Natya Receives Prestigious MacArthur Foundation Grant

Oct 14, 2014
Natya Dance Theatre is the recipient of a generous grant from the MacArthur International Connections Fund in support of an artistic collaboration with Indonesian-based Nan Jombang Dance Company to produce a main stage work of dance theater. Both companies will develop new movement vocabulary by means of artistic exchange. This will enrich the work of each company artistically and will also widen the appeal of the work to diverse audiences. The collaboration ... continue reading »


Natya performs in the Chicago World Music Festival

Aug 14, 2014
Hailed as the "Mozart of India" (Wisconsin State Journal),"Chitravina N. Ravikiran performs BREATHLESS SLIDE, South Indian Carnatic music, on the 20-stringed slide, with a composition of his presented in collaboration with Natya principal dancer Krithika Rajagopalan. Ravikiran will be accompanied by Rohan Krishnamurthy, mridangam.
This performance will be part of Ragamala: Indian Classical Music, which is a component of World Music Festival Chicago. For the 2nd ... continue reading »


Natya Company Member Wins Illinois Arts Council Grant

Apr 03, 2014
Anu Karan, a disciple of Hema Rajagopalan and a member of the Natya Dance Theatre Company, is the recipient of a prestigious Master/Apprentice Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. The Ethnic and Folk Arts Master Apprentice Program recognizes the vital role of the master artist/apprentice relationship in the preservation of the states cultural heritage. The program helps communities preserve their own culture by providing an opportunity for master traditional ... continue reading »


Hema Rajagopalan Joins World Dance Leaders at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

Sep 19, 2013
On Saturday, September 21 at 11:00 am, Natya artistic director Hema Rajagopalan will be part of a panel addressing the topic, Evolution of Indian classical dance in North America, at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA. Admission is free. The event, Utsav Celebrating Indias Maestros of Music & Dance, will be presented by Sivam, in collaboration with the Music Academy, Madras, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing ... continue reading »


EMMY Award Winning Choreographer Hema Rajagopalan Reflects on Mary Zimmerman’s Production of The Jungle Book at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre

Jun 10, 2013
Making the Jungle Dance and Sing 
This summer, Chicago audiences are in for a treat when the Indian jungle springs to life in a music- and dance- filled spectacle at Goodman Theatre. June 21 August 4, the Goodman will present its world premiere musical adaptation of The Jungle Book, the work of some of the best-known music, theater, and dance talents of our time. ... continue reading »


Hema Rajagopalan featured on Hinduism Today

Mar 11, 2013
A great overview of the important work that Natya does to perpetuate the culture and values of Bharata Natyam!
Read the article here.


Sita Ram Triumphs at Chicago's Harris Theater!

Dec 18, 2012
Something magical happened last week. Almost 200 dancers, singers, acrobats and musicians took to the stage at Chicago's Harris Theatre and transported capacity audiences to a place of awe, beauty, magic - and, above all, love.
We can't think of a better way to celebrate the holidays!
We could not be happier that Sita Ram, which Natya created in collaboration with the Chicago Children's Choir and Lookingglass Theatre Company, was an unqualified success with a diverse ...continue reading »


Discover More About Sita Ram!

Sep 04, 2012
Krithika Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre (center), David Kersnar of Lookingglass Theatre Company (right), and Josephine Lee of Chicago Children's Choir (left) brought Sita Ram, an original world musical, to the stage at Harris Theater for Music and Dance on December 14 and 15, 2012, for three critically acclaimed performances.
In 2002, Josephine Lee commissioned David Kersnar and Jai Uttal to create a world musical that reflects the rich diversity and cultures of Chicago. Premiered ...continue reading »


PUSHED TO THE EDGE Breaks New Artistic Ground

Apr 18, 2012
On Saturday, April 14, Natya presented the world premiere of PUSHED TO THE EDGE, which was created in collaboration with Mordine and Company Dance Theater, one of Chicago's oldest and most critically acclaimed contemporary dance companies. The premiere took place at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie and generated a positive response from members of the diverse audience. Here are a few comments taken from our audience survey:

Great concert, great ... continue reading »


World Premiere: PUSHED TO THE EDGE

Feb 28, 2012
8 pm, Saturday, April 14, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
The fourth collaboration between critically acclaimed Chicago choreographers Hema Rajagopalan and Shirley Mordine, PUSHED TO THE EDGE continues their thoughtful examination of Eastern and Western cultures through movement, allowing the physicalities of each company, Mordine & Co. Dance Theater and Natya Dance Theatre, to exist alongside each other, equally celebrated.

PUSHED TO THE EDGE will demonstrate ...continue reading »


Tickets are on sale now for The Flowering Tree

Sep 02, 2011 | Topics: The Flowering TreeNatya Dance Theatre, and Harris Theatre Chicago
Join us for The Flowering Tree. Hema and Krithika choreograph 16 dancers, Rajkumar Bharathy creates an original score with 27 musicians, Dipankar Mukherjee Director of Pangea World Theatre directs Natya Dance Theatre's - The Flowering Tree. Natya creates a world premiere bringing Dance, Theatre and World Music together in an amazing evening of awareness, social change, and a hope of building a strong relationship between humanity and nature.


Hema Rajagopalan receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Apr 20, 2011
This past weekend, at St Louis Indian Dance Festival 2011, Artistic Director Hema Rajagopalan was awarded the Soorya Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifetime creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of Indian dance. We're all very proud of her here at Natya!
Natya will be returning to St Louis on May 27th for Dance St. Louis' Spring to Dance 2011. We will be presenting a new work, entitled "Interior Landscapes" ... continue reading »


Natya receives grant from the New Stages for Dance Initiative

Mar 30, 2011
Natya Dance Theatre is thrilled to announce that we have received a grant from the New Stages for Dance Initiative, funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by Dance/USA and its Chicago partner, Audience Architects. The grant will fund the development and presentation of a new work, "Pushed to the Edge", created in collaboration with Mordine & Co. Dance Theater. Look out for this novel exploration of dance in Spring 2012 at the North Shore ... continue reading »


Natya Dancers Return to Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

Sep 01, 2010
Natya took to the stage August 30 to present Padma: The Evening Rose, at this prestigious Chicago venue. Padma was set to original music by the Natya Dance Theatre orchestra and also to the music of Chopin. This was Natya's first appearance at the Pavilion in an evening timeslot. In 2008, the company performed at the Pavilion with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble before an audience of 13,000.


Natya Dance Theatre Premieres Encountering the Other

Aug 02, 2010
July 29-August 1, Natya partnered with Mordine & Company, one of Chicago's best-known contemporary dance companies, to present Encountering the Other, which brought together Bharata Natyam and contemporary dance to explore the challenges of cross cultural communication. Performances of this innovative work were offered at the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Storefront Theater in downtown Chicago and drew a diverse audience. Encountering the Other drew ... continue reading »


Natya Disciple Vidya Govind Receives Prestigious "YoungArts" Award

Feb 05, 2010
Vidya Govind-Thomas, a senior disciple of Hema Rajagopalan, was the proud recipient of a Level I ($3,000) Award in dance from YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), and was a Presidential Scholar semi-finalist. YoungArts winners are chosen from nearly 8,000 applicants. YoungArts celebrates and rewards exceptional student artists from across the U.S. in nine artistic fields: cinematic ... continue reading »