Deepa Mahadevan has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to the study and execution of performance spanning theatre, dance, music and media.
Deepa Mahadevan has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to the study and execution of performance spanning theatre, dance, music and media. She was introduced to Bharatnatyam, a classical Indian dance form at the age of 4. She has been performing since her tenth year as a soloist or lead dancer both in India and the United States. Deepa has undergone advanced training in the Indian martial art of Kalari Payattu and deploys the techniques from the art in augmenting the theatricality in her presentations. She has also been in trained in Classical Indian music for over 15 years. She has undergone intensive training in the art of facial expression from veterans like Padma Bhushan Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan and Bragha Brussel. She is currently learning Odissi, another Indian classical dance form. She has been part of the performing ensemble of the Play back theatre company (an unique form of improvisational theatre) in Bangalore, India. In addition to her focus on dance and music, Deepa also made her foray into the cinematic medium through her directorial apprenticeship under S.M.A Vasanth, an award winning Indian movie director. Along with him, she worked on a array of short films and special projects.
Embodied with a vast vocabulary of performance techniques, Deepa founded Tiruchitrambalam School of Dance in the year 2004 and is its Artistic Director. Over the last 9 years she has coached and mentored over 200 students. Many of her students have graduated from her school after performing full length solo presentations, each of them showcasing at least 8 items specifically choreographed for the purpose by Deepa, that displays their calibre in abstract dance techniques,theatre and emotive content. Her dance school’s performing ensemble has presented at several conventions and forums. The ‘Eight heroines of dance,’ Rhythmic poetry,’ and ‘Enigma’ are few of the creations that have been choreographed and presented by the ensemble in the past eight years.
Her dance school also produces full length productions collaborating with visiting artists from India and other dance schools from the United States. Over the past eight years the school has presented five full length productions each featuring over fifty dancers and theatre artists. Deepa has invested the last five years in researching the theory behind performance and has contributed in the capacity of a scholar and critic in many forums. Her choreographies are born out of the creative strength of these different vocabularies available to her. She constantly strives to transcend the boundaries of tradition, widen the aesthetic appreciation of the art by journeying beyond regional barriers.
Her research question the preexisting norms in Indian classical dance. One of her life goals involves reorienting the notions of the mainstream in Bharatnatyam with respect to repertoire,form, dressing conventions, position on women amongst others.