Divya Devaguptapu, is a leading young exponent of Bharatanatyam and a senior disciple of the world-renowned Dhananjayans from Chennai, India.
She is known as a cerebral dancer and is a highly creative artiste. Her work is deeply rooted in the traditional framework of Bharatanātyam and laced with contemporary thought, creating a unique style that is meaningful across global audiences. Her choreography has been critically acclaimed as thought provoking and mature. She is widely known for her sensitive and involved abhinaya. She is also a Carnatic vocalist and her knowledge of music enhances her dance making her choreography a studied yet instinctive response to music.
She has developed a unique repertoire comprising of thoroughly researched, well thought out and rarely performed pieces with themes ranging from the highly spiritual to most evocative of human emotions. Her performances are marked with technical excellence along with a burning passion, making them unforgettable aesthetic and spiritual experiences. A keen researcher with a deep interest in classical literature and mythology, she has created several works based on rare Indian literary works. Stretching the boundaries of Bharatanatyam to promote it to today’s global audiences through deeper interpretations and metaphors, her goal is to make this form mainstream in global conversations of dance.
She has collaborated with several leading artists such as Dr. S Sowmya, RK Shriram Kumar, Savitha Narasimhan, Ranjani Ramakrishnan, to name a few. In addition to traditional Bharatanātyam performances, Divya is exploring the global language of dance in her collaborations with western artists including Patricia Rincon, Peter Kalivas and Jacques d’ Amboise.
Hailed a child prodigy, she performed her Arangetram (maiden solo performance) at the age of 7, under the tutelage of Kamala Iyengar and continued training under Minal Prabhu, before moving to Chennai in 1990 to learn from the world renowned Dhananjayans. Since then she has toured extensively (USA, Middle-East, Asia) as a soloist over the last two decades with performances at several prestigious festivals and venues including NDI – New York, George Harrison Festival – New Delhi, Music Academy Madras, NCPA Mumbai, Kalakshetra Foundation Chennai, Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai Margazhi season, Mingei International Museum USA, India Habitat Center Delhi, Soorya Festivals – India, Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival, IFAA San Diego Festival and Blurred Borders International Dance Festival to name a few.
She is a visiting professor of Dance at University of California, USA and is also a Teaching artiste with Young Audiences of America. She is the founding director of Suryakala Foundation for Performing Arts in Chennai, a non-profit trust for the promotion of Classical Dance & Music. The foundation aims to ideate, curate and present classical dance and music with continued relevance to today’s audience with an emphasis on creativity and innovation within tradition. She is the Artistic Director at at Sannidhi Performing Arts, a non-profit instituted by her, and teaches select dedicated students. She is highly regarded as a generous and committed teacher with strict adherence to tradition. Several of her students have performed their Arangetram, or maiden solo performance. She also conducts workshops and lecture demonstrations on Bharatanatyam worldwide.
Divya has a Masters in Electrical Engineering and has worked in the Telecommunications industry for several years. However, her strong calling for dance made her give up a career in Engineering to pursue a full-time career in her lifelong passion of Bharatnātyam.
“Divya – Pride of the preceptors”
– The Dhananjayans
From The Gurus:
- Margazhi Festival Chennai, India – Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Bharat Kalachar, Kartik Fine Arts, Brahma Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts, Parthasarathy Swami Sabha
- George Harrison Festival, Ravi Shankar Center, New Delhi, India
- Mingei International Museum, San Diego, USA
- Solo Performance tour of USA
- Solo Performance tour of Malaysia, Singapore
- Performance tour of Qatar and Bahrain
- National Center for Performing Arts, Mumbai, India
- Kalakshetra Foundation, India
- Soorya Festivals, India
- Dharini Kalotsav, India
- International Iyengar Yoga Convention, USA
- Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival, India
- National Dance Institute of New York, USA
- Apna Utsav, ICCR, India
- Doordarshan, Indian Television Network, India