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Preeti Vasudevan

New York, NY      

Award-winning choreographer Preeti Vasudevan is an exponent of classical Bharatanatyam creating new provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition. Preeti bridges cultures and continents as easily as other dancers might execute a plie. Preeti’s own manipulations of her classical vocabulary play a very significant part of storytelling in her productions taking audiences from cultural familiarity to unchartered territories. Original works performed by her company, Thresh, have earned international acclaim for their fresh juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary voices.

Preeti is the first Indian choreographer to be invited as a two year Artist-in-Residence at the celebrated choreographer Bill T Jones’s New York Live Arts, NY for the year 2015-16. Her new work, Stories by Hand premiered in November 2017 as the culmination of this residency, for New York Live Arts 2017-18 season.

Preeti is also the first Indian choreographer to be awarded a Spring 2016 Resident Fellowship at The Center for Ballet and the Arts, NYU, NY. As part of this fellowship, Preeti is developing a duet with Amar Ramasar, principal dancer at New York City Ballet called Études, a dialogue between two people through their classical languages. The premiere for Études, will be in 2019.

Preeti’s latest production, Veiled Moon, which received critical acclaim, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY as a feature of their 2015 exhibition on Deccan India. Other career highlights include: Boxed, by Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute 2014 (NY); Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Connect 2014-15 (NY); Presenter for the 2013 TEDxBarnard (Columbia University); Judson Church (NY) 2013; Commissioned work, Drumming a Dream, by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (2009) NY; Advance theater training with director Anne Bogart and the SITI company (NY); International Choreographer’s Residency (ADF 2003), American Dance Festival (ADF); Faculty (ADF 2004); Emerging choreographer series (Joyce Foundation, NY 2003);

After earning her Master’s degree in Dance Studies from the prestigious Laban Centre London, Preeti created her contemporary performing arts collaborative, Thresh, as a platform for experimental work in Indian Theater Arts. Since its inception in 2005, Thresh has slowly gained profile as challenging traditional approaches to creativity and engaging with the evolution of a new language of modern Indian expression through dance-theater.

Based in New York City, Thresh has performed at various festivals in India, UK, Portugal, USA and has been in residence at CND (Centre National de la Danse), Paris in 2007 and 2010. In 2009 Thresh was the recipient of 3 META (Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, India) awards for its first full-length production, The Absent Lover. In 2010 The Absent Lover was featured at the Birmingham International Dance Festival, UK. In 2013, Thresh was nominated for 7 awards for its next production, Savitri – dancing in the forest of death, at the META Festival, India.

A leading practitioner and educator of Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, Preeti has been the recipient of many awards for her classical performances and gained much acclaim for fostering a new approach to learning Indian dance-theater. She has sat on many international panels challenging the status quo in art making and creative education. Her groundbreaking educational website on Bharatanatyam, Dancing for the Gods is used internationally by teachers, practitioners and students to understand Indian cultural expression through dance. It is currently used by the public schools in New York City.