4:00-4:45 pm | Varsha Sankar, Bharatnatyam
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Bio: Varsha Sankar is a professional Bharatanatyam dancer. She is a disciple of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and Dr. Sujatha Mohan from India. She began her training at the age of 5 and from a young age, she has been performing for several leading organizations in India and abroad. She has received several awards and titles. To mention a few; she is a recipient of the prestigious CCRT scholarship from the Government of India and a graded artiste by “Doordarshan”, Indian National Television channel. She has completed Bachelor of Fine Arts in Bharatanatyam from SASTRA University, India with distinction and is pursuing master’s in the same. She has also been learning “Kathak”, another Indian classical dance form. Besides dance, Varsha is a data scientist and works on cutting-edge AI applications, after having completed her master’s in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
About the art:
Bharatanatyam is one the of the eight Indian classical dance forms and traces its roots back to “Natya Shastra” which is the ancient extant literature on performing arts that is said to have its origin in the beginning of 1st millennium BCE. It expresses Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Hinduism. Originally it was a mode of worship in Hinduism and was confined to temples. Now, it is a very popular artform that is showcased in theatres all around the world as well as performed at temples. The dance is an amalgam of graceful movements, rigorous footwork and storytelling through gestures of all limbs of the body and facial expressions. It is traditionally performed in the Carnatic style of Indian Classical music, where the dance movements portray and elaborate the idea presented by the lyrics of the accompanying song.