NATyA Classical Dance Company


Laughing Waters


NATyA’s mission is to bring Indian classical dance traditions to modern audiences, to help them appreciate their vibrant energy and their sophisticated alphabets. In addition, NATyA also provides a space for classical Indian artists to create and collaborate.

NATyA is a nonprofit organization, that started in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay Area under the fiscal sponsorship of Dancers' Group, and moved to Bangalore in 2007.

OnStage is an offering to fans of performing arts. We feature artists in an intimate relaxed setting, providing an opportunity to experience performances up close and creating a rich, close connection between the artist and the audience.

Indian Classical Dance

India is home to many distinct classical dance styles going back over two thousand years. They originally were performed in temples narrating the great epics and mythological stories of divinity and human devotion. Although such performances have long since moved out of the temple, their primary objective – to bring out the divine in the human – remains sacred. In addition, many traditions remain unchanged: the deep relationship between the guru and the student, the oral tradition of teaching, and the long, arduous path to becoming a dancer.

It is easy to appreciate the beauty of the different dance styles, the energy of the movements, the geometry of the stances, the costumes, and the music. However, as these dances come onto the international stage, it is clear that today’s audiences are often unable to appreciate the subtleties of each style, the language, and sometimes cannot even understand the mythological stories that the dancer is trying to convey.

Today there is a need to help audiences understand some of the sophisticated alphabet of hand gestures to enjoy and appreciate these traditional art forms.

NATyA History

Smitha Radhakrishnan and Vallari Shah founded NATyA in 2003 with the vision to bring classical dance traditions to modern audiences and to provide a space for classical Indian artists to explore, to create, to experiment, and to collaborate.

NATyA’s goal is to keep the tradition alive both through educating audiences and also bringing these art forms into the modern world. Through narration and thematic contemporary music, NATyA enables the audience to understand and better appreciate the vibrant energy and the sophisticated alphabet of the art form. By infusing mythological stories with new energy through world music, unique choreography, and narration, NATyA keeps the dance style alive and preserves ancient mythology. Using dance to portray contemporary stories, joys, and struggles relevant to the current times, NATyA is bringing out fresh blossoms from the ancient roots of Indian dance.

While staying true to dance traditions, NATyA also takes on the challenge of bringing distinctive and diverse dance styles such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Mohini Attam, Odissi, and Kuchipudi together on stage.

NATyA's dha-Tu was the first Indian dance program to receive support from CA$H, a grants program of Theater Bay Area, in association with Dancers' Group.

NATyA has had over 80 performances in its brief history. Its first production was MILANyA in 2004, and its second is dha-Tu in 2005. NATyA was part of "Dance IS" festival at Julia Morgan in 2004, the "Women on the Way" festival at Venue 9 in 2004, and the "Women of the World" festival in 2005 and 2006. NATyA has performed at various occasions and venues, from fund-raiser's to new year's celebrations, from schools to retirement homes.

Productions Please click here to see the list of productions, the informational fliers, and photos.
Performances Please click here to see our calendar of performances and offerings.