You are here

Cynthia Ling Lee

Cynthia Ling Lee
Associate Professor

Currently on Leave through June 30, 2022



Cynthia Ling Lee creates performance and scholarship that instigate postcolonial, queer, and feminist-of-color interventions in the field of Asian diasporic performance.  Trained in US postmodern dance and North Indian classical kathak, Cynthia’s interdisciplinary performance work has been presented at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (New York), East West Players (Los Angeles), IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance (New Delhi) and Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai).   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 was a long-time board member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

South Asian and US postmodern dance, choreography, critical dance studies
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
Teaching Interests: 

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

Selected Publications: 
  • Lee, Cynthia Ling. 2018.  "Queering Abhinaya: Artistic Collaboration and the Post Natyam Collective."  In Creative Collaboration in Art Practice, Research and Pedagogy, eds. Sunny Spillane and Kathryn Shields.  Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 99-118.  
  • Chatterjee, Sandra and Cynthia Ling Lee.  2018.  “Remixing Natya: Revanta Sarabhai’s LDR and Post Natyam Collective’s Super Ruwaxi: Origins.  In Dance Matters Too: Memories, Markets, Identities, eds. Pallabi Chakravorty and Nilanjana Gupta.  London and New York: Routledge, 202-24.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
Honors and Awards: 
  • 2018-19 Hellman Fellowship
  • 2018 CounterPulse Performing Diaspora Artist Residency
  • 2018 3Girls Theatre Artist Innovator
  • 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
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 .
J-16 Theater Arts Center