As a Minnesota-born daughter of south Indian immigrants, I grew up looking for ways to bridge the distance between the culture I was born into and the one in which I was raised. As an Indian-American choreographer, my drive is to break down cultural walls – markers erected in the name of identity, yet which divide one group from another – to make the dance more intimate, less aloof. In doing so, I seek to elevate Bharatanatyam from the realm of cultural heritage to a performing art that is capable of deep engagement outside its native context.
Aparna Keshaviah is a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, and scholar who has performed and taught master classes around the U.S., Europe, and India. She has developed a choreographic language that preserves the precision and movement lexicon of Bharatanatyam, but stretches its grammar and syntax into the modern day, to communicate to non-native audiences. She is co-founder of the Dance ARĪS artist residency in Western North Carolina and a Senior Statistician at Mathematica.