Preethi Ramaprasad, has been learning classical Indian Dance from Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy (Shree Bharatalaya, Chennai, India) for the last 20 years. Born and raised in the United States, she made annual visits to India to train in dance and teaching from her guru. After being a school teacher in New York City under a prestigious organization, Teach for America, from 2011-2012, Preethi is currently pursuing classical Indian Dance (known as Bharatanatyam) professionally.
Since her debut in 1999 at the young age of 11, Preethi has given numerous group and solo performances in both India as well as the U.S. She has performed on several tours as well as the prestigious “December Dance and Music Festival” that happens annually in Chennai, India. Preethi also performs, teaches, and has given lecture demonstrations on Bharatanatyam at several venues including YoungArts, NY; The Juilliard School of Arts, NY; American International School, India; Rutgers University, NJ; Barnard College of Columbia University, NY; and Eastern University, PA.
As part of the Silambam Dance Company, Preethi toured the U.S. with her guru's production “Krishnam Vande Jagatgurum” in 2007.
In 2006, Preethi was awarded the prestigious YoungARTS Scholarship from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in the United States. Her dance, along with other scholarship recipients, was featured in the 2007 Oscar-Nominated Documentary, “Rehearsing a Dream”.
In 2008, Preethi presented a performance entitled “Abhyasa: A Tribute to Learning,” featuring choreography by Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy. The proceeds of the performance were given to the V-Excel Educational Trust in benefiting children with special needs. “Abhyasa” had encore performances at Harvard University (Boston, MA), and India.
Preethi's second themed production, “Mitra: Glimpses of Eternal Friendship” was premiered in March, 2011 in Chennai. It elaborates on the theme of friendship in various mythological contexts. Mitra was staged again in Houston, TX in October 2012; Phoenix, AZ in 2014; and under the prestigious CMANA of New Jersey in 2014.
In 2013, Preethi was commissioned by the dance wing of Narada Gana Sabha, Natyarangam, a popular dance organization, to present a show along with three colleagues, weaving pieces together describing the colors of nature. The production has since been performed several times.
In addition to dancing with her guru Sudharani Ragupathy and mentor Priya Murle, Preethi has also had the honor of working with renowned artists in the field. In 2014, Preethi toured with Flautist Shanthala Subramanyam, Mridangist Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, and Violinist Akkarai S. Sornalatha in Sweden, presenting Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music to schools and art spaces in Europe.
While in college, Preethi was the founding President of the first Indian classical dance group in existence at Rutgers University, Natya (RUN). Since its inception, the group continues giving numerous performances, and has been featured by the New York Times.
Preethi is a student of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music for the past 20 years. This has helped her to both sing for dance performances as well as conduct recitals. She has conducted her teacher's Bharatanatyam shows. Preethi has also lent her voice to productions by Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, most notably by singing in “Tripaada,” in the 2013-14 December Season which Shree Bharatalaya performed in such venues as the Madras Music Academy.
She has been trained in Western dance forms as well as the Western classical violin and vocal music. Preethi graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 with Honors in the fields of Cultural Anthropology and Political Science. During her time there, she wrote her thesis on the Devadasi tradition as it applies to the modern practice of Bharatanatyam. She continues to research, under the guidance of her guru, the field of ritual art, Bharatanatyam, music, history, and political agency.
TestimonialsRamaprasad has a beautiful classical dance technique and she's also a very accomplished musician.Sukanya Rahman,
renowned Dancer and Artist, to Robert Johnson, Dance Critic for The Star Ledger, New Jersey
A bright magenta costume offsetting the cream half-sari displayed a glow to the slim dancer. A light footed Preethi gave a sprightly and sparkling... execution of the jathi patternsThe Hindu Newspaper
TestimonialsWatching her, one was fascinated with her athleticism and her talam. With strong jumps and long leaps she covered large amounts of space in all her pieces. Despite having a very Jathi intensive and difficult margam, she hardly broke a sweat. It was truly a pleasure to watch her perform.... Preethi has the potential to become leading Bharatanatyam dancerLokvani Reviews