Jayanthi Raman Dance Company
Founded in 1993 by Artistic Director/Choreographer Dr. Jayanthi Raman, the Company is dedicated to preserving and promoting the South Indian classical dance form of Bharata Natyam, immersing in both traditional repertoire and aesthetically pleasing contemporary works. The company’s energetic and powerful productions and ground breaking cross-cultural collaborations demonstrate the vitality of Indian dance forms.
Dr. Raman’s work draws from the centuries old classical dance form, yet draws inspiration from newer concepts and themes as well as using modern lighting technology and stage props. The productions are exceptionally professional with elaborate costuming, music, dance and visual multimedia elements incorporated in a stunningly beautiful manner.
The Company dancers are selected from India and the US and specifically trained for different thematic productions and dance concerts. The musicians are also selected from among talented artists- vocalists and instrumentalists from India and the US. Raman’s ballets have toured locally, regionally and nationally. Her tenth dance ballet- Gajamukha, toured 26 cities in the US, the largest tour supported by the National Dance Project to date. The ballet received full house audiences in most cities and appreciative responses.
Raman works with brilliant dancers and musicians from India and US representing the best of the performing artists as a dream team for her productions. The cast of dancers and musicians selected for her productions are amongst India’s most illustrious artists, introducing international audiences to the power and magic of the classical performing arts from India.
Dr. Raman has worked with some of the most renowned musicians and dancers from Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore etc in India as well as North American East Indian artists of repute. Raman has had the honor of collaborating with renowned artists including Violin maestro Padmabushan Lalgudi Jayaraman, Bhagavatulu Seetharama Sharma, talented violinists, Ganesh Kumaresh, renowned Veena artists: Rajesh Vaidya, Geetha Bennett & Veenai Jayanthi; Flautist V K Raman, all of them have composed original musical score for her dance ballet productions.
Raman has worked with many dancers in US and in India. The most inspiring collaborations have been with dancers from the different classical dance styles of India, and seamlessly choreographing the dances, showcasing the differences and similarities among them. Raman has worked with dancers in the all seven of the seven different classical styles of India – Odissi, Manipuri, Kathak, Mohini Attam, Bharatha Natyam, Kathakali and Kuchipudi from 1982 to 2008. This was both a challenge and learning experience. These dance presentations of various classical and folk dance styles presented seamlessly on stage was received with critical acclaim in India and in the US.
Raman has continued to grow as an artist by keeping up her training in Indian classical dance through frequent visits to India. She works with master teachers and musicians to enhance her skills, develop new choreography and refresh her creative instincts.Raman has created over twelve choreographic works since 1989. As both a dancer and choreographer, her work has received numerous grants, fellowships and commissions, including: the Regional Arts & Culture Council; Rasika; PICA’s TBA Festival; Beaverton Arts Commission, Beaverton City Library and theWashington County.
In 2003 Jayanthi Raman Dance Company was awarded a production and touring grant from the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Altria Group, Inc. Raman was the first artist in her genre to receive this award. Raman toured 26 cities in the US on one of the most successful tours with NDP support with rave reviews across the nation.