3x3: Movement Voices for a Bharatanatyam Dancer

Viji Rao. Photo by Satish Vishwanathan.

Viji Rao is a dancer trained in Bharatanatyam, a classical South Indian dance form marked by expressive hand gestures and elaborate rhythmic patterns. After 10 years in Philadelphia, spent mostly collaborating with dancers and companies from other traditions, in this project Rao worked on a series of solo works to expand her artistic roots in South Indian dance. She developed three distinctive dances based on incarnations of the Hindu goddess Devi in collaboration with three choreographers: Hari Krishnan, artistic director of INDANCE, Toronto, who specializes in experimental exploration of Bharatanatyam traditions; C.V. Chandrasekhar, one of India’s most highly regarded Bharatanatyam practitioners, who creates choreography within the canon of traditional vocabulary; and Delhi’s Santosh Nair, who creates contemporary work based in the generations-old martial art form of Chhau. Members of local Indian and dance communities were invited to attend a session that introduced the work of these choreographers’ new approaches to classical forms.

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Collaborators & Colleagues

Sam Miller is the former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and currently serves on the Board of Amrita in Phnom Penh. He served as a Center dance panelist and LOI panelist in 2013, Pew Fellowships evaluator in 2014, and Pew Fellowships Panel Chair in 2015.

Grants & Grantees

Supporting, documenting and presenting Philadelphia area folk arts, the Philadelphia Folklore Project is committed to sustaining community cultural knowledge.

Grants & Grantees

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Grants & Grantees

David Ellsworth is a visual artist and a 1999 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

The Kimmel Center, Inc., best known as a presenting organization and home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Ballet, is one of the most well-attended cultural venues in Philadelphia.

Michelle Heffner Hayes will lead a discussion on the history of flamenco and its cultural significance in its contemporary form.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Joy Bivins is director of curatorial affairs at the Chicago History Museum.

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Collaborators & Colleagues

Kevin Ward is a former director of Santa Fe’s Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.

Ballet répétiteurs such as Parkinson work one-on-one with dance artists to articulate and find the essence of a character or particular portrayal that becomes distinctive to their physicality.

Grants & Grantees

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