This essay explores innovations in contemporary Indian dance based in classical Indian dance, martial arts and Western dance vocabularies. Who is making change and how does change work? I delineate the parameters of contemporary Indian dance as a genre (since the 1980s) and distinguish it from Bollywood style “free” dance. I analyze the creative choreography of one prominent contemporary Indian dancer, Chennai (India) based Anita Ratnam. Ratnam's signature style, evoking the “feminine transcendental,” is rooted in Indian aesthetic along with a pan-Asian scope. Ratnam's over twenty-year dance career of solo, group, and collaborative work, along with pioneering artist, Astad Deboo, serve as role models for second-generation contemporary Indian dancers such as Los Angeles–based Post-Natyam Collective's movement explorations, among other dancers based in the diaspora.