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: Creative Producer
Ras Dia is an arts administrator who specializes in multi-disciplinary arts and social impact projects. He is the co-founder of ffflypaper, and the Creative Producer of Heartbeat Opera’s BREATHING FREE, a visual album which focuses on the intersection of race, carceral justice, reparations, Black queerness, and community-building, and was produced across LA, Chicago, and NYC during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also the Assistant Producer of the Metropolitan Opera’s Peabody- and Emmy-award winning Live in HD series seen in movie theaters in 70 countries worldwide. As Line Producer of Little Island, a new public park in Manhattan funded by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, he supports a wide range of social, civic, and arts programming for all ages, from theater, dance, and music to food and beverage experiences, educational programs, and community events, which feature industry leaders, cultural figures, and a roster of early career, emerging, and established talent. In 2018, he was appointed Special Advisor on Arts and Advocacy for Humanitarian Causes to the United Nations Association of El Salvador, for his work as Executive Producer of Una Voz, Un Mundo: A Concert in Support of the People of Guatemala, presented in partnership with The New School, following the Volcàn de Fuego eruption. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (M.Mus), SUNY Purchase College (B.Mus, summa cum laude), and the Boy’s Choir of Harlem.
Siobahn Sung: Artistic Associate
Siobahn Sung enjoys a varied performance career, in which she engages in projects that are multiplanar and innovative. She is enthusiastic about stagecraft, storytelling, and congruence in theatre. Her main operative is to always be a consummate connector of people. Siobahn is also a co-founder of ffflypaper, an arts consulting and imagination company. She is thrilled to be joining Thresh as an Artistic Associate.
Lisa Willis: Director of Development
Lisa Willis is a passionate artistic administrator who has managed and supported the development of a variety of multidisciplinary projects in the classical and commercial performing arts sectors. She has freelanced extensively as a development consultant, providing long term support to small nonprofit performing arts groups in the areas of grant writing, individual donor cultivation, and special events. Ongoing service in this area includes work with the new music ensemble Contemporaneous as well as the physically integrated dance company Heidi Latsky Dance. She is co-Founder of The LynList, a subscription-based, curated list of grant, fellowship, and residency opportunities for artists in the NYC area. Past fundraising experience includes work with New York Live Arts, home of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Brian Sanders’ JUNK and JazzReach. Lisa holds a B.A. in Music Composition and Theory from New York University and has a background in both ballet and modern dance.
Vani Krishnamurthy: Executive Director, The Red Curtain Project
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.