Dancing From Home – 2020

Quarantine Dance Challenge!

Shakti dance students Lila and Saanvi are also cousins who live in different parts of LA county. Motivated to improve their dance during quarantine they teamed up to learn each other’s dances and once they had worked on it at home they met up, excited to practice together, keeping distance and wearing face masks!“

We simply have to keep dancing and challenging ourselves,” says Viji Prakash. “Yes we miss that joyous feeling of community when we dance together , but not even Covid can stop our Shakti dancers from doing what they love”.

The ultimate success of zoom! Cousins, Lila and Sanvi, who live in two different parts of town, learned each other’s class’s dances. They met up after much time, practiced together and put on a show!

Our Shakti students- 100 of them usually gather at dance studios weekly in groups of 10 or more all across LA County to learn and practice their dance with Viji aunty. But here they are, during the Covid 19 pandemic, far from each other in their homes, rolling back rugs, signing into virtual platforms to connect with their teachers, and continuing to hone their technique and learn new dances. Resilient and passionate, Shakti students have amplified their strengths, laughing with each other, pinning videos and sharing practice videos for review.  Here is a glimpse of Shakti dance moments during this crisis.

Shakti dancers offer the ‘Alarippu’ in gratitude to our Frontline Workers. Film conceived & edited by Shakti student- Charu Balamurugan.

Shakti Greenwood Project

Shakti Greenwood Project. Using movement, dance expression, Bharata Natyam, freestyle gesture Shakti students choreograph dance stories about life before and during Covid. Music composed and performed by Aditya Prakash

Shakti Greenwood Project ~ Part 1
Featuring: Rumi Gollapudi, Netra Shyam, Leela Dalal, Subhashri Vighnesh, Prisha Gordhan, Harini Nagarajan, Minakshi Sreerag, Aliya and Anaya Lal, Rahul Yates, Amiya, Kamal and Sahana Sheth, Ria Kaushik, Pari Minke, Manya Pappu, Punya Naveen, Tasya Reddy, Rhea Sandesh, Anushka Rajeev.

Shakti Greenwood Project ~ Part 2
Featuring: Rhea Raman, Saanvi Naadipurum, Adrishya Kumar, Akhila Krishnan, Meghna Kamal, Arna Patel, Saraswati Pitcher, Raaga Mahesh, Akshara Vankipuram, Amiya shah, Alina Shah, Indra and Sandhya Murlidharan, Charu Bala, Samhita Pirai, Ananya Bala, Maya Arasu, Meera Shreedha

Happy Birthday Viji Auntie!

Shakti Dancer Sai Patil celebrates Mother’s day with a bit of sass!


Kindling a Lifelong Interest in Dance

Web discussion with eminent dance teachers in California. Featuring Viji Prakash, Katherine Kunhiraman, Indu Ganesh, Nirupama Vaidhyanathan and hosted by Mythili Kumar

Arna learns the Shakti dance class chants during this crises!

Amala’s award from Music Center’s Spotlight Program

“I am Amala Neervanan and besides Bharata Natyam I am actively involved in the theater program at my High school. My drama coach, knowing I dance told me about this Arts Program called Spotlight Awards by the Music Center, Los Angeles and asked me to check it out. I was intrigued and seeing as there was an opportunity for me to do Bharata Natyam, I applied. My entry was in the non-classical dance category, in which students can compete in any style of dance other than ballet, including contemporary, tap, lyrical, Indian classical and other world dance forms.
I made it to the final round of competition along with the other 16 semifinalists . In this round we were given the incredible opportunity to audition as well as take master classes with professionals in the dance industry. We took a master class with Jacob Jonas from the Company who has many contemporary dance shows and even has choreographed for Kanye West. I was exposed to dance styles I had not performed before and was able to test my limits in contemporary ,acrobatic styles of dance and some improv too! It was so exciting to interact with dancers from so many genres, though I was the only one in Bharata Natyam!
A week before the final round Covid 19 became our way of life. I ended up doing a video presentation being forced to adapt to an in-home video performance! I won a scholarship prize for my performance in this competition, by becoming a semifinalist.
This was an amazing experience that allowed me to not only share my love for bharata natyam, but to dance alongside and meet other passionate young dancers and push myself to become a better dancer.”