Uday Shankar's career as a dancer and choreographer has been under frequent inspection by dance historians and scholars in both the South Asian and Euro-American worlds. To date, some articles, books, and biographies have documented various aspects Shankar's life, which provide factual details about his performance career (Banerji 1982; Khokar 1983; Mukhopadhyay 2004; Singha and Massey 1967). While these biographies serve as an important source in their delineation of Shankar's life and his works, there have been few attempts at critical analyses and evaluation of Shankar's body of choreographic works. Scant scholarly interests in Shankar have mostly described him as one of the many exotic “oriental” dancers in Europe.
Dr. Prarthana Purkayastha is lecturer in theatre and performance at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. Her research on twentieth century dance in South Asia has been published in South Asia Research, and she has also contributed entries on dance for the Encyclopaedia on Social Movement Media published by Sage (2011). Prarthana continues to make and perform contemporary dance in the UK, India, and internationally, mainly in collaboration with community-based dance practitioners and organizations.