About Preeti Vinayak Shah
" Preeti is poetry in motion and is guided by the Gods in her performance." -Kati Schardl (Art Critic, Tallahassee Democrat)
Preeti Vinayak, a professional Bharatanatyam dancer from India, hails from a family of famous artists. Preeti was initiated into the art of Bharatanatyam by Gurus. Shri Narasimhachari and Smt. Vasanthalakshmi and had her intensive training in Bharatanatyam at their institution, "Kala Samarpana". She later continued her abinaya training with PadmaBhooshan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan, an exponent in the field. Preeti is an A grade artist of Doordarshan television, India, and an A grade artist of the All India Radio broadcast services.
Preeti’s area of expertise lies in fast paced footwork, intense facial expressions especially the nava rasas (nine basic emotions), and the art of Nattuvangam (verbal incantations of the rhythmical patterns of footwork). For the above she has received the rarest of reviews from the harshest of critics in India and the U.S (Press Acclaim). She has been performing solo in India and in the U.S. She has performed at major Cultural Organizations in India during the December Dance Festival. Her notable performances have been at Sri Kapali Fine Arts, Indian Fine Arts, Nungambakkam Cultural Academy, Kartik Fine Arts, Bharat Kalachar and many more.
Preeti was specially invited to perform for the Cultural Secretary of France at the Alliance D’Francaise. In 1992 she was rated at one of the top ten dancers in South India by the Indian Fine Arts Academy. Preeti’s strong command over rhythm and her flawless footwork have captivated audiences everywhere.
Preeti moved to the United States in 1993, and obtained a Master of Science degree in Neuro-endocrinology. She has been a star performer every semester at The Florida State University and special productions have been commissioned by them as well. She frequently gives Master Classes at the School of Dance, The Florida State University. In addition, Preeti represented The Florida State University at the International Conferences of Musicians and Dancers held at Wakulla Springs, Florida in 1994. Preeti gave the inaugural concert at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta for the Mahakumbhabhishekam.
Preeti performed on Jan 1, 2000, at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta for the Millennium concert. Preeti choreographed and directed the dance ballet, "MIYA". This was a unique fusion of Indian classical dance styles, folk dances and contemporary dance forms. It was very well received by both the Indian and the American audiences and raised funds for the Indian American Cultural Association.
Every year she puts forth a unique production; some which have been solo thematic shows and others large group collaborations. "Om Pranava Shabdam" and "Durga" were specially commissioned by The Florida State University and debuted to a packed house in Tallahassee, Florida.
Besides being an accomplished dancer, Preeti is also a gifted vocalist. She received her initial classical training in Carnatic Music from Shri. Seerghazhi Jayaraman. She later continued her training under the famous legend, Shri. D.K. Jayaraman. Preeti has to her credit an album titled "Omkar". The verbal incantation sequence between Preeti and the percussion artist drew a thunderous applause from the audience. The entire proceeds of this album were donated to the Spastics Society of India.
Preeti recently performed vocal tracks on a CD titled, "Maya" which was released by the Florida State University last year.
This rare combination of choreographer, singer and nattuvangist have helped Preeti in directing several successful productions and in making complete artists out of her students.
In 1993, Preeti founded Natyam Arts Academy where she has imparted professional training to students of all ages. She has conducted concerts for her students and their Arangetram or the debut performances for her students. Preeti resides in Dunwoody with her children Nethra and Rushab.
Preeti performs throughout the year and there are details about her concerts in the Upcoming Recitals section. You can also find information on student performances in the same section.