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Dr. Purnima Shah

North Carolina, USA

Dr. Purnima Shah is the Director of the Duke University Dance Program and Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance. Shah was the PI crafting the MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis proposal, approved by the Duke Board of Directors in December 2017. She is the recipient of the 2014 Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award at Duke University. Shah's research specialty intersects interdisciplinary areas of Asian Dance and Theatre, Ritual Performance, Gender in Performance, Dance Ethnography and South Asian Dance in the diaspora. She has produced, directed and scripted a dance documentary, Dancing with the Goddess, published by Insight Media, Proquest Publishing Company. Two book projects focusing on the study of psycho-spiritual transcendence through the practice of devotional theatre in India, and Garba dancing: from Ritual to Disco are in progress. She has published scholarly articles in the Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle, Theatre Journal, UCLA Journal of Dance Ethnology, Repertorio: Teatro and Danca, Nartanam, Attendance: the Dance Annual of India, Samipya Journal of Indian Culture, besides chapters in anthologies. She acquired her Ph.D. in Performance Studies and Ethnography (with a focus on Asian Performance) from the Department of Theatre and Drama, University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a performer in the Kathak and Bharatanatyam dances of India. As a disciple of ‘Padmabhushan’ Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, Shah has given Kathak performances in major cities throughout India and as a government delegate for cultural exchange through Festival of India Directorate, in Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Moscow and the USA.