(insert photo)

Ms Sidha Pandian

PhD scholar

BA Media Studies (Edith Cowan University)
Hons English & Creative Arts (Murdoch University)
Master of Studies (The Australian National University)

Jump to: Topic | Summary | Panel | Biography

Topic or working title

'Indigenous Australian and Indian classical dancescapes in dialogue: An ontological and epistemological performance-based inquiry.'

Abstract or summary

Inspired by the various affinities between India and Australia, Sidha’s thesis fundamentally investigates the ontological and epistemological foundations and resonances that are central to Indigenous Australian and Indian classical dance practices. Her research explores the spiritual, corporeal, emotional and intellectual possibilities of collaboration, dialogue and exchange between the two broad genres of dance arguing that such dialogues of performativity are crucial to unearthing world-views and philosophical thoughts in this increasingly globalized era.

Panel members and positions

Panel Chair:
Professor Mick Dodson, Director of NCIS and Professor at the ANU College of Law.


  • Dr Katerina Teaiwa, President, Australian Association for Pacific Studies; Senior Lecturer, School of Culture, History & Language; Co-Convener of Pacific Studies, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.


  • Warlpiri Elder, Mr Steven Wantarri Jampijimpa Patrick, Artistic Director of Milpirri Festival, ARC Future Fellow, ANU School of Music.
  • Dr Bill Fogarty, Research Fellow, NCIS
  • Dr Diane Smith, Fellow, HDR Program Manager, NCIS; Board member of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute


Sidha’s extensive experience in several genres of Indian classical dance was gained via the Temple of Fine Arts International where she completed her Bharatanatyam Graduation under the guidance of Srimati Kamakshi Jayaraman in 1991 and has continued to teach, choreograph and perform under this non-profit organization. It is through this performing arts establishment that she taught Bharatanatyam to the grandchildren of the late Bibbulmen Noongar Elder, Nundjan Djiridjarkan, also known as Uncle Ken Colbung. It was through this Elder’s mentorship and his revered friendship with her Guru – Swami Shantanand Saraswati that her PhD thesis initially found inspiration.

Updated:  8 December 2015/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer