Haema Nilakanta

Bharatnatyam Dancer, Ames & Grinnell

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Haema and Rema Nilakanta, daughter and motherBharatnatyam combines complex rhythmic movements with expressive gestures that bring to life tales of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Typically, Bharatnatyam instruction begins at an early age and can last for years.

At the age of six, Haema Nilakanta of Ames began studying Bharatnatyam, a South Asian Indian classical dance form that evolved over 3,000 years ago in the temples of South India. It combines complex rhythmic movements with expressive gestures that bring to life tales of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Typically, Bharatnatyam instruction begins at an early age and can last for years. This apprenticeship stage culminates in an arangetram, a three-hour public performance that showcases a complete repertoire of skills and represents the transition from student to performer. Haema's 2007 arangetram involved years of intensive dedication and practice for herself and her family.

Haema Nilakanta, Bharatnatayam dancer, photo by Teresa ZilkHaema Nikakanta was born and reared in Ames, IA. Now at the beginning of her performance career as a Bharatnatyam dancer, she is a student at Grinnell College. Haema has primarily studied Bharatnatyam under Hema Sharma of the Nritya School on Indian Dance and Music in Kansas City, KS. She has also studied ballet, modern, and world dances under Penny Furgerson with Gateway Dance Theatre. She has performed with the Gateway Dance Theatre, at the Ames City Auditorium, and at other venues in central Iowa. She is listed on the Iowa Arts Council's Folk & Traditional Arts and Performing Artists rosters.

Contact: Haema Nilakanta, haema.nilakanta@gmail.com, http://roster.iowaartscouncil.org/portfolio.cfm?id=769