Hema Rajagopalan Biography:
Hema Rajagopalan is the Founder Artistic Director of Natya Dance Theatre founded in 1975 ,specializing in Bharatanatyam, the dance theater of India. She is a dancer, teacher and choreographer of International repute, committed to preserving and developing the art in new directions for diverse audiences. Her Gurus are amongst foremost figures in Bharatanatyam ,Padma Sri awardee Sri.K.N.Dandayudapani Pillai and Padma Bhushan Awardee Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. Hema has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues worldwide receiving critical acclaim. Noteworthy among them being the Edinburgh Festival UK, Avignon festival France, The Kennedy Center and in India in most major venues – The Music academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Bharat Kalachar amongst others.]
Among the many noteworthy awards Hema has received are – In the US – The EMMY, NEA choreography award seven times -the highest number received by an artiste, and in India the Vishwa Kala Bharathy a national award for artistic excellence. In 2021 she was awarded the Dance Legacy award by See Chicago Dance in recognition of her contributions to the dance field at large. And in 2022 along with luminaries like Michelle Obama and Oprah winfry ,Hema was selected as one of the 141 women by the Women’s L project who honored these women of influence, creativity and courage by renaming the Chicago L stations after them.