Dance As Gesture

Through January 30, 2018
UChicago Center in Delhi

Jan. 29

The Center for Gesture, Sign, and Language (CGSL) at the University of Chicago investigates the implications of embodiment in language. One of our current projects aims to stimulate conversation between language, psychology, and the arts by studying the discourse of Indian dance. The many traditions of Indian dance have in common the lexicalization of gesture; that is, the use of specific gestures to transmit specific bits of information, rather like a word in a language (some types of Indian dance reportedly even add grammatical endings to the dance gestures).

This rich and multiple tradition deserves exploration, and the organizers presented interim research findings and engaged Indian colleagues whose work bears on our major research questions: How is meaning produced by the body? What are the interfaces among physical being, language, and culture that generate meaning? Do gesture and dance emulate the grammars of spoken or signed languages?

This event was by invitation only.