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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Newman Center for the Performing Arts


Sarah Morelli, PhD

Sarah Morelli

Associate Professor, Ethnomusicology
Chair, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Room 303

Sarah Morelli specializes in the classical music and dance of North India. Active as both a scholar and performer, she teaches courses on music cultures from around the world and leads a North Indian classical performance ensemble. Professor Morelli has studied the performing arts of India since 1992, she trained with the legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (vocal music and the sarod) and continues to study with his disciples Pandit Rajeev Taranath, Dr. George Ruckert and Steve Oda. Prof. Morelli also trained with the renowned Kathak dance master Pandit Chitresh Das and his senior disciple Gretchen Hayden. Since 2000 she has performed as a Kathak dancer and as a musical accompanist for Pandit Das and the Chitresh Das Dance Company throughout India, Europe and the United States.

Prof. Morelli's forthcoming book, Tales of a Modern Guru: Pandit Chitresh Das and Indian Classical Dance in Diaspora (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming) is an ethnographic account of Pandit Das's dance company and school, his contributions to Kathak dance and processes of culture-change in artistic diasporas. These issues also inform her earlier work on hip-hop and youth culture in South Korea. Prof. Morelli regularly presents her work at national and international scholarly meetings; she is currently the ethnomusicology representative for the Rocky Mountain chapter of the College Music Society and is Co-Chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Section on the Status of Women.