Shah: Teaching Award, Indian Dance Essays & video

In April 2013, Duke University conferred the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award on Purnima Shah. She is the third faculty member within the Dance Program to receive the award, after Profs. Clay Taliaferro and Ava Vinesett. The award recognizes truly outstanding teaching in the Trinity College.

Purnima published two essays, “Performing Migrations: the Journeys of Indian Dance in America” in Attendance: the Dance Annual of India, 2013; and “Physio-Spiritual Transcendence through the Practice of Devotional Dance-Theatre in India” in Repertorio: Teatro & Danca, 2012. She also published a review of Ketu Katrak’s book, Contemporary Indian Dance: New Creative Choreography in India and the Diaspora in the Theatre Journal, 2013, besides an entry, “Dance: 1200- 1900 CE” in the Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia and Africa Encyclopedia published by Sage in 2012.

In March 2013, Purnima presented a paper at the Across the Threshold Conference and chaired and moderated two panels, “Arts as a Means of Social Transformation” as well as “ Social Transformation: The Legacy of Pauli Murray.” In April, she was a panelist for a discussion titled, “Future of Kathak Dance in a Global Context”
as part of the Arts Weekend, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. In June, Purnima presented a research paper titled, “Dancing with the Goddess: Tradition and Social Transformation of Garba Dances of Gujarat” at the Society of Dance History Scholars Conference in Trondheim, Norway, and chaired the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award Committee for SDHS, 2013.

In Fall, Purnima organized a screening of the documentary film Lasya Kavya at the Griffith Theatre and invited the renowned Bharatanatyam dancer Alarmel Valli, on whom the film is based, to lead a discussion with the audience. She also screened her documentary, Dancing with the Goddess, and led a discussion for the Duke lecture series, Wednesdays @ the Center, at the John Hope Franklin Center. In August 2012, the film was selected to be screened at the World Music and International Film Festival in Washington, D.C. and won nominations for Best Director and Best Music feature. In October, she was invited to screen the film at the International South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison. In June, the film was also screened at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, and, later, to an esteemed audi- ence at Gujarat Vishwakosh in Ahmedabad, India.

In July 2013, she gave a guest lecture on research methods and the making of a documentary at the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, Gujarat University, India.