Jayanthi Raman (Portland) has been a practitioner, teacher and choreographer of the classical Indian Bharatha Natyam dance for more than 4 decades. Bharatha Natyam has its roots in the 2nd century and is the most revered of classical dance styles in India. A 2015 Oregon Folklife Network Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program Master Artist, Raman's passion lies in teaching dance and continuing the traditions for future generations.
Jayanthi Raman is a practitioner, teacher, and choreographer of Bharatha Natyam, a style of classical Indian Dance. She began performing in her childhood, learning from several renowned Gurus of Indian classical dance and started teaching others as a teenager. After she left her native India to move to Portland around 1995, Raman founded the Natya Dance Academy to continue performing and offering opportunities for others to learn the tradition. Raman has given lectures and master classes around the country, and has received many accolades and awards for her performances, and is reputed as a 'cultural treasure', 'world class dancer' and 'scholar' (Oregonian, DANCE Magazine) and as the 'Gold standard of Indian dance in the Northwest'. She was the first recipient in her genre to receive the National Dance Project NDP-NEFA grant and the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Council for Humanities and Washington State Arts Commission.
Raman was also the recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission's Individual Artist Fellowship award in 2014. Raman is the author of two acclaimed books on Indian dance and was appointed as Assistant Professor of Dance at Portland State University. In Raman's own words, "For Indians, this dance and music is part of our everyday lives, as it is intertwined with the social customs and festivals celebrated." Raman earned a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program award from Oregon Folklife Network in 2015, and in 2016 she was the first Indian choreographer to receive a Creative Heights Grant award (2016-2017) from the Oregon Community Foundation. In May of 2016, she was honored to have served as one of the three grant juror/panelists to the Master/Apprentice Advisory Panel of the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Master Artist, Oregon Folklife Network Folk & Traditional Arts Apprenticeship (2015)
Individual Artist Fellowship Award, Oregon Arts Commisssion (2014)
Creative Heights Grant award, Oregon Community Foundation (2016-17)
Collins Foundation Grant (2015, 2010)
Individual Artist Project Grant, Regional Arts & Culture Council (2015, 2013, 2009-2011, 2005-2007, 2003-1996)
Community Program Grant, Beaverton Arts and Culture Foundation (2015, 2013)
Community Program Grant, Forest Grove Public Arts Commission (2014)
Career Opportunity Grant, Oregon Arts Commission (2014, 2009)
Arts Leadership Award, Beaverton Arts Commission (2013)
Professional Development Grant, Regional Arts and Culture Council (2010, 2002, 2000)
Master Artist Award, Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program Washington State Arts Commission (2010, 2009, 2005, 2003)
Project Grant -- Cultural Coalition of Washington County (2009)
Public Program grant, Oregon Council for Humanities (2004)
Performance & Choreography award, Gandhi Foundation & Rialto Atlanta (2004)
Production and Touring Grant, National Dance Project & New England Foundation for the Arts (2003-2004)
Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (2002)
Grant from American Library Association (2002)
Performing Artist Award at Madras Music Academy (1999)
Folk Arts Apprenticeship--Master Artist, Oregon History Center/ Folklife Program (1996)
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