Song of Surrender

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Hema Rajagopalan

28.10.1950
Birthdays & Anniversaries

Hema Rajagopalan is a senior Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher and choreographer ba Hema Rajagopalan  sed in Chicago, IL, U.S.A. She is the founder and artistic director of  Natya Dance Theatre, a professional touring company and school that has specialised in Bharatanatyam for more than 40 years.  She has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues throughout the world, receiving critical acclaim. As a choreographer she has created numerous short works and over thirty major productions. Her gurus are some of the foremost figures in Bharatanatyam—natyacharya K.N. Dandayudhapani Pillai and abhinaya guru Kalanidhi Narayanan.
Among the many prestigious awards that Hema has received are an Emmy Award for the PBS production of World Stage Chicago; seven National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Awards (the highest number ever received by any U.S. choreographer); and, in India, the Vishwa Kala Bharati Award for artistic excellence from Bharat Kalachar. In 2004, she received the Nritya Seva Mani award from Bhairavi, a prominent organisation based in Cleveland, Ohio. Hema is the first US-based dancer to receive this award. Also in 2004, she was the first choreographer working in an Indian tradition to be selected among leading Chicago choreographers by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum to create new work.
Scores of students trained under her have established themselves as performers, teachers and choreographers. Her teaching accolades include the Master Teacher Award from the Asian American Heritage Council and the Master Teacher Award from the City of Chicago. She has served as a dance panelist with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and other state arts agencies. Hema has been appointed by the Canadian government to assess Bharatanatyam dance training programmes. She conducts workshops and master classes at several colleges and universities, and is an adjunct faculty member at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago.

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