Kalabharathi is a premier dance school based in Portland, Oregon specializing in classical Indian dance. Bharathanatyam, an ancient dance form from southern India is offered to all ages and proficiency levels. Dance classes are tailored age appropriately for beginners up to advanced students.
Sivagami Vanka, Artistic Director and Founder of Kalabharathi initially started teaching in Cleveland in 1981, prior to relocating the school to Portland in 1987. Growing up in India, Sivagami received extensive training in Bharathanatyam from the age of 5 yrs. She has imparted her art to students in the US over the past 28 yrs. Sivagami has established the reputation of being an exacting and dedicated teacher, even while nurturing a love for dancing in her young students. Her warm and caring disposition compliments her rigor in eliciting the very best from her students.
Kalabharathi students are taught to approach Bharathanatyam as a performing art. They receive rigorous training in traditional techniques that focus on maintaining the authenticity of Bharathanatyam, while concurrently practicing the performance of their art to a diverse audience in the community. As part of their learning, students attend carefully designed camps from leading dance exponents & scholars, invited both from India & the US. Kalabharathi students are trained in the intricacies of nritta (rhythmic movements), abhinaya (expressive dance) and theoretical foundations from the Natyasastra and other dance texts.
Sivagami strongly believes in the student’s inherent ability to learn by observation of other dance performers. To encourage this, critically acclaimed dancers are sponsored by Kalabharathi to share & present their art not only to students but also to Portland’s artistic community. In its long presentation history, Kalabharathi has presented numerous dancers at prestigious events, creating a wider appeal for Bharathanatyam especially in Northwestern states of the US. On an average, Kalabharathi students have the opportunity to perform 2 to 3 times a month at various venues, often invited repeatedly by organizers. Kalabharathi & Sivagami have earned a reputation as excellent representatives of Bharathanatyam.