Associate Artistic Director/Founder: Drasti Panchal
Drasti is an emerging performing artist and choreographer in New York City www.drastipanchal.com. Her style has a duality in which one facet is deeply rooted in traditional Bharata Natyam and devotional in nature, while the other is more modern, reflecting various influences in her life. With years of training, Drasti has developed versatility as a performer and has exhibited pieces in diverse styles ranging from Bharata Natyam, Folk, Bollywood, and Hip Hop.
Bollywood’s Madhuri Dixit and a passion for Bharatnatyam inspired Drasti to dance. At the age of 11, Drasti took a keen interest in movement and expression particularly observed in Bollywood films. She then began her formal training with Smt. Jamuna Mitcham of The Shraddhanjali Indian Dance Academy at the age of 16. Drasti’s fascination with Bharatnatyam arose from the intricacy of the mudras- symbolic hand gestures, magnificence of Karanas - breathtaking postures representing the age old stone art of India - and the art of abhinaya- expression. She completed her arangetram in August 2004 in Flushing, Queens. Preparing for this milestone in her dance career was a spiritual journey which uncovered new depth and definition to dance that Drasti had never known.
During her undergraduate career at Boston University, Drasti left her mark as a dancer with Fusion, a leading hip-hop dance troupe, and as co-founder of Chankaar, BU’s first South Asian dance troupe that allowed for a creative synthesis of classical and modern Indian dance. During her post graduate career, Drasti has continued to train with her guru to develop her artistic and technical abilities. As Associate Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company, Drasti utilizes her varied dance exposure to create her interpretation of Bollywood and share a piece of the Indian culture with the western world. Her future plans involve opening a studio to encourage future generations to express themselves through dance.
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