Award-winning choreographer Preeti Vasudevan is an exponent of classical Bharatanatyam creating new provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition. Preeti bridges cultures and continents as easily as other dancers might execute a plie. Preeti’s own manipulations of her classical vocabulary play a very significant part of storytelling in her productions taking audiences from cultural familiarity to unchartered territories. Original works performed by her company, Thresh, have earned international acclaim for their fresh juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary voices.
The first Indian artist to be awarded the prestigious 2018 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, Preeti is also the first Indian choreographer to have been invited as a two year Artist-in-Residence at the celebrated choreographer Bill T Jones’s New York Live Arts, NY for the years 2015-17 which culminated in a critically acclaimed commissioned work Stories by Hand in November 2017 .
In parallel, Preeti is also the first Indian choreographer to be awarded a Spring 2016 Resident Fellowship at The Center for Ballet and the Arts, NYU, NY. As part of this fellowship, Preeti is developing a duet with Amar Ramasar, principal dancer at New York City Ballet called Études, a dialogue between two people through their classical languages. The premiere for Études, will be in 2019.
Preeti is also the 2015 Dance Performance Awardee bestowed by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies NY, where she graduated as a Certified Movement Analyst.
Preeti’s latest production, Veiled Moon, which received critical acclaim, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY as a feature of their 2015 exhibition on Deccan India.
Other career highlights include: Boxed, by Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute 2014 (NY); Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Connect 2014-15 (NY); Presenter for the 2013 TEDxBarnard (Columbia University); Judson Church (NY) 2013; Commissioned work, Drumming a Dream, by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (2009) NY; Advance theater training with director Anne Bogart and the SITI company (NY); International Choreographer’s Residency (ADF 2003), American Dance Festival (ADF); Faculty (ADF 2004); Emerging choreographer series (Joyce Foundation, NY 2003);
After earning her Master’s degree in Dance Studies from the prestigious Laban Centre London, Preeti created her contemporary performing arts collaborative, Thresh, as a platform for experimental work in Indian Theater Arts. Since its inception in 2005, Thresh has slowly gained profile as challenging traditional approaches to creativity and engaging with the evolution of a new language of modern Indian expression through dance-theater.
Based in New York City, Thresh has performed at various festivals in India, UK, Portugal, USA and has been in residence at CND (Centre National de la Danse), Paris in 2007 and 2010. In 2009 Thresh was the recipient of 3 META (Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, India) awards for its first full-length production, The Absent Lover. In 2010 The Absent Lover was featured at the Birmingham International Dance Festival, UK. In 2013, Thresh was nominated for 7 awards for its next production, Savitri – dancing in the forest of death, at the META Festival, India.
A leading practitioner and educator of Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, Preeti has been the recipient of many awards for her classical performances and gained much acclaim for fostering a new approach to learning Indian dance-theater. She has sat on many international panels challenging the status quo in art making and creative education. Her groundbreaking educational website on Bharatanatyam, Dancing for the Gods is used internationally by teachers, practitioners and students to understand Indian cultural expression through dance. It is currently used by the public schools in New York City. Preeti has taught at many American Universities like Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Columbia College Chicago, Barnard College (NY) and Fordham University (NY) and has led Professional Development courses on Indian Dance for NY City’s public school teachers through the Department of Education.
Preeti holds a Master’s in Dance Studies from Laban Centre London and is also a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York merging practice with scholarship between the East and West. Preeti lives in New York City with her husband, Bruno Kavanagh and daughter Ambaalika.