A culture as ancient as that of India has had several means of preserving the memory of its two thousand year old Indian classical dance, Odissi. The dance has survived through the generations of the Guru-Shishya parampara or master-student tradition, transmitted through the generations orally. Dancing in Second Life, a virtual perfomative space, characterized by an absence of a material body, lead of Shreelina's realization how the embodied art of dance is disembodied in virtual performances and consequently hypermediated dance evolves beyond the theoretical conventions of performance.
Her ethnographic inquiry into the teaching practices in Raghurajpur (Orissa) and interviews with veteran Odissi Gurus have revealed both positive and negative reactions to projects to digitize a sacred cultural memory in the name of preservation. Digitization of the art in virtual spaces and through video devices has led to its destabilization (Delanda), confusion and wrath from the veteran practitioners of the art, who welcome changes, but think that the central authoritative figure of the Guru is essential for the ultimate survival of this cultural art form, for its continued performance and preservation. Dr. Shreelina Ghosh explores how the body mediated technologies of production, sign systems, power, and the self evolve and adapt to the posthuman era.