Natya Chemmal Awardee Pranathi
“My dance is a reflection of who I am. With every lesson life sends my way, with every breath and every situation that I allow myself to be affected by I evolve as a dancer. All of life enriches, informs, furthers and deepens my practice. The only and natural response of my body to all stimuli is to continue dancing. For when I dance, I turn into a better version of me”
Nitya Narasimhan, is an upcoming dancer whose tryst with bharatanatyam began at the tender age of 4. She currently resides and practices out of California, USA and travels to India for her training and performances. She is the artistic director of the “Prayukti Arts“, a forum to nurture quality Indian Art education and propagation in the Bay Area.
Nitya is a graceful, nimble and expressive solo performer who regularly presents her work across podiums and festivals both in the US and India, some of the most noteworthy ones being – Yuva Bharati, Bay Area ; Harmony Live Music and Dance Festival, Chicago ; HHII Dance Festival, Santa Barbara ; Brahma Gana Sabha ; Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Chennai ; Cleveland Thyagaraja Utsav ; Navatman Baithak Series, NYC. Her solo productions “Maathe” and “Aatmavan” premiered in the Bay Area and were presented in multiple locations after. She received the Dancers Group CA$H grant in 2020 as a funding towards her new solo production. Nitya has also curated and been part of many virtual endeavors nourishing and sharing her art through the virtual medium.
Nitya founded the “Prayukti Collective”, a forum through which she hopes to create community programs and further the vision of Prayukti Arts. In this regard, she has curated and presented a Lecture Demonstration series called “The Essence of Indian Arts” in numerous forums across the Bay Area to a wide spectrum of audience. She organizes annual Yoga Day gatherings and has initiated a new series called “Satsang – A sharing”, for artists across all genres to have a safe space to share work in progress and receive constructive feedback. She has also created ensemble work through the Prayukti Collective and presented “Deflowering” – a breakdown of the traditional Alarippu, speaking of women abuse, oppression, inequality, bias for the Broad Statements Dance Festival. The Prayukti collective has The confidence and poise seen in young dancer Pranathi Ramadorai is an outcome of the training she has undergone in the technique and grammar of the art form. Groomed under the expert guidance of her guru Rhadha, Pranathi’s performance validated the faith and training of her teacher.
Pranathi began her performance for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha with a Kavuthuvam in ragam Sankarabharanam, a composition of Gangamuthu nattuvanar in praise of Lord Chokalingeshwara. The dancer used simple gestures to describe Lord Siva — the crescent moon and Ganga on his head, sacred ash and snakes coiled on his body — to present a picturesque image of the lord.
The heroine, sharing with her sakhi, the pangs of separation that torments her, formed the theme in the shabdam ‘Venuganaloluni,’ a composition of guru Ramiah Pillai. The same theme continued in the main composition of the evening, the varnam ‘Nadanai Azhaithuvaadi’ by guru Kalyanasundaram in raga Khambodi.
Beginning with a statuesque pose of Muruga, the hero of this varnam, the dancer brought out some of the familiar images associated with the Lord like the gait of the peacock, the vel (spear) and His flag, in a beautiful manner. The angst of the heroine when she asks her friend whether the Lord can bear the separation was communicated with clarity. The sancharis that showed the heroine’s impatience prompting her sakhi to move fast was impressive, but the highpoint of her abhinaya skills came through while depicting the episodes where Lord Muruga is shown as Aarumuga.
Pranathi beautifully visualised it by detailing each face individually, describing the eyes in one face, the curly locks of hair in another, the sharp nose in the third and so on to make it a poetic representation. The nritta segments were short and crisp and the dancer sailed through it with agility and firm footwork revealing her competence.n the Cleveland Thyagaraja Utsavam as part of its community outreach program.