Anantapur-born Pragathi Yadhati has carved out a niche for herself in the world of theatre in New York and has set her sights on cinema

From the drought-prone district of Anantapur where she was born to the State capital of Andhra Pradesh where she did her schooling and a bit of college, to USA, the land of opportunity, her life has progressed just the way she wanted, and for which she slogged.

Pragathi Yadhati has carved out a niche for herself in the world of theatre in New York ever since she landed on the shores of America in 2009.

People started taking note of her and she got several offers to work in the movies, but she could not take them up for a while because of some rules pertaining to those in the US on a student visa.

This lissom lass has attended classical dance classes ever since she was four years old and today, she can boast of formal training in Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Dimsa, apart from Hip Hop, Theatre dance and basics of Salsa, Rumba, Cha Cha and Belly Dance. Her theatrical expression and skills were honed with lessons in ‘method acting’ from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and the ‘Meisner technique’ from Mathew Corozine Studio Theatre.

But when regulations permitted, she signed on the dotted line and put on her dancing shoes to star as Sonia in Ooops … A Desi ! directed by Jenner Jose, a Mallu from Mumbai, but naturalised in America.

Packaged as a cool romance, she says, the fast pace of the 120 minute-long entertainer will ensure audience attention is riveted on the screen.

Among others, the film stars Beuali Shah and Adnan Khalid. When it premiered at the Times Square in New York last week, most critics sat up and took note. Here in India for the premiere, ahead of its release on August 2, she couldn’t wait to taste her favourite dish – mom’s ‘mamidikaya pappu’ (a dal and mango dish) and minced no words to say how badly she missed it the past three-and-a-half years in a distant land. Pragathi is quietly confident about her career moves and she says she’s willing to work hard to showcase her acting skills.

“I started with Bollywood and am open to Telugu films because I want to prove myself. But my sights are set on Hollywood,” this ‘Indian Princess’, as she is called in New York, signs off.

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