The Company

HANTI PILLAI
(Associate Director)

DAKSHINA PALLI DANCE COMPANY
Dakshina Palli Dance Company: Led by the dynamic artistic vision of Jaan R. Freeman. DPDC (Dakshina Palli Dance Company) a resident company of Dakshina Palli was established in 2005 and made up of Dakshina’s instructors who are uniquely talented dancers who have completed advance programs under their gurus. The company showcases the rich, highly elegant and distinguished repertoire of the Balasaraswati lineage as well as feature outstanding, emerging guest artist of their peers. In February 2005 DPDC founded its series entitled “A New Generation”, a program featuring young professional dancers of this lineage, with a fresh interpretation of this traditional and ancient art form. DPDC maintains that it isn’t a repository of the classical repertoire only but a company which would showcase new innovative contemporary bharatanatyam dances.
Freeman’s choreography is a combination of the highly systematized vocabulary of bharatanatyam and the kinetic and bold approach of modern dance; which brings forth a true synthesis of modern art. The DPDC is a unique company whose strength is its repertory. The company has performed at:Trisha Brown Dance Center, City Center Studios, Sri Venkateswara Balaji  Hindu Temple, Merkin Hall, Biko Center, Downtown Dance Festival, Ananda Ashram, Mary Anthony Dance Theater and the Elebash Recital Hall at CUNY.   

JAAN R. FREEMAN ( Artistic Director)
Began studying bharatanatyam in the USA 1995 . In 1997 he began advance training and became a disciple of Smt. Nandini Ramani of Chennai, India and Smt. Priyamvada Sankar of Montreal, Canada both senior disciples of T. Balasaraswati. Mr. Freeman had his bharatanatyam Arangetram (graduation) in 2005 at the historical Henry Street Settlement Playhouse Theater in N.Y. He has been invited to perform bharatanatyam at the school of Dance Theater of Harlem, Downtown Dance Festival, Ganesh Temple in Flushing, Queens, the Sri Balaji Hindu Temple of Bridgewater,NJ and the Asian Heritage Celebration among other venues. Jaan presently teaches bharatanatyam through Dakshina Palli,the New York City school he founded in 2004.
Jaan comes to Indian dance as a modern dancer who has performed and choreographed for the past 16 years in the USA. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, BAM, Lied Center of Nebraska, Madras Music Academy and Carnegie Hall among other celebrated venues. Abroad, Freeman has taught modern dance in every major city in India since 1997 and toured Sri Lanka, Poland and India. Freeman was in the original production of “Purush: Expressions of Man” which highlighted male dancers from India and the USA and was in the 1997 tour of “Songs of Tagore”, both produced by the Battery Dance Company.Freeman has been touring the United States with his program “Bharata Natyam For New Audiences” since 2008. 

SHANTI PILLAI(Associate Director/ Instructor)

 holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and is a Visiting Professor in Global Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. She began studying bharatanatyam in 1997 in the  style of T. Balasaraswati in the USA and currently a disciple of Nandini Ramani of Chennai, India and Priyamvada Sankar of Montreal, Canada and had her bharatanatyam Arangetram at New York’s Henry Street Settlement Playhouse Theater in 2005. She has been performing and lecturing throughout New York and in Latin America. Shanti performed as a modern dancer and actress with the noted company, el Frente de Danza Independiente, in Ecuador from 1991-1994. She is also a New York State Council for the Humanities Speaker offering lectures on India’s arts.