Prathiba Natesan

A three times Indian national champion of Bharatanatyam, Prathiba Natesan is also a Kathak dancer who believes that art has to evolve with time. While retaining the grammar of the classical framework and the Kalakshetra style, she utilizes modern interpretations in her choreography. Prathiba was trained in Bharatanatyam by Gurus Smt. Preethi Menon (Kalakshetra), Smt. Meenakshi Sagar (discipline of Guru J. Suryanarayana Murthy of Kalakshetra), and Smt. Vardhini Subramaniam. She received tutelage in Kathak from Guru Smt. Jigyasa Giri (student of Dr. Maya Rao). She has performed widely in India, Thailand, and the United States. Her other notable achievements include invited choreography and participation in the critically acclaimed play, “The Great Celestial Cow” which involved the training of 20 Indian and American students in Indian dance, and the International Student Association’s “Best of Talent Show Award”.

As part of her professional development, Prathiba engages in guest lectures at various universities on “Classical dances in the Indian diaspora.” She has been invited to speak at the Faculty Dance Concert symposium (Spring 2011) which is a world dance academic symposium that focuses on enhancing the understanding of cultural fusion. Prathiba also served as the secretary of SPICMACAY at Texas A&M University, where she received her Ph.D. in Research, Measurement, & Statistics. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas where she teaches graduate level classes. She continues to enhance her dance training by attending workshops by eminent artistes including Priyadarshini Govind, Rama Vaidyanathan, and Shijith Nambiar.

Modern dancers from the Department of Dance and Theatre, University of North Texas

The modern dancers in this production are dance majors at the Department of Dance and Theatre which is passionately engaged in creating live performance, excellence in teaching, creative and critical inquiry through interactive learning and experiential practice. There are 7 modern dancers  (Jordan Boyd, Allie Costello, Rosario Esquivel, Cassandra Farzan-Panah (choreography), Ashley Meeks, Alexandria Rodriguez, and Nicole Secrest) involved in Vibhaavam who have been trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, African, Hip-hop, and are now specializing in Modern Dance. They have recently started learning the essentials of Bharatanatyam and are excited to be part of this collaborative venture.



Evolution, both cultural and human is an interesting mystery. The idea behind Vibhavam is to portray cultural and human evolution through the lens of dance. Bharatanatyam with its roots in the Vedas and modern dance, with its roots in free thinking could not be more different in philosophy and yet could embrace each other to form brilliant compositions. We present cultural evolution through conjectures about the Sangama period, and the modern era. We explore conflict through discrimination (the vedic period until Indian independence in India and until the Civil Rights movement in the west) and human evolution through love, shared experiences, and rhythm (present to the future).

The presentation consists of three main segments: Evolution, dissension, and resolution and features music from various genres including African, Carnatic, Hindustani, jazz fusion, and modern classical.
Conceived by: Prathiba Natesan

Choreography: Cassandra Farzan-Panah, Prathiba Natesan, Lavanya Govindarajan, and Megna Murali
Participants: Jordan Boyd, Allie Costello, Alexandra, Rosario Esquivel, Cassandra Farzan-Panah,  Lavanya Govindarajan, Ashley Meeks, Megna Murali, Prathiba Natesan,  and Nicole Secrest