Reviving the Indian culture through dance


provided by K. Kalluru

Embracing her culture, Keerti Kalluru believes it is important that people have basic knowledge of traditional Indian dancing. Keerti dances with so much confidence and energy that she makes it very difficult to look away.

Mikayla Davis, Staff Reporter

 You may recognize Keerti Kalluru from Winterfest in March or the International Festival in April, but you probably did not know her name or much about the culture behind the fun dance and beautiful dress. Keerti is a junior that moved to Raleigh from South India last July. She enjoys performing multiple different types of dancing including Kathak, a classical North Indian dance and Bharatanatyam, a classical South Indian dance.

 Keerti Kalluru is originally from Virginia, but her family reloctaed to South India when she was 9 years old. They lived in India from then until last July, when they moved back to the US. Keerti’s father had a job here in Raleigh and the constant traveling back and forth was very inconvenient. Keerti also wanted a better education that was not so costly, which is why Millbrook’s IB Programme was so appealing to her.  

 As a child in Virginia, Keerti began taking Bharatanatyam classes. Keerti said, “The teacher at first, she was very strict. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it that much, but I slowly developed an interest, and when I moved to India, I was the one who wanted to find a dance teacher.” Her new school in India offered Kathak classes, so she decided to begin learning. Keerti also started choreographing her own dances at this time. Along with a friend who was also very interested in dancing, they choreographed various pieces including fusions of classical and western styles.  They performed at school talents shows and events every chance they got. Keerti said, “I don’t have stage fear because I’ve performed a lot, and I like performing. It feels good; I like presenting my heritage to a group of people. They can learn something from it too.”

 While in India, Keerti took a written exam that earned her a certificate to teach Bharatanatyam classes. She has yet to find a studio here that teaches the style of Bharatanatyam she has grown familiar with over the past ten years. However, she has performed once with a Kathak group since she has been here along with her younger sister, who attends West Millbrook Middle school.