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Shorter Works

Upside Down & All Around

Upside Down & All Around was a 2020 virtual commission by Works & Process, Guggenheim, NY exploring the impact of isolation and inner chaos within the artist during the early days of the COVID pandemic. 

Locked within the confines of one’s home, everything turns upside down, and fragments of the person are strewn all around this limited and limiting space. But within the constraints of the external space lies a deeper search for meaning within the inner space of the body and voice. Rules of the language of dance (Indian dance) and music (a melange of Indian and contemporary genres) are subverted and make new meaning while exploring the reactions of silence within the artist that express themselves in non-traditional ways. Isolation and repetition are used as a method to rediscover parts of the deconstructed body and voice to explore new meaning in this unsettling time.


Choreography and performance: Preeti Vasudevan
Music and vocals: Kamala Sankaram
Filming: Bruno Kavanaugh

Bagheera’s Aria

Bagheera's Aria is a new composition and libretto based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which speaks of a female panther caged and exploited by the world of men. The music and libretto are created by two female artists, the voice of a caged female in a city, especially during the COVID pandemic.

A deep sense of connection between the feline, animal nature resonated seeking freedom and expression revealing a greater force and power within a more female energy. Through the exploration of the varied Indian dance-theater vocabulary against a contemporary context, I used sensual movement vocabulary and deliberate use of time to develop new movements and expressions to libertae the traditional form from its own purist confines.  Through this investigation of the dance form, I chose to bring the density of the voice of the singer and the text of the aria to represent the nature of our current times. The storyboard for the filming in particular was developed to show the micro gestures of the parts of the body in context with the environment (backspace of an urban building, inner room of an apartment) all representing the sense of entrapment and the need for freedom, both of the artistic forms as well as the female voice trapped for centuries within the cage of patriarchal rules. This work was a 2020 virtual commission by The Glimmerglass Opera Festival, NY


Choreography and performance: Preeti Vasudevan

Music, vocals, and sitar: Kamala Sankaram

Libretto: Kelley Rourke

Originally commissioned by The Glimmerglass Festival 


Études is a dynamic dance dialogue between Preeti Vasudevan and Amar Ramasar, Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet. This genre-bending production redefines classical movement idioms to create an evening of contemporary relevance and beauty.

Études questions the notion of “traditional” and forges a new style of communication. 
In essence, the work represents a deeply personal journey of discovery for both artists. This exposure, each to the other’s movement vocabulary, has created an osmotic process of exchange by which each form is deepened and liberated by the other.

Études possesses an additional dimension in that both collaborators are of Indian descent. Until now, they have each taken divergent artistic paths: through this piece they meet and develop a new language, inspired and energized by the intense artistic crucible of New York, perhaps the most diverse city in the world.

Photo credits: NYC Photo Bureau: Slezak and Pavlos Mavridis

Études was initially developed as part of Preeti Vasudevan’s Spring 2016 Resident Fellowship at The Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York University, and through a 2017 Residency Grant from the American College of Greece, Athens.


Explore Dance

Ballet Rising


Choreography: Preeti Vasudevan (in collaboration with Amar Ramasar)
Music: Dave Eggar, Jerry Korman
Concept & Artistic Direction: Preeti Vasudevan

Waiting for the Fifth Arrow


A duet between solo dancer and live pianist performing the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th piano sonata (Op.10/3).

An exploration of love, fate and death, the title of the piece refers to Hindu mythology, in which the god of love (Kama) carries a bow with five arrows in his quiver. As he shoots his arrows one by one, the lover passes through the joys and torments of each of the five stages of desire and passion. The fifth arrow brings climax and release – being death itself.


Choreography: Preeti Vasudevan

Music: Piano Sonata #7 (Op.10/3) by Ludwig van Beethoven

Lighting: Les Dickert

Costumes: Deanna Berg

Photo credits: Steven Schreiber (2007)

Tides of the Moon


Tides of the Moon has five performers moving to the effects of the moon. The waxing and waning rhythms of the cycles of the moon reveal two sides of the female energy: soft, delicate, lyrical, languid; and the more aggressive, detached, pulsating movement—which is sharper with quick changes.

The production showcases a dialogue between two dance styles: classical Indian dance and western contemporary forms of movement. The combination of eastern rhythms and vocabulary with its western counterpart is brought into a pulsating, energetic dance piece.


Choreography: Preeti Vasudevan
Music: Ben Foskett
Lighting: Les Dickert
Costumes: Joy Havens, Preeti Vasudevan

Photo credits: Steven Schreiber (2008)



Boxed is a classical work by Preeti Vasudevan with collaborators Roopa Mahadevan on vocals and Rajna Swaminathan on Mridnagam (South Indian percussion).


Commissioned by legendary dancer and educator, Jacques d’Amboise and his National Dance Institute, Boxed is performed as a bare-bones show revealing the classical form as it is experienced in the studio. The performance is acoustic and without the traditional costumes and bells.


Choreography: Preeti Vasudevan

Music: Roopa Mahadevan (with Rajna Swaminathan)

Boxed was specially created for Jacques d’Amboise and the dancers at the National Dance Institute.

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