Amrita Lahiri is widely recognized as one of the foremost young performers of Kuchipudi today. Critics describe her as ‘gifted with a radiant stage presence’, and her dance performances and choreographies have been acclaimed for their elegance and dynamism, combined with a refined approach. Performances in 2016 include those at Music Academy, Chennai; India International Centre, New Delhi; and at the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa. She has toured as a soloist in India, USA, Switzerland, South Korea, Africa, and Southeast Asia, presenting Kuchipudi from its traditional origins to its contemporary forms. She presents the beauty and joy of dance, while maintaining the precision and soul of the classical Kuchipudi form.
Kuchipudi has a lightness and dramatic quality that set it apart from other Indian classical dance forms. Amrita combines the grace and light-footedness of Kuchipudi, with a focus on depth of emotion and attention to aesthetics of movement, music, and content. Amrita began dancing at age 7 in Washington, D.C. studying under Anuradha Nehru until she shifted to New Delhi at age 15. After her solo debut at the India International Centre in New Delhi in 1996, she continued to perform Kuchipudi, and also started learning Bharatanatyam under Leela Samson. Amrita toured extensively with Leela Samson’s group Spanda, performing with her guru. While in New Delhi, Amrita studied under Swapnasundari and Seetha Nagajothy. In Chennai, she studied under Jaikishore Mosalikanti. Her dance reflects the influences of all of these outstanding gurus, and the experience of many performances. A noted critic writes, “Amrita Lahiri’s inner composure is reflected in her dancing body, the Kuchipudi training under several teachers rather than creating a confused technique resulting in her imbibing the best from her gurus – each adding a dimension to her dance.”
Amrita has a Masters in Sociology from JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) and has over 10 years of experience in arts management. She has worked for leading arts organizations such as the British Council, New Delhi; Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Seher, New Delhi; Museum Rietberg, Zurich; and Kalakshetra, Chennai. Most recently she was the head of the dance department of National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai (NCPA) until 2013, where she curated and managed over 200 dance performances, workshops and master classes. She also writes on the arts. Through her performances, writings, teaching and choreographies, Amrita strives to expand and share the specific beauties of the Kuchipudi dance form.