» chitra vairavan
How did you become an artist?
My parents encouraged my life as a dancer since the age of two. They feared me becoming too “American” and not knowing my roots as a Tamil person. Their value and love for the arts and Tamil language encouraged my growth as an artist. From there, dancing and creating was a matter of survival and healing for me.
How does art influence change in the world? How does your art do this?
My art influences change in the world by shifting minds and hearts, by moving people to do and feel. I dance to heal and teach dance to help heal others.
What inspires you?
Tamil culture. Tamil music. Critical Reflection. Dance. Strength. Resilience. Movements (revolutionary and physical). Goddesses. Consistent practice and discipline in craft. Poetry. Play. Women of color. Ananya Dance Theatre. Generosity. Tender hearts. Water.
How has Intermedia Arts been a part of your story?
Intermedia Arts’ 2015 Catalyst Series has been the home of my piece My Heart Hurts in Brown curated by Shá Cage. It has also been a space that houses many artists of color doing artists-activist work that I admire.
“I dance to heal and teach dance to help heal others”
- chitra vairavan
What is one of your most powerful or meaningful experiences at Intermedia Arts?
The ability to connect with beautiful artists that I’ve met and continue to meet within Intermedia Arts’ space. The conversations often fuel my work or inspire me to create. We need more spaces like Intermedia Arts for artists that are striving to be accessible and accountable to the communities they serve.
What core values are most important to you?
Knowledge, Healing, History, Deep practice, Humility, Integrity (in thoughts, words, and actions aligning), Compassion, Love.
Chitra Vairavan is a contemporary Indian dancer of Tamil (South Indian) - American descent. Vairavan is immersed in both Tamil culture and progressive brown politics here in the U.S. Vairavan is a founding member and rehearsal director with Ananya Dance Theatre and a dance collaborator with Aniccha Arts.She was recognized with the 2015 Sage Cowles Award for Dance as Outstanding Performerand been named “Artist We Love” by Minnesota Monthly magazine in 2011.Her dance training includes Yoga, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Chhau, and Yorchha. She dances to heal and teaches dance to help heal others.