Teacher

Dance and music has always been my passion. My role as a professional dancer formally began when I enrolled for the 4-year degree program of dance at Kalakshektra in Chennai, India. Kalakshektra is a world-renowned institute of artistic endeavor where the Indian art forms are taught and delivered in its utmost pure forms. I underwent rigorous training in bharathanatyam, a temple dance form originating from Tamil Nadu. My next step after graduation was into the real world of contemporary dance form emanating from bharathanatyam. I was chosen to be trained under and dance for the famous dance group led by Miss. Chandralekha Prabhudas Patel, an international choreoghrapher and dance director known for her postmodern fusion dances that incorporated elements from other dance and martial art forms. Four years of experience as a dancer in Chandralekha's dance company gave me the opportunity to explore the world of modern dance and understand the interaction between the classical and contemporary dance styles. As one of the main dancers in Chandralekha's dance group, I had the opportunity to travel all around the world giving outstanding performances on many prestigious stages and also to interact with other exemplary artists in the field.

My work experience together with Pina Bausch stems from such international collaborations and programs. Pina Bausch is a celebrated modern dance choreographer and ballet director hailing from Germany. I got the unique opportunity to meet and work with her, giving me a chance to pick up elements of grace, style and modern mix to the knowledge I had. In 1997, soon after my marriage, I moved to Sweden. I started my own dance school called Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts in 2002, where my students can learn the fascinating beauty and gracefulness of the Indian classical dance. I have been continuously training Indian/International students in Indian Classical dance form of Bharatanatyam for nearly fifteen years now.

The dance school organizes and participates in several festivals and performances all year round, where the students perform and the audience enjoys the grace of Indian dance. We also organise annual festivals known as the 'Indian and Asian Festival' held in Huddinge, where artists from not only India and Sweden but also other parts of the world join together with Saraswathy Kalakendra and perform to the delight of the spectators. For the last ten years, I have been teaching Indian classical dance to children in Kulturskolan Stockholm and Kulturskolan Botkyrka. Every week, I meet, engage and teach around two hundred children starting from the age of four. Looking at the enthusiasm and willingness of these children gives me immense pleasure and I really cherish the time I spend with them. They in-turn become my inspiration to learn more and innovate. In co-operation with other teachers from Kulturskolan, I collaborate, choreograph and perform. This gives me the wonderful experience of exploring the world of dance and music. I underwent a special training in Dans Och Cirkus Högskolan (DOCH) on multi- cultural dance forms in 2011. I have been conducting several workshops for the young professionals training there.

Apart from this, I have a professional team with whom I choreograph and perform various projects, by which I spread joy and energy of Dance. The audience connects with the language of dance by understanding the nuances of bharatanatyam, by means of hand gestures and facial expressions. The rhythm of Indian classical dance engages the audience and earns their appreciation. I aim to create awareness of the beauty and grace of Indian classical dance and music. Towards this target, I have been producing and showcasing several dance performances in main places such as Kulturhuset, Södrateatern, Unga klara, Carina Ari day of the Golden Foyer, Musikaliska, Ethnografiska museet, Fotografiska museet, Dansmuseet, Lila academi, Ulrikdals Teatern Confidencen, Stadshuset and Bergwaldhallen. I also perform at the Stockholm Kulturfestivalen every year. I have also had the privilege to perform in several occasions for the Indian Embassy, in the presence of Swedish and International delegates.

A few notable choreographies and projects include 'Kali' where I worked together with artists from Musikaliska; 'Meghadootam' a blend of dance, music and poetry which brought together International dancers and Musicians; 'Bollywood Opera i Botkyrka' where Rossini's opera was revisited with elements of Indian dance and music; 'Karleks Saga - Satyavan och Savithri' a love story depicted through the words of Marina Gränlund and my dance movements; 'Bha-ra-ta' a classical Indian dance presentation specially choreographed for the of the western audience. All these shows received an overwhelming response and left the audience awestruck. I have been awarded various scholarships and titles by various organizations in Sweden commending my contribution to the field of culture and for spreading awareness about the Indian culture in Sweden. Tokens of appreciation and support like this from various organization and people motivate me to keep teaching and take pride in my culture and students. I wish to engage the audience through my presentations and promote the goodness of arts amongst the people.