Thresh is a New York-based, female-led performing-arts organization. Founded in 2005 by award-winning Indian choreographer Preeti Vasudevan, Thresh creates a provocative dialogue between Indian and western performing arts, connecting heritage cultures with contemporary lives.
The two-fold mission of Thresh is to educate and to entertain. Thresh’s work revolves around the art of storytelling in all its forms—from creating cross-cultural productions that deal with issues of identity, race, gender and inclusion, to outreach programs with marginalized and underserved communities in the US and overseas.
Thresh’s work on and off the stage and online provides a safe space in which individuals from diverse groups can explore their own personal stories, gaining confidence and authentic leadership skills as a result.
Thresh has recognition and support from leading US institutions including Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, US Department of State, National Endowment for the Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum and arts leaders like world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Jacques d'Amboise, legendary ballet dancer and founder of the National Dance Institute for children.
Founder & Artistic Director
Preeti Vasudevan with children of Madison Elementary, Des Moines, Iowa, USA (a Turnaround Arts school)
Preeti Vasudevan is an award-winning choreographer and performer creating provocative contemporary works from her Indian tradition. Founder and Artistic Director of Thresh Performing Arts Collaborative, her mission is to create experimental productions that foster a provocative dialogue with identity, and our relationship with heritage cultures and contemporary life.
Preeti has been recognized by a number of prestigious institutions in the US for her outstanding contribution to dance.
Some highlights include: 2020 Artistic Committee, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; 2019 Dance Lab New York / Joyce Theater Foundation Creation Grant; 2019 Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Leaders in Dance; 2018 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists; 2018 Selected Artist, DanceMotion USA Follow-On Program with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); 2018 Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s Dance Research Fellowship, NY; 2018-19 LabWorks Residency, New Victory Theater, NY; 2018-19 SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers) Foundation’s 2018-2019 Observership Class; Spring 2016 Resident Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, NY; Live Feed - Artist in Residence, New York Live Arts (2015-17) NY; 2015 DPA Atelier award, LIMS, NY; Presenter, TEDxBarnard, Barnard College, Columbia University, NY (2013); International Choreographer's Residency, American Dance Festival (ADF, 2003); Emerging choreographer series Joyce Foundation, NY (2003).
Preeti travels regularly to India continuing her artistic development between New York and India. Some of her works have received the highest awards in India, which include: three META (Mahindra Excellence in Theater Awards) awards for The Absent Lover (2009) and seven META nominations for Savitri (2013).
Commissions include Stories by Hand, New York Live Arts, NY (2017) Veiled Moon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015 (NY); Boxed, National Dance Institute, NY (2014); Drumming a Dream, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (2009) NY; The Absent Lover, Prakriti Foundation, India (2008).
Cultural Diplomacy is key to Preeti’s work through education. As an artist alumna of the US Department of State she leads ground-breaking educational initiatives encouraging self expression and artistic risk through cross-cultural creative exchange among artists and the community.
Preeti partners her educational and creative leadership with world-impacting organizations as Silkroad founded by legendary musician Yo-Yo Ma and the National Dance Institute founded by celebrated dancer Jacques D’Amboise.
Preeti’s ground-breaking educational website, Dancing for the Gods (in collaboration with the Dept of Education, NYC) has been developed to build a cultural bridge through creative Indian dance and used in NYC Public Schools.
Preeti holds a Master's in Dance Studies from Laban Centre London and is a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, NY.
Ras Dia: Director of Programming
Ras Dia, a native of New York City, is an arts producer, curator, and director who specializes in multi-disciplinary live arts and broadcast programming, and endeavors to highlight the role of the arts as a platform for global advocacy, social and cultural equity, and sustainable youth engagement.
In addition to his work with Thresh, Ras is the Assistant Producer (Live in HD) at the Metropolitan Opera, and is the co-creator of SAUCE, a series he co-curated at National Sawdust, where he also produced the Artists-in-Residence program.
Lisa Willis: Director of Development
Lisa Willis is a passionate professional who has managed and supported the development of a variety of multidisciplinary projects in the classical and commercial performing arts sectors. She was the founding Operations Manager for CAMI Music, establishing and managing the daily operations and administrative protocols for the company in addition to overseeing the touring and artistic logistics for Lang Lang,
Tan Dun, Savion Glover, American Ballet Theatre, Cirque Eloize and Ballet Folklórico
de México de Amalia Hernández.
Lisa has served in multiple programmatic and artistic administration roles for the
Kimmel Center, Mann Center, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, and Jazz Reach. She has also worked in A&R Admin and Copyright on various labels for SONY Music Ent., BMG and EMI Music N.A. Lisa currently works for New York Live Arts as their Institutional Giving Manager.
Vani Krishnamurthy: Director of Social Impact & Outreach
Vani Krishnamurthy is an arts entrepreneur who focuses on extending the impact and reach of artists and their work. Her training as an Indian classical dancer, combined with her business education and experiences, have enabled her to spend over 15 years as a translator, moderator, and messenger between artists and their audiences. She founded a consulting firm for arts organizations, collaborating
with clients such as Lincoln Center, World Music Institute, and visual artists/theater groups/dance companies from around the world.
Prior to this, Vani worked at top-tier consulting firms such as Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, received a Fulbright to India to study temple art and architecture, and has a BA
from the University of Pennsylvania.
Alexandra Seneca: Manager of Marketing & Communications
Alexandra Seneca is an art marketing professional from New York City. She holds a BA in Art History from New York University and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. Alexandra specializes in communications and marketing efforts with a focus on social media engagement. She enjoys promoting local arts organizations and bringing greater visibility to their missions.
Prior to joining Thresh, Alexandra worked at various visual art institutions around New York. She currently serves as a Social Media Coordinator at Art Frankly.
Séverine Kaufman: Development Assistant
Séverine Kaufman is an arts administrator, performer and choreographer from New York City. She holds a BA from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) in Dance and Arts History. Séverine has performed and choreographed at Rogue Space (New York, NY), the Hill Theater (Gambier, OH), the Bolton Theater (Gambier, OH), the Horn Gallery (Gambier, OH) and Gund Gallery (Gambier, OH).
She has most recently created movement for Sir Babygirl’s upcoming music video Cheerleader. Séverine is currently the Development & Communications Assistant at Danspace Project and additionally works with Thresh and Tiffany Mills Company.