About Preeti Vasudevan

New York, NY

Preeti Vasudevan is an award-winning choreographer and performer creating provocative contemporary works from her Indian tradition. Founder and Artistic Director of Thresh Performing Arts Collaborative, her mission is to create experimental productions that foster a provocative dialogue with identity, and our relationship with heritage cultures and contemporary life. Recent highlights include: 2018 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists; 2018 Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s Dance Research Fellowship, NY; 2018 Selected Artist, DanceMotion USA Follow-On Program with BAM; 2018-19 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s 2018-2019 Observership Class; 2018, LabWorks Residency, New Victory Theater, NY; Spring 2016 Resident Fellow, The Center for Ballet and the Arts, NY; Artist in Residence, New York Live Arts (2015-17), NY; 2015 DPA Atelier award, LIMS, NY; Presenter at the TEDxBarnard, Barnard College, Columbia University. Vasudevan is part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble working with international artists on cultural diplomacy and creative risk and is the creator of ground-breaking educational website, Dancing for the Gods (in collaboration with the Dept of Education, NYC).


(Toulmin Fellow for Women Leaders in Dance, 2020)


L’Oriente is a new multi disciplinary choreographic work that seeks to explore the possibilities that emerge when Western ballet with Opera and classical Indian dance (Bharatanatyam) with Carnatic music are juxtaposed and entwined. The work will draw from sources such as the Délibes’ operatic ballet Lakmé, and the southern Indian courtesan music that experienced a remarkable renaissance in the mid-nineteenth century—around the same time Lakmé was premiered in Paris (1883). L’Oriente offers a contrasting perspective: a contemporary lens through which to discover shared lives and cultures in a modern and interconnected (globalized) world.

Études – Mapping a classical encounter
Using Laban Motif notation to unpack the creative process as two classical languages combine

(Resident Fellow, 2016)


As a performer and choreographer with deep training in Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical dance) Vasudevan intended to work with a first-rank ballet dancer to develop a series of movement studies (Etudes) deconstructing and re-combining specific elements of both forms. A solo performance showcased the best of the work: however both successes and failures were documented in detail using Laban Motif Notation, providing a unique resource for choreographers and dance scholars interested in the ways in which a new dance idiom can emerge from an open encounter between ballet and a non-Western classical form. This provided a window into the psychological, emotional and artistic journey of the collaborators—useful for both researchers and audience members as they approach the work in performance.


Preeti Vasudevan.

Preeti Vasudevan. Photo by M. Baranova.

Preeti Vasudevan.

Preeti Vasudevan.