Nithya Nagarajan is an interdisciplinary performance maker, creative producer and cultural researcher. Having a background in Indian neo-classical dance and allied movement traditions, her live art works embody a decolonised feminism and are characterised by a strong physical vocabulary. Recent performance credits include: Our Songs – Sydney Kabuki Project for the 21st Biennale of Sydney 2018, a completely unified theory of you (me) for This is Not Art 2017 and Outwitted! for Happenstance Fest 2017. Nithya’s approach to performance making is increasingly informed by her field research on her award-winning PhD titled ‘Beyond Bharatanatyam: Re-visions, Ruptures and Resistance in the Feminist Choreographies of Anita Ratnam and Mallika Sarabhai’.
Nithya is passionate about building community for dialogue, discourse and democracy in the arts. In her current role as Manager – Community and Participation at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Nithya co-authors and co-presents inclusive initiatives like NIDAnights, NIDA Launchpad, Seize the Space! and commissions special projects. Other curatorial highlights include: Asian Arts: Long Pasts and Possible Futures for AsiaTOPA 2017 and Light Night for Leeds City Council 2011.
Having extensively trained in the Indian neo-classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, Indian folk traditions from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat and South Asian contemporary choreographic practices, Nithya currently creates experimental performance work derived from muscle memory and lived experiences. Her PhD thesis titled, ‘Beyond Bharatanatyam: Re-visions, Ruptures and Resistance in the Feminist Choreographies of Anita Ratnam and Mallika Sarabhai’ won the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Best Outgoing Thesis at Flinders University in 2017. Her recent performance credits include a completely unified theory of you (me) with Vidya Rajan at This Is Not Art 2017, Outwitted with Jason Cheetham at Happenstance Fest 2017 and BodyMine with Shamita Sivabalan at Small and Loud 2016. Her first adult job was as a Creative Producer for the Leeds City Council where she was instrumental in programming and growing White Night for the UK Government.