities of Surrey, Roehampton, and the School of Oriental and African Studies,U.K.)
1999 Research Fellowship Asian Pacific Performers Exchange, UCLA Center for Intercultural performance.
1976-78 Homi Bhabha Fellowship for choreographic Research.
1970 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund Fellowship to study Choreography in NYC

Professional Affiliations: 

Former editor for the CORD newsletter, and executive committee member of its Editorial board over 4 years.
Co-Curator of the Erasing Borders Dance Festival, New York city, which is now entering its 6th season.
Dance Studies consultant at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi, and
Arts Consultant for Dakshina Phoenix Dance Company, Washington DC and Eyakkam Dance Company, Denton, Texas.

Presentations / Recent Lectures: 

Invited Panelist on Theory and Dance, at the Kennedy Center, Usav, on September 21-22, 2013
Keynote Speaker at symposium "Sensing South Asia" at The University of Hawai'i at Manoa,
a featured interview on Doordarshan, (national television) India,
Expert Artistic Advisor to The National Commission on Human Development in Partnership with the United Nations Development Program, on the Fundraising production Anarkali for (then) President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf


2012 "Writing out otherness".in Studies in South Asian Film & Media Volume 4 Number 2 Intellect Books, UK Ltd. doi:10.1386/safm.4.2.121_2
and in Discourses in Dance, Vol 5. Issue 1. eds. Susan Leigh Foster, Ramsay Burt. Trinity-Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance U.K.

2010 “It Matters for Whom You Dance: Audience Participation in Rasa Theory” in Dance Matters: Performing India eds Pallabi Chakravorty and Nilanjana Gupta. Routledge, India.
2008 “Dance-South Asia” The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Volume 2, pp. 412-413. Edited by Peter N. Stearns. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN13: 9780195176322, ISBN10: 0195176324
2006 “Ruth St. Denis and India”(4th Reprint)“in Intersections: Dance, Place, and Identity ed. Ann Dils, Kendall/Hunt.
2005 Artistic Production & Cultural Identity in U.S. Immigrant/Diasporic Communities for Asia Society/Ford Foundation
2003 “Dancing Asianness at APPEX” in Narrative/Performance:Cross-Cultural Encounters at APPEX (Los Angeles, California: UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance) 2003
2003 “It Matters For Whom You Dance: Reception in Rasa Theory” in Audience Participation:Essays on Inclusion in Performance ed. Susan Kattwinkel., (Westport, Conn: Praeger Press)
2003 "Re-Inscribing Indian Dance" and “Re-membering Winds of Shiva” in New Directions in Indian Dance ed: Sunil Kothari, Mumbai: Marg Publications
2001 "Ananya and Chandralekha-A Response to 'Chandralekha: Negotiating the Female Body and Movement in Cultural/Political Signification'" in Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader Wesleyan University Press,
and also l articles for Pulse, (UK), Channels,(WDA) Nartanam (india) Sruti, India. Dance Research Journal (USA) Dance Chronicle (USA)

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