Srinidhi Raghavan started learning Bharatanatyam nearly thirty years ago and has performed globally over the decades. Born into a family of dancers, she was exposed to Bharatanatyam early on and formally started learning the art from her mother and guru, Usha Raghavan, and from guru, Malathy Thothadri at the tender age of four. She had her arangetram in Chennai in 1998 and her experiences with dance have spanned several cultures and countries, including those of the UK, Switzerland, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Barbados, Canada, the US and of course India, during the prestigious December festivals in Chennai. Known for her "precise nritta and apt abhinaya" (the Hindu, an Indian National Newspaper), she is also recognized for her innovative choreographies and original works, which often explore contemporary themes via traditional Bharatanatyam pieces. Srinidhi's wide and extended exposure has added an eclectic element to her delivery which, when combined with her traditional style, results in a unique reflection of elegance and experience. Critics have described Srinidhi as "a strong woman, so relaxed and confident that performing her intricate dance is a breeze, as easy to sing as a lullaby..."
One of her first co-productions - Her Story, a dance drama that explores the notion of unconditional love - went on global tour and received rave reviews across 9 cities. Her most recent solo and original production - Voices - premiered in London in September 2016 to a sold-out audience, and her subsequent release in New York City in February 2017 was also sold-out and received critical acclaim. Her next co-production - The Mirror - is a Bharatanatyam based video series that explores social issues such as gender bias, mental health and displacement; this series will premiere in October 2017.
Srinidhi is a graduate of Columbia University and also holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She currently lives and works in New York City.
The Mirror: A Bharatanatyam based web-series addressing social justice issues.
Voices: A cross-continental Bharatanatyam production. Original musical score by Usha Raghavan. Concept and Choreography by Srinidhi Raghavan and Usha Raghavan.
A GLIMPSE AT VARIOUS THEATERS AND FESTIVALS THAT HAVE PRESENTED SRINIDHI SINCE 1989:
- Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha, December Festival, Chennai
- Kartik Fine Arts, December Festival, Chennai
- Indian Fine Arts Society, December Festival, Chennai
- Chrompet Cultural Academy, December Festival, Chennai
- Centre Mandapa, Paris, France
- Teatro Tascabile Di Bergamo, Italy
- The committee for Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Independence, Barbados
- The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London
- Milapfest, UK
- The Nehru Centre, London
- The London Sath Sangam, UK
- Patidar House, Wembley, London
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- Symphony Space, "Her Story", New York
- Cino Theater, New York
- American University, "Her Story" tour, Washington DC
- Boston, "Her Story Tour", Cohen Auditorium
- The Newark Museum, "Her Story Tour", New Jersey
- The Arellano Theatre, "Her Story Tour", Baltimore, MD
- Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam, "Her Story Tour", Greater Chicago
- SICA & Lumbini Fine Arts, "Her Story Tour", Ottawa, Canada
- La MaMa Theater, "Her Story", New York
- Dixon Place, "Voices - New York Premiere", New York
"Srinidhi Raghavan’s performance at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in West London was a testament to the skill and dedication of a brilliant and impassioned artiste. The performance was a kaleidoscope of interwoven factors...Srinidhi Raghavan’s fluid and precise nritta was skilfully complemented by intense abhinaya, a delicate mudra here, a subtle glance there. The depiction of the mighty Dasaratha as a guilt-ridden and broken man left the audience stunned. Similarly, watching a young beguiling Kunti battle her emotions both as a young mother and then as an older widow, was moving. Nandanar was a picture of devotion, while the flirtatious gopi in the padam “Thottu thottu pesa varaan” was the definition of a young and lovelorn girl. The sequence of pieces and the portrayal of each character were brilliant. The choreography was a good blend of traditional steps and innovative execution."
"Srinidhi Raghavan's personal charms shine most in “Thottu Thottu Pesa Varaan,” in which she flirts with Krishna “who keeps invading her personal space.” She moves her face, her shoulders, and hands, with the winning precision of a natural comic, a seductress whose every move says, “No…yes.”...The image that lingers from Voices is that of a strong woman, so relaxed and confident that performing her intricate dance is a breeze, as easy to sing as a lullaby. It seemed as if listening with anticipation was the best spiritual involvement we could bring to the occasion."
"Descending froma line of trained classical dancers, Srinidhi Raghavan harnessed a passion for the Bharatanatyam dance form at a young age...under the instruction of two talented gurus - her mother, and aunt. With an affinity for classical art forms naturally swimming through her veins, it is no surprise that Raghavan has become a celebrated Bharatanatyam performer herself. Her Bharatanatyam show, "Voices", choreographed in partnership with her mother, Usha Raghavan, premiered in London and was received with resounding positivity."
"[Thillana] showed the rhythmic vivacity of Bharatanatyam. I love the way the dancers will advance head, arm and heel in the same direction, then pull them back, all as part of a larger ebullient meter."
"In Bharatanatyam duet Tillana, Srinidhi Raghavan and Sahasra Sambamoorthi juxtaposed their movements in excellent sync evoking images of Dipalakshmis of South Indian bronzes! There were exquisite sundari griva-attami movements, perfect alignment of lines, mirror images, good understanding, covering of space and description of Bhuvaneshwai Devi towards end and they concluded the Tillana with punch. The structure of Bharatanatyam form shone through their execution in a delectable manner."
"What was distinctive to this presentation was the format. It was traditional all the way, but by adding English narrations before each episodes, the duo gave it a global feel, targeting non-Indian audiences in the process. The innovative choreography by the duo and Usha Raghavan's artistic direction, which seamlessly blended nritta and nrithya, deserves special mention."
"As the dancers commenced the central piece, the unique elements of choreography instantly became apparent as they mixed innovative story-telling and theatric techniques with traditional dance in a phenomenally mature and novel production...In Srinidhi’s portrayal as Periyalwar; the audience was moved to tears as she depicted a distraught father who fears for his daughter’s seemingly unhealthy and blasphemous fixation on Krishna. As he realizes, however, towards the climax of the episode that his daughter had in fact not sinned, there was a palpable amazement amongst the viewers. Srinidhi’s eyes effectively conveyed Periyalwar’s amazement at the magnitude of Vishnu who was to marry his little lovable and adorable Andal!"
Beautifully interweaving theatre with dance, the two-hour production chugged along seamlessly from the beginning invocation piece to the closing thillana, pulling the viewer through a range of dark emotions and tongue-in-cheek humour...While their technique was crisp and flawless, it was the dancers’ expressive talent — the abhinaya — and their power as a duo that brought the show its finesse. The audience — from young children to connoisseurs —certainly loved it, for I could see all around me tears during the sadder parts of the show and chuckles during the comedic solos. I saw people quietly sitting on the edge of their seats, unblinking eyes glued to the stage; I even overheard one small child telling the dancers after the show that they had given her goose bumps!"
"Burning love and vengeance gripped the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Centre for the performance of a play which is thrilling crowds across the globe. "Her Story", directed by Usha Raghavan, was put on at the famous art centre in London last weekend as part of the dance drama’s world tour. The play, consisting of two dancers, is based around the lives and epic personalities of four women in Indian mythology and literature...The shift from gripping drama to comedy was the perfect way to round off an enjoyable twohour performance, which was befitting for a grand venue like the Bhavan."
"The presentations showcased their excellent Abhinaya and Nritta ability. The duet was done very tastefully with an interesting arrangement of positions on stage, creative movements and also the assignment of characters. Lighting was used effectively to create many wonderful effects. The interesting movement to show the burning of Madurai along with the perfect lighting was a memorable moment in the show...Their commitment to the art was total...Their fine training and hard work was visible...one cannot debate the talent of these young women and the passion they have for dance."
"The presentation was SLICK - there was no dull or sagging moment...The explanations were lucid, lively, and very appropriate for the audience. I liked it that they did not have a break, and the whole show moved along like a well oiled machine...Ms. Raghavan's abhinaya to the padam "nEtrandi nErattilE" was disconcertingly well done (disconcerting because of her age, and to see such a nuanced portrayal by girls who have grown up outside of India is rather unusual IMO). She brought out the sarcasm of the situation very well. I am sure that with age and more experience, she will be able to present this padam in a more subdued but lethal way - with 'smiles that can kill'."