Bio

Hi there! I’m Athira Pratap and here are some facts about me: 

  1. I live in Fremont, CA and I’m so blessed to be a part of Bay Area’s talented community! 
  2. My passion for dance started at the tender age of four and since then I’ve been learning Bharathanatyam under the guidance of my Guru, who is also my mom, Bindu Pratap, disciple of Meera Nambiar and the renowned Padmabhushan Dhananjayans! Bharathanatyam is a divine, ancient, classical art form of South India. It is said that this powerful art form was once danced by the Hindu Gods. I’m incredibly blessed to have been receiving so many opportunities to promote this art form around the world. 
  3. I’m a principal dancer of Nritanjali Dance Academy. The Bharathanatyam style I portray is a pure blend of Kalamandalam and Kalakshetra styles. I also love experimenting with contemporary indian styles and perform Semi-Classical and Fusion pieces, as well. 
  4. Choreographing is one of my favorite hobbies. When I’m choreographing or dancing, I’m in my element! I also enjoy teaching and am honored to be a part of Nritanjali Dance Academy's faculty. 
  5. I have been learning Mohiniyattam, a graceful and beautiful classical Indian dance style, from my Guru for the past five years and am attached to its cultural roots as it’s the art form of my homeland, Kerala, India. 
  6. As an an aspiring artist, so far I’ve been able to take part in more than half a dozen productions such as Chinmaya Mission’s "One In Eleven", Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan’s "Sense Beyond", Visionary Composer Kanniks Kanikeswaran’s “Indus Spirit”, “Sahanarthana", and Guru Bindu Pratap’s “Dakshina". I was honored to have danced a piece with Revanta Sarabhai in "Indus Spirit" at TiEcon 2015.
  7. My first Bharathanatyam competition was a national competition (FOKANA North American Talent Search) conducted by Asianet, an international South Indian TV channel. I won first prize and was blessed to meet some iconic celebrities! They conducted a 30-minute interview with me in Malayalam and it was broadcasted on TV. I still remember how excited I was! 

  8. I am the youngest soloist ever selected by World Arts West’s San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Festival in their 30 year history at the age of 9. Honored and humbled to have received this honor, I was lucky to work with so many talented artists and truly believe that this experience has taught me many priceless values. This was a turning point for me in my dance career and my preparation for the festival made me realize exactly why I wanted to be an artist and how valuable these art forms are. 
  9. I am lucky to have received advice and guidance from workshops I’ve attended from well-renowned gurus like Guru Madhurai R. Muralidharan, Smt. Anita Guha from Chennai, India, and Guru Savitha Sastry! 
  10. Another unique experience was the opportunity to be a featured artist in Director Rajesh Naroth's album, Pranava Thalam. 
  11. Winning first place in the prestigious Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival in 2013, I performed my first repertoire in Cleveland in 2014. That year, I was blessed to perform another 2 hour repertoire at the Guruvayur temple in Kerala, India. 
  12. On September 27, 2014, I did my Arangetram. Words cannot describe how much I learned during my intense preparation for this three-hour concert! The journey to my arangetram had been overwhelming with a countless number of blessed moments. 
  13. I’ve been learning Carnatic Music from Sri Sudev Warrier and have learned violin for a few years from Smt.Geetha Seshadri. I love music!
  14. I have a love for theater and had played lead roles in fun musicals and productions during my times at Straford School! A few of them were Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Wendy in Peter Pan, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Princess Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress, Madame de La Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast.
  15. I am a swimmer and I pretty much enjoy just being in water. I love skiing, playing basketball, and playing badminton. I also love amusement parks and roller coasters!
  16. I am fluent in Malayalam and Spanish! 
  17. I’m a visual artist and enjoy sketching, painting, graphic designing, and making animations. 
  18. I’m a passionate debater and love fighting for what I believe in. I was privileged to have placed top speaker in the South Bay Debate League twice, 2nd at the Cal Cup debate championships in Sacramento, CA and being able to compete at Nationals in L.A. Currently, I’m an active participant in our school’s Varsity Mock Trial Team. We have won Alameda County championships for the past 3 years and have placed in the top 10 at States. 
  19. I’m proud to be Voice of A Child’s Youth Leader! I help fight for children's rights, especially their rights to education, and am currently working on the Pazzassi Raja Tribal School project. 
  20. As a 2016 National YoungArts Finalist, I'm extremely humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to attend YoungArts Week in Miami and was so lucky to work with well-renowned dancers, leaders, choreographers and fellow finalists. I was able to learn a lot more from not only my discipline but other disciplines as well. The interdisciplinary workshops I received from the amazing mentors gave me a newfound appreciation for other dance styles. Young Arts Week was definitely the best week of my life and it gave me so much more respect and love for the arts than I thought could ever be possible. I hope I am able to pass on my experience to future artists!
  21. I love Thai, Italian, and Indian food. Yum! :) 
  22. Some of my favorite books are the Harry Potter series and the Infernal Devices Series.
  23. I attend Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, CA with a scholarship and I will be a senior this fall! Go Mariners! 

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