Anwesha is originally from Orissa, which is in the eastern part of India, but she grew up in southern India in Chennai before moving to the United States, and eventually to Seattle in 2010. She began dancing at nine years old and is trained in the classical form of Bharatanatyam. Bharatanatyam is a dance from the southern part of India and is one of the most popular Indian classical dance styles which traditionally depicts mythological stories about Hindu gods. Anwesha had her solo debut as a dancer, called the arangetram, in 2014, which is an important step for a Bharatanatyam dancer. Since then, she has had many opportunities to perform at festivals in India, as well as the unique opportunity to perform and teach workshops in Colombia.
When she moved to Seattle in 2010, the Indian dance community in this area was on a much smaller scale but has grown rapidly since then, mirroring the growing South Asian population. While there are many schools and group performances happening here now, she says that Seattle is still warming up to idea of solo performances, which is typically how Bharatanatyam is performed.
Throughout the pandemic, Anwesha has had the opportunity to study online with teachers in India and has continued to grow her understanding of the complexity of the music. She herself has continued to teach dance and culture to her students on Zoom but is looking forward to future possibilities for collaboration as things return to normal.
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