Dancing in Circles in the Arts of India and Its Neighbors

Member Events
Krishna playing the flute and dancing with the milkmaids (detail), approx. 1700–1900. Southern India. Bronze. Asian Art Museum, The Avery Brundage Collection, B77B5. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Dancing in Circles in the Arts of India and Its Neighbors

Forrest McGill
June 19, 2020
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Special Fee: $10 per person Society members; $15 per person non-members

Society for Asian Art and Asian Art Museum are separate non-profit organizations with separate memberships. Please use the appropriate registration buttons to register for Society programs.

Register in advance for this event online no later than Friday, June 12. A link to the webinar will be sent via email to all registered attendees no later than Thursday, June 18.

For those registering and paying by mail with a check or credit card, payment must be received by the SAA office no later than Friday, June 12. A valid email address must be provided with payment in order to receive a link to the webinar.

In India and its neighboring countries, one of the most important subjects of sculpture, painting and other visual arts is dance. Dance has always held a uniquely important place in the culture of the region, where it can convey the profoundest religious, spiritual and social messages. This lecture focuses on the circle dances engaged in by Hindu deities, such as Krishna, and Buddhist deities, such as Hevajra. In another sense, "dancing in circles" also applies to the great god Shiva. What is conveyed can be creative energy and eroticism, the doom-laden power of destruction, or the prospect of transcendence.

Forrest McGill, Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, has worked at the Asian Art Museum for more than twenty years. Previously he was a museum administrator and a teacher, curator, researcher and write on Asian art. The most recent exhibition he organized and served as catalog editor for was The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe (2016).

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