On Facebook and here on the SITI Company blog, SITI has been spotlighting alumni of our many training programs. Today, we have the great pleasure of spotlighting Preeti Vasudevan, who first trained with SITI Company in 2009. Preeti is an award-winning choreographer, educator, and movement analyst. She is an exponent of classical Indian dance (Bharatanatyam) creating new provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition. Original works, performed by her company, Thresh, have earned international acclaim for their fresh juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary voices.
A few recent highlights include: Spring 2016 Resident Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, NY; Artist in Residence, New York Live Arts, NY (2015-16); DPA Atelier award, LIMS, NY (2015); commissioned new work, Veiled Moon, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (2015); Boxed, for Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute, NY (2014); Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Connect, NY (2014-15); presenter for TEDxBarnard, Columbia University (2014). Preeti’s educational website, Dancing for the Gods, has been developed to build a cultural bridge through creative Indian dance and used in NYC public schools.
Preeti is currently an artist in SITI’s NYC Advanced Intensive. She kindly answered some questions for us, and we’d like to share her answers with you below.
1. When did you first train with SITI?
I started around 2008/09 with SITI Company in NYC.
2. What are you most excited that you’re doing or working on right now?
I am doing two projects – both very different from each other but feed each other immensely too. One is a commissioned work – a solo, to be premiered at New York Live Arts in the 2017-18 season. It’s called Stories by Hand and it’s a complex mapping of my personal life through storytelling vignettes that thread each other to give an idea of my life as a web created through memory. It is created as an intimate piece as if I am talking to each of you personally eliciting your own stories from within. It is very tough, as there is a ton of text and movement. The other is an evening length duet called Etude, with a fabulous principal dancer from the New York City Ballet (Amar Ramasar). The work is about our relationship developed through our distinct classical styles of dance – classical Indian and Ballet. We had a very positive showing in May and now continuing our journey of discovery.
3. What is the most important thing you learned from SITI?
That is hard to say, as there is just so much gold dust there! But if I had to choose one, it would be surrender from where all else evolves.
4. What in your creative life are you proudest of?
That I am still learning!!! Learning to me is the greatest creativity there is. It keeps you fresh, youthful, curious, open, vulnerable and adds immense wisdom without feeling burdened.
5. Tell us about a piece of art that has recently inspired you.
Just yesterday (Sunday Aug 21st), I was reading the Griffin and Sabine series by Nick Bantock. What imagination this artist has! I was blown away – the storytelling alongside his own illustrations and molding of the materials! I loved it and if you haven’t dipped into his work – then I highly recommend it.