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Deepa Menon

With her distinctive and pervasive stage presence, Deepa leads audiences with eortless ease and grace through a whole range of aesthetic experiences, from the delicate to the intense and from the subtle to the sublime. Her abhinaya, which portrays the Navarasas in all their pristine richness, have been greatly admired by the connoisseurs’ writes a critic about Deepa’s performance. Praised not only for her abhinaya but also for the intense footwork which is the hallmark of kuchipudi, Deepa is a talented exponent of the Kuchipudi tradition.

Deepa is a multi-talented individual with Dance, Music and Painting to her credit. Deepa is an exponent of Kuchipudi dance, an exciting genre of dance that has its origin in a small village of that name in Andhra Pradesh, India. Introduced to the world of dance and Music at a young age by her Mother Smt. Valsala Govind. Deepa initially trained in dance and music by learning Bharathanatyam and Carnatic vocal. Later when Deepa was studying for her Bachelors, a chance viewing of a recital by Mallika Sarabhai inspired her to learn again and was initiated into Kuchipudi dance by Ms. Krishna Bharathi. In 3 years Deepa started performing and she went on a tour of Kerala for Spic-macay which was received very well by the public as well as by the critics. She later went on to embellish her style under the masterly guidance of the celebrated Kuchipudi danseuse, Padmashri Dr. K. Shobha Naidu. Deepa being forever in the quest of knowledge is now an ardent disciple of Guru Vyjayanthi Kashi undergoing training in Temple rituals and the traditional style of Kuchipudi under the Guru-sishya parampara. Deepa has carved a niche for herself in classical dance.

Deepa received her initial training in Bharathanatyam from Mrs. Nandhini Ramani and went on to embellish her style under the guidance of Smt. Lata Pada in Toronto. Deepa is collaborating with renowned Bharathanatyam exponent Dr. Sanjay Shantaram, Founder and Artistic Director of Shivpriya Dance School, Bangalore, India. In her ongoing quest for excellence in Bharathanatyam, Deepa is training under Padma Bhushan recipient Dr. Padma Subramaniam.

Deepa has further diversified her repertoire by training in Mohiniattam under the guidance of Smt. Geeta, Smt. Sunanda Nair and Sri. Mohan Das. She exudes vitality, warmth and endows her dance with an added dimension and she enchants the initiated and the uninitiated alike. Deepa has the ability to infuse beauty in whatever she creates.

Her movements are full of life and endowed with sensitive lyricism. The 'Lasya' (grace) in Mohiniyattom has captivated this beautiful and graceful dancer. She is able to execute the slow and undulating movements of this dance form with ease. Abhinaya which is prominent in any Indian dance form comes to her naturally and Deepa is known for her beautiful abhinaya.

One special feature of Deepa’s performance that is widely appreciated is the Lecture-cum- Demonstration (lec-dem) that she gives before each presentation, wherein she relates the art form to the theory of dance as described in the “Natya Shastra” – the ocial treatise on Music, Dance and Drama. Deepa specializes in performing Tarangam, a unique dance item that requires dancing on the edge of a brass plate.. Through her performances, she constantly strives to give expression to her creativity without deviating from the strict classical mould of this traditional dance form. Deepa has been trained in Music for more than 15 years and also play the Veena, a stringed instrument. Her training in Music helps her bring a fluidity of movement to dance and helps infuse the dance with lyricism and vitality. Her expertise has developed through years of training, devotion and dedicated practice. Her aptitude in painting has helped develop the visual in her compositions.

Deepa holds a degree in Kuchipudi dance from the Telugu University, Hyderabad, India. She graduated with a Masters in English Literature from Osmania University Hyderabad, India. Deepa also holds a degree in Graphic Design from George Brown College in Toronto and is currently working on a Masters in Figurative Painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Deepa has combined Dance and theater and worked in several Theater companies in San Francisco. She has given several performances in India, Canada and the US and have been widely acclaimed as an excellent danseuse.

Deepa also teaches Bollywood dance for both kids and Adults. The class for kids is conducted in such a way that it is fun for the kids while also giving them an introduction to the finer elements of dance with emphasis on fluidity, grace and facial expressions. The class for Adults includes a unique mix of dance, choreography and cardio activity.


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