Madhvi Venkatesh
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Madhvi Venkatesh

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2024

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2024
Solo World




"Going beyond the text"

Kasi Aysola and Dr. Madhvi Venkatesh, students of well-known U.S.-based Bharatanatyam dancer-guru Viji Prakash, are co-founders and co-artistic directors, Prakriti Dance. They presented a narrative-based group production, ‘Amba Shikhandi: A Journey of Courage’ in Chennai. It was conceptualised and choreographed by Kasi.

The story is from the Mahabharata. Bheeshma, the selfless, celebate warrior of the Kuru clan is one of the heroes of the Mahabharata; he inadvertently wrongs Amba, and has to eventually face the consequences. Kasi’s version tried to go beyond the specificity of the ‘Amba Shikhandi’ story, to extend its significance onto a larger canvas of life. He used narration in between the episodes, abstraction during Amba’s suffering and a theatrical technique of shifting role-play within scenes, to achieve this. And he succeeded to some extent. - The Hindu

"Prana: The Sounds of Breath"

The most classical piece was Pushpanjali performed by two dancers in typical Bharatanatyam costume. Madhvi Venkatesh was especially enchanting with her facial expressions, which we also see later in Vasanth. The piece was centered around spatial theme of the diagonal, which made the classical work feel more contemporary, since the dancers were not presenting themselves directly to the audience at all times...The final piece of the evening, Vasanth, was my favorite piece performed by Dakshina. It told an engaging story, and while the story is Indian, the movements often fused Western and classical Indian styles. The facial expressions of Madhvi Venkatesh and Sudha Radhakrishnan really brought the story to life. The story tells us how Spring disappeared when Shiva, depressed by the loss of his wife, goes into a deep meditation. For most of the dance, Shiva sits in the back corner of the stage meditating - I like to think that Daniel Phoenix Singh as Shiva was actually meditating - and during narrative segments where the dancer portraying Vasanth tells the story using her gestures and face, the other dancers would stand around Shiva in an almost tableau. It was not quite a tableau because the dancers had their arms up, with palms forward, and would slightly move them. The narrative segments were interspersed between segments of intense dancing by the corps of dancers. Singh’s choreography, like in Pushpanjali, often was structured around the theme of a diagonal. Canon added complexity, and worked very nicely within the diagonal formations. Shiva and Parvati, the reincarnation of his wife, performed a beautiful, intimate duet. Instead of using obvious close, passionate embraces, Shiva stands behind Parvati and holds her hands, one over her heart and the other over her womb, in a very formal way. The formality of the gesture combined with the passion in the dancers’ faces created an extremely intimate atmosphere that I found more powerful than obvious intimacy through touch. Now that Shiva is revived, Spring returns and there is a final joyous dance, featuring more of Singh’s exciting fusion choreography. - Narthaki


Still working on that hot first release.



Madhvi Venkatesh is a dancer and educator who specializes in the Indian performing tradition called Bharata Natyam. She trained for over ten years with Viji Prakash and performs as a soloist across the U.S. and India. She has toured with the Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh, Shakti, and Prakriti Dance Companies and continues to perform with Prakriti Dance, which she co-founded in 2014. Madhvi is also passionate about bringing her art to schools and community organizations. She has received recognition and support for her dance pursuits from organizations such as The Boston Foundation, National YoungArts Foundation, and Maryland State Arts Council.

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