Dynamic young artist Mythili Prakash is making waves in the field of Bharata Natyam in India as well as around the world. Hailed a child prodigy, Mythili began her career as a Bharata Natyam performer at the age of eight. Over the last two decades, she has performed extensively in prestigious venues and festivals throughout the world. Mythili was trained by her mother, Bharata Natyam exponent Viji Prakash. She has also studied with several legendary stalwarts from India and is now under the mentorship of Indiaís acclaimed master Malavika Sarukkai.
Mythiliís use of traditional Bharata Natyam technique and extended repertoire creates new structures that awaken the physicality, musicality and theatricality of the art form. She combines her extraordinarily rich and intense style with a sharp contemporary intellect. Mythiliís dynamic stage presence, technical excellence, and innovative approach are highlighted by her ability to dialogue with all types of audiences, making this venerated age-old art form meaningful to audiences of any age or cultural background. While highly acclaimed for her technical and virtuosic skill as a performer, Mythili stays deeply rooted in the inherent spirituality of the art form, which is the driving inspiration of both her choreographic explorations and her own practice. It is this, that she believes fuels her artistic and personal journey.
Since 1990, Mythili has performed as a soloist for some of the most respected institutions of dance in India. Her excellence has been acknowledged in the form of various accolades from premier institutions of Dance and Music in India. She has been a featured performer in the prestigious Dance Festival at the Madras Music Academy, alongside the seniormost artists of the field. In her solo tours of the United Kingdom, Scotland, France, and Singapore, the United States and Mexico, she has performed at prestigious arts venues such as: The Lowry in Manchester; Musee Guimet in Paris; and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay in Singapore, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to name a few. In January 2009, she was featured on NBCís Superstars of Dance as a Bharata Natyam soloist, introducing her art form to mainstream audiences all over the world. Mythili also had the honor of working with Director Ang Lee in the award winning film Life of Pi and was cast as the wife of Pi.
Mythili has received much critical acclaim for both her solo and group choreography. She received the Creation to Performance Grant from the Irvine Dance Foundation for her highly acclaimed work Stree Katha: The Tragic Heroines of the Epic Ramayana, which has toured the USA, Canada, Europe, India, and Singapore. She was also awarded the Artistic Innovation Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation for her work, Shakti: The Sacred Force. Her most recent production in collaboration with musician brother Aditya Prakash, MARA, featured twenty six dancers, twelve musicians, and multimedia projection, and premiered to a sold out house at the 1,200 seat Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood in 2013.
Her collaborations include Solea with Lynn Dally, which premiered at The Joyce, New York in 2003; Yashodhara with playwright Gowri Ramnarayan, which has toured India and the USA; and Svatantrya with Anoushka Shankar at Sadlers Wells, London (2009), and Dortmund Koncrthaus, Germany (2013).
Mythili is eagerly sought out as a teacher by young, aspiring students of dance. She conducts annual summer dance intensives at the Shakti School of Bharata Natyam, where students look forward to being trained by her and learning her choreography. She also works intensely with select students who are preparing for their solo debuts (arangetrams).
Having accompanied her mother on educational outreach performances starting in the late 80's through the Performing Tree and Intercultural Awareness Program (ICAP), Mythili is passionate about bringing her art form to schools for students of all ages. She believes "experiencing an art form that does not speak their verbal language but speaks a common language of the heart instantly creates the feeling of connection. In this age that is becoming increasingly more digital and a world where differences have become the excuse for violence, cruelty and de-humanization, this connection is so important."Music
Bharata Natyam is incomplete without Carnatic music - the South Indian classical form. Carnatic music is characterized by variations of raga (melody) and tala (rhythm). Mythiliís touring ensemble includes four virtuosic musicians who maintain a unique and diverse repertoire. Each composition has been created by revered poets whose works capture the depth and soulful combination of lyrics and melody. The technical sophistication and intellectual brilliance of these four musicians is unsurpassed.Awards
Nadanamaamani or Jewel of Dance for "Outstanding contribution to Indian Classical Dance"
Kartick Fine Arts - Chennai,
2010 recipient of the Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME) grant in Southern California.
The program seeks to formalize the exchange and feedback mechanisms between established and emerging California choreographers. Mythili worked with the highly acclaimed Artistic director of Jazz Tap Ensemble, the nationally-renowned Lynn Dally with the objective of making Bharata Natyam more accessible to main stream audiences in America.
Investing in Artists grant for Artistic Innovation for Mythili's new 2010-2011 touring work, "Shakti - the Sacred Force."
The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), Los Angeles, California
Natya Kala Vipanchi or Master of Dance for "Outstanding propogation of Indian Classical Dance"
Dr. M. Balamurlikrishna for Vipanchi
Yuva Kala Bharathi Award
Bharat Kalachar - Chennai, India
Vasanthalakshmi - Narasimhachari Award of Natyarangam
Nararada Gana Sabha - Chennai, India
Performance Grant for Stree Katha
James Irvine Foundation
Sanskriti Nitya Puraskar for "Outstanding Contribution to Dance at a Young Age"
Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti - New Delhi, India
The Music Academy - Chennai, India
Rohini Krishnan Endowment Award
Krishna Gana Sabha - Chennai, India
Best Bharata Natyam Dancer (August)
First Placement, National Advancement for the Arts
Miami, United States
Spirit of Youth MGR Best Dancer Award
The Music Academy - Chennai, India
The Kohinoor Award for "Excellence in Classical Arts and Culture"
Los Angeles, United States
Performance at India's Rashtrapathi Bhavan in honor of the president of India