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Cynthia Ling Lee

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 transnational Asian diasporic  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.  2017.  “’Our Love Was Not Enough’: Queering Gender, Cultural Belonging, and Desire in Contemporary Abhinaya.” In Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance, ed. Clare Croft. New York: Oxford University Press, 45-65.

Lee, Cynthia Ling.  2017.  “Homeland as Beloved: Translating Viraha for (Post)colonial Contexts.” Indian Theatre Journal, 1(1): 39-53.

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: 
Selected Presentations: 

“Transhistorical Dialogues and Disidentifying with Colonial Representations.”  Talk presented as part of “How Matters: On Methods, Movement and Theory-Practice Experiments” panel, UC Berkeley Dance Studies Working Group, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley California, Mar 11, 2016.

"Decolonizing a ‘Contemporary’ Technique Curriculum?”  Paper presented at Congress on Research in Dance/Society for Dance History Scholars conference.  Pomona College, Pomona, CA, November 3-6, 2016.

“Subaltern Historiography as Choreographic Tactic.”  Paper presented at World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific conference.  Seoul Cyber University.  Seoul, Korea, July 21-24, 2016.

“Cutting Across, Identity Politics, and Abhinaya: Transnational Queerings by the Post Natyam Collective.” Paper presented at International Federation for Theatre Researchconference.  University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India, July 8, 2015 .

“Blogging Choreography: Post Natyam Collective’s Long Distance Collaborations.” Keynote Address for The Stage: the Dance Technology International Mini-Conference, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, July 24, 2012 .

Honors and Awards: 

2017-18 UCSC Arts Research Institute Major Grant
2016-17 UCSC Committee on Research New Faculty Research Grant
2013 Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowship
2013 NET/TEN (Network of Ensemble Theaters/Touring and Exchange Network) Seed Grant
2012 Center for Cultural Innovation Artist Resource for Completion Grant
2012 UCLA Hothouse Residency
2012 Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowship
2010 Durfee Foundation Artist Resource for Completion Grant
2010 Taipei Artist Village Residency
2008 The Swarthmore Project Residency: Time and Space to Make Work
2006 Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) Fellowship

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