Bharatnatyam: Stories of Nayikas (Heroines) and Sakhis (Heroine’s Friends)

This event is in collaboration with UBC Green College, Asta Alliance, the Department of Asian Studies, and the Indian Classical Music Society of Vancouver (ICMSV).


This lecture demonstration will provide a brief overview of the aesthetics and vocabulary of Bharatanatyam by covering two types of presentations in Indian Classical dance – Nritta (pure dance) and Nritya (storytelling). Arno and Ashvini will each narrate and present a love story exploring different mental states of a romantic heroine, either through the lens of the heroine or the heroine’s friend.


Ashvini Sundaram is a Bharatanatyam performance artist receiving ongoing training from Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee, Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan. Ashvini studied Behavioural Neuroscience at UBC and now works in research at the Children’s Health Policy Centre at SFU. She is also trained in Carnatic music, ballet and contemporary dance.

Arno Kamolika is a Bharatanatyam artist and instructor who has been trained under Padmabhushan Professor C.V. Chandrasekhar (India), Sharmila Banerjee (Bangladesh) and Jai Govinda (Canada). Her journey in this South Indian dance form has been complemented by her training in architecture, Bengali music and other form of Indian classical dances.