Artist Statement

As a multi-disciplinary artist (choreographer, vocalist, actor, percussionist) with a hyphenated identity (Indian-American), I am drawn to intersections.  I am committed to innovating within theatrical forms by exploring these intersections in the body, in narrative and in identity.  Rhythm plays a central role in my practice.  I am interested in incorporating live music and song in a way that blurs the line between musician and dancer to create a vocabulary, both physical and spoken, that is virtuosic in its use of syncopation and simultaneously crafted to convey meaning. As a choreographer and skilled performer in both contemporary forms of modern/post-modern dance/theater, and a practitioner of North Indian classical kathak, I embrace a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach.  My work reflects my love for tradition (both cultural and disciplinary) with the equally urgent desire to break from it. 

In my work, as in my life, I deal with serious issues with a large dose of humor because I truly believe that humor, as a powerful survival mechanism, allows us to access our pain and the pain of others with a degree of compassion. Through the use of humor, I find I am able to invite my viewers into a more intimate and empathetic relationship to my work and to issues that may otherwise be foreign to them.

With my continued immersion in North Indian classical dance and music, and my dance roots in Black vernacular forms such as tap and jazz, I enjoy exploring the cross-overs between these forms.  I am passionate about dissolving the boundaries and hierarchies that exist within the realms of art and entertainment.  I am artist and entertainer.  I can relate with the culture of academia, avant-garde performance art, Broadway actors, my Indian and Indian-American society, circus life, Chinese acrobats, and the particular preferences of each, with the same amount of ease and dis-ease.

I take pleasure in discovering more about myself by stretching into value systems and aesthetics that are outside of my current understanding.  This openness grants me diversity in the types of artistic projects that I can contribute to. My commitment to artistic innovation, personal transformation and social change continues to lead me to work with various artists and non-artist communities - both locally and abroad - where I strive to build bridges across class, gender, age and cultural differences through the arts.

What Would Gandhi Do?

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