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Conference on Assam at Britism Museum

British Museum is going to orgasie conference on  "Assam: textile transmission and the performance of dance" on July 8 - 9 2016 at Stevenson Lecture Theatr, London. This two-day conference will respond to the current exhibition in Room 91, Krishna in the garden of Assam: the cultural context of an Indian textile. It will consider Assamese textiles, trade and contact through the Himalayas from north-east India to Tibet, and the performance traditions that connect the ancient Krishna-related textiles with modern Assamese culture. The conference will include an exhibition viewing and reception.


Assam: textile transmission and the performance of dance

Friday 8 July & Saturday 9 July 2016 Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum

Friday 8 July

09.30     Registration 18.30

10.00     Introduction
Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum

10.10     The Brahmaputra Valley: a corridor in monastic geographicity

Indrani Chatterjee, University of Austin, Texas

10.45     Discussion

11.15     Coffee break

11.45     Trans-Himalayan textiles: Indian woven silks in Tibet
Rosemary Crill, formerly V&A Museum
12.45     View of the exhibition
Krishna in the garden of Assam: the cultural context of an Indian textile

13.30 Lunch

14.30 A brief discussion of the traditional woven silk textiles of medieval Assam: lampas, samite, double-weave and damask
Steven Cohen, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford

15.30 Silk, a larger history
Arupjyoti Saikia, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

15.30 Tea break

17:00  From Lhasa to London: looting during the 1904 Younghusband Expedition to Tibet
Tim Myatt, independent schola

18:30 The dancing monks of Uttar Kamalabari monastery, Majuli Island, led by Dr Bhabananda Barbayan, in a public performance in the Great Court (ends around 20.00)

Saturday 9 July

10.00     Dancing the divine; performing the Nation: Krishna dance in ancient and contemporary Northeast India
Debanjali Biswas and Georgie Pope, both King’s College London – India Institute and Department of Music

11.00     The icons and the accompanying texts woven on the Vrindavani Vastra textile groups and their historical and cultural significations in Assam
Samiran Boruah, The Assam Research Society, and La Maison des Artistes, Paris

12.00     Coffee break

12.30     Staging the Vrindavani Vastra – Q&A session with Bhabananda Barbayan, the choreographer of the dance performance based on the Vrindavani Vastra textile
Bhabananda Barbayan (choreographer from the Uttar Kamalabari monastery, Majuli Island) and Anwesa Mahanta and Arshiya Shethi, both post-doctoral independent researchers

13.30     Lunch

15.00     Threads through Assam – screening of a short film on the story of silk in Assam, directed by Leona Chaliha

15.45     Some further thoughts on the function of the Vrindavani Vastra and Conclusion
Richard Blurton, British Museum

16.30     Dance workshop with monks from Majuli Island

18.00     Drinks reception


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