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Cynthia Ling Lee

Assistant Professor
South Asian and US postmodern dance, choreography, critical dance studies

Choreographer and scholar, Cynthia Ling Lee instigates postcolonial, queer, and feminist-of-color interventions in the field of experimental body-based performance. Trained in US postmodern dance and North Indian classical kathak, she is committed to intimate collaborative processes and foregrounding marginalized voices and aesthetics. Cynthia is a member of the Post Natyam Collective, a transnational web-based coalition of dance artists working at the intersection of art-making, activism, and theory, and a board member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters

Education and Training: 
BA, Swarthmore College
Thomas J. Watson Fellowship: “Dancing the Body Divine: Religious Dance in Thailand, Brazil, India”
MFA, University of California at Los Angeles
Selected Publications: 

Chatterjee, Sandra and Cynthia Ling Lee.  Forthcoming.  “’our love was not enough’: queering gender, cultural belonging, and desire in contemporary abhinaya.” In Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance, ed. Clare Croft. Oxford University Press. Anticipated publication date: Fall 2017.

 Lee, Cynthia Ling.  2015.  “The Post Natyam Collective: Building a Grassroots Community Online.” In Dance Education Around the World: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change, edited by Charlotte Svendler Nielsen and Stephanie Burridge, 173-6. London: Routledge.

Chatterjee, Sandra, and Cynthia Ling Lee.  2013.  “Solidarity – Rasa/Autobiography – Abhinaya: South Asian Tactics for Performing Queerness.” Studies in South Asian Film and Media, Volume 5, Issue 1: 129-140.

Chatterjee, Sandra and Cynthia Ling Lee.  2012.  “Choreographing Coalition in Cyberspace: Post Natyam Collective’s Politico-Aesthetic Negotiations.” In Feminist Media: Participatory Spaces, Networks and Cultural Citizenship, eds. Elke Zobl and Ricarda Düecke. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag: 146–157. 

Selected Performances: 


blood run (2016) [link to:]

Super Ruwaxi: Origins (2014) [link to:]

rapture/rupture (2013) [link to:]

SUNOH!  Tell Me, Sister (2011) [link to:]

Part Thief, Part Disciple (2010) [link to:]

Selected Presentations: 

“Homeland as Beloved: Translating Viraha for (Post)colonial Contexts.” World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific conference, Nanyang Dance Academy, Singapore, 2015. “Cutting Across, Identity Politics, and Abhinaya: Transnational Queerings by the Post Natyam Collective.” International Federation for Theatre Research conference, University of Hyderabad, 2015. Invited Keynote Address. “Blogging Choreography: Post Natyam Collective’s Long Distance Collaborations.” The Stage: the Dance Technology International Mini-Conference, Taipei National University of the Arts, 2012.

Honors and Awards: 

Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowship (2012 & 2013)

NET/TEN Seed Grant (2013)

Taipei Artist Village Residency (2010)

Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) Fellowship (2006)

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (2002-3)

Office: 831-459-
J-16 Theater Arts Center