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.

Through the ongoing Center-funded project re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia, Painted Bride Art Center presents a new work by choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow Reggie Wilson.

Grants & Grantees

Known for innovation, creativity, and preservation of African-American traditions in dance, Philadanco has been dancing in the Philadelphia community since 1970.

Grants & Grantees

Micah Danges’ (Pew Fellow, 2015) work hovers between image and object, pushing the limit of what a photograph can be and using optical distortions that create abstract scenes from everyday items and places, in a distinctive merging of materials and process.

Bissell, the Center’s Performance director, and Adair, director of Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, discuss the origins and learnings of a Center interdisciplinary research project between dancers and historians that explored alternative ways of interpreting historic sites. Participants in the project reflect on its outcomes and implications.

Five Pew Fellows have been awarded artist residencies in 2014, part of the ongoing partnership between The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Alliance of Artists Communities, and four North American artist residency programs.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, novelist Beth Kephart describes seeing the landscape of her unwritten novel through the eyes of videographer Lori Waselchuk. Composer Bhob Rainey makes music out of squid neurons and mathematical formulas, and poet Major Jackson discusses the simple act of paying attention.

Grants & Grantees

Established in 1963, Pennsylvania Ballet has extended its important Balanchine-based repertoire by presenting new works by a variety of contemporary choreographers.

Grants & Grantees

A retrospective of selected dances by Trisha Brown, an internationally known leader of post-modernism and an enduring renegade whose work has rarely been seen in Philadelphia.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Robert Storr has been a professor of painting and dean of the School of Art at Yale University since 2006.

Grants & Grantees

Nichole Canuso and her collaborators created TAKES, an interactive environment that applied the cinematic notion of the “take” to the world of dance.

Experience this monumental and deeply-realized artistic encounter of dance, light, sound, and architecture on a scale not seen since its premiere 30 years ago.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko is the President and CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, which presents the history and cultures of the Wabanaki people. She served as a panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation in 2015.