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Indian Cultural Dance Spotlight

Bharatanatyam & Odissi Classical Indian Dance

Join Srilatha Singh and Malavika Singh from Chilrakaavya Dance as they share the history and movement of two forms of classical Indian dance. Bharatanatyam is an ancient South Indian classical dance form while Odissi is an East Indian classical dance form. In these educational spotlight videos, Srilatha and Malavika share some of the main positions and postures from each dance form while also exploring the history and culture that is embedded in each classical dance form. 



ChitraKaavya Dance

ChitraKaavya Dance, founded in 2014 by Srilatha Singh and Raksha Karpoor, was created to explore their abiding interest in Bharatanatyam. In 2015, it was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Raksha has since returned to India and is actively pursuing her classical dance aspirations.

Srilatha Singh

Screenshot 2023 10 17 at 11 23 20 ABOUT US Chitrakaavya DanceSrilatha Singh is the artistic director of Chitrakaavya Dance. She has a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 3-manifold topology, which deals with geometry of spaces; the same fascination with geometry is imbued in her passion for Indian Classical Dance. Trained in Bharatanatyam, primarily the Kalakshetra tradition, from eminent gurus Shri Dhananjayan, Guru Kalyani Shekhar and Smt Ambica Buch, in her youth in India, she continually refreshes her training and has facilitated and attended workshops with artists of international repute such as Bijayini Satpathy, Praveen Kumar, Janaki Rangarajan, and Shankar Kandasamy. She enjoys choreographing to new and unexplored themes, teaching and presenting history, mythology, rhythm, mathematics, poetry and theatre, all through the medium of Bharatanatyam. Her interests lie in questions of historically re-interpreted classicism, and contextualizing the evolution of this art form as well as its relevance to contemporary identity. As a member of the Utah Presents Advisory Board, she participates in cross-cultural conversations that inspire her artistic investigations. She has guest-taught Bharatanatyam at the Snow College Convocation Series, and master classes at Weber State University, University of Utah, Westminster College, Utah Valley University amongst local institutions. She has performed in a multitude of venues and cultural festivals including Living Traditions, Ring around the Rose, Living Legacy Community, and International Day Festival, among other events.

Malavika Singh

Malavika Singh is a sophomore at Columbia University, studying biochemistry. Her passion for dance was kindled at the age of four when she was enchanted by Ballet West’s Nutcracker and enrolled in ballet and contemporary classes. She began learning Odissi at twelve when she participated in Nrityagram’s summer workshop, and falling in love with Odissi, continued traveling to Nrityagram every summer and winter. Since 2019, she has been passionately training under guru Bijayini Satpathy. Dance has become Mala’s preferred form of community exploration and connection, as she immerses herself in a multitude of art forms and cultures. She is a 2021 Young Arts finalist, and a Presidential scholar of the Arts from Utah.

What People are Saying

The diversity of the dancers really spoke to my students! It was great to see boys and girls dancing, and different races. The high level of engagement was so refreshing and got students excited about thecontent.
This activity was valuable because it helped students make connections between dance, rhythm, healthy lifestyles, and expression. The students were impressed by the talent of the dancers and it was motivating to them.
Opportunities for art and expression are so limited at school but so essential and valuable for all students, especially those who struggle to learn through traditional methods. My Kindergarteners have been dancing since you left!
This was so engaging. I looked around the auditorium and every student was watching. Not one person was talking or distracted
This activity is valuable to teachers and students because it gives them a creative outlet. We need movement in the classroom to engage, energize and deepen student learning.
I got great ideas on how to incorporate movement into math and science lessons.
I loved how you made movement and exercise relatable to the students. The dancers were full of energy and there was very little down time so students stayed engaged.
Our children were captivated by the performance. They listened to you and they were learning without knowing. They usually giggle when bodies are shown and talked about. But the way you presented it was so tastefully done, they now do poses and movement around the room and outside. You brokesome barriers and they took that permission and literally ran with it!