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Dancing without bodies: Pedagogy and performance in digital spaces

, Michigan State University, United States

Michigan State University . Awarded


The practice of teaching in an online composition class eliminates the visibility and immediacy the teacher and interpersonal interactivity in a classroom community. This may be problematic for effective online learning. The problem that online instructors might face is one that some traditional Odissi dance teachers also experience. In order to explore the conflict between tradition and mediations with technology, this study focuses on Odissi, an Indian classical dance and examines how digital technologies of teaching, like CDs, DVD, online videos and synchronous videos are transforming the practice and teaching of this traditional dance. Surveys, interviews and qualitative research of the field of Odissi dance revealed that technologizing the dance might be unavoidable; but to some practitioners it may be disrupting Odissi's traditional values. In my own composition pedagogy, I find that simulating the traditional learning experiences in an online classroom can be helpful in enhancing the learning and teaching experience in an online composition classroom. My research reasserts the position of the teacher in an online pedagogic space and argues that the presence or simulated presence of bodies might be vital in learning and composing collaboratively. These findings have implications for composition pedagogy and computers and composition because it demonstrates the complicated relationship between traditional and online teaching, revealing the impact of mediation on these pedagogic practices.


Ghosh, S. Dancing without bodies: Pedagogy and performance in digital spaces. Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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