Dance

Dancing away overseas

When our Indian classical dances are learnt the world over with various classical dance schools running full houses, the credit goes to dancers, who work with a mission to propagate our art and culture abroad. One such dancer, who trains students in Raleigh is Supriya Desai.

Having started dancing early in life Supriya did her arangetram in ‘78. She is trained in both Bharatanatya and Kuchipudi from Sunanda Devi and Narmada Rao. She started her dance school — Payal Dance Academy — in Raleigh, which now completes 20 years. “The reason I chose that name is because those days there were more North Indians in Raleigh, says the dancer who is trained in the Pandanallur and the Tanjavur style of Bharatanatya besides being a trained Kuchipudi dancer too.

Dancing away overseas

Ask her if she ever felt learning all three styles simultaneously would hamper the individualistic classical style and she responds, “I always learnt each form at separate times. I would take a break from one style and focus on the other.”

Though she has lived abroad for over two decades, Supriya says she is “deeply rooted in the classical Indian art forms” as she makes it a point to come here often. The dancer has also collaborated with dancers around the world. Some of her works include the National Award Winning TV production “Nectar in Stone”, filmed in Belur and Halebid temples. And she has also performed for organizations in the US such as the SV Temple of Pittsburgh, Durham Arts Council, Museum of History’s auditorium inauguration, Duke University Institute of the Arts, to name a few.

Dancing away overseas

Known for her choreographic skills, Supriya’s productions have been presented at World Kannada Conferences too. She says she has also choreographed dances using “non-traditional themes like Rhythm-the heartbeat of dance and M&M.” The latter, she adds is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. “Karnataka Kshetra Vaibhava” is one of her dance creations on the monuments of Karnataka.

She has also been bestowed with the “Karnataka Kalashree” title by Sangeeta Nritya Academy of Karnataka, “Sathyabhama Teacher Excellence Award – 2016” and “Swara Kala Gaurav Puraskar”.

The dancer,who was here for a short while, says she will be back to collaborate with dancers for more projects.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 4:10:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/dancing-away-overseas/article25295727.ece

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