Dance on Camera Festival

Support for the festival comes from the New York State Council on the Arts and The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

Still Point Expanding (2020)

Jiva Performing Arts presents its first Dance on Camera Festival, “Still Point Expanding: A Six-Part Elaboration,” on November 18, 2020. The global pandemic has forced us to reshape and explore new horizons of artistic imagination. We took this opportunity to commission new works that fit more comfortably in the emerging ecology of the digital art world. The Festival will present works, which share a common format – Dancers begin from a still point of thought or a poetic flourish that expands out into imagined space filled with movement and emotions. It is the concept of Bindu, the naval point of a dancer’s being, from which flow the rich imagery, the poetic vocabulary, and the emotional expressions, all in the form of dance. Whether these expressions are measured or spontaneous, subtle or intense, they return again and again to that still point, the Bindu, from which they emanated in the first place.

We invited six superb artists who will choose their own still point to expand into short dance vignettes. Each is an established dancer with impressive accomplishment; each represents a particular tradition of Indian classical dance or its derivatives. The artistic lineup includes Shruti Mohan, a known Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam dancer from Texas; Jin Won, a virtuoso Kathak, and tabla artists from NJ; Parul Shah, a stylistic Kathak and contemporary artist from NJ; Mesma Belsaré, an artist from Boston who represents Shilpa Natyam, a new mode of dance rooted in Bharatanatyam; Sreelakshmy Govardhanan, a Kerala-based dancer steeped in the Kuchipudi technique and dramaturgy; and Sonali Skandan, a Bharatanatyam artist of international repute based in NYC. The Festival is co-directed by Maya Kulkarni, a celebrated and richly accomplished artist of Indian classical dance who will serve as the mentor for all the artists for “Still Point Expanding,” and by Sonali Skandan, the principal dancer and Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts.


Premiered November 2020 on Youtube and Facebook Live

Sruthi Mohan, Parul Shah , Sreelakshmy Govardhanan, Jin Won, Sonali Skandan, Mesma Belsaré

Maya Kulkarni and Sonali Skandan

Festival Assistant:
Jenny Tsang

Marketing Partner:
Aalaap Concepts

Trailer Music:
Akshara Music Ensemble

Dualities (2021)

Dualities exist everywhere – from our internal world to our external world. Everything we imagine has a true opposite or a flip side. Nothing exists without contrast, opposition and negation. Is this duality problematic? Is it an opportunity for us? Is duality the true nature of things? Or is it a human-made construct? If we don’t resist the tug if we embrace the inherent dualities, will we find clarity and freedom in a single path? Will we make peace with it?

Our second Dance on Camera Festival focused on Duality. We invited six emerging artists with a variety of experience levels and skills to present films that explore a Duality that they perceive – whether in themselves, their dance in poetry, their identity, or the social constructs that we see, and for some, the goal to remove these dualities.

The themes are as vast as the topic – the duality of two bodies moving in space; the idea of a space that can be both haunting, yet illuminating; the pilgrim who is pulled from ties to the tangible world and renunciation of all that is material; the push and pull of performing live versus virtual, and the ironies and humor of navigating a performance that is isolated yet global in reach; the dualities of self -perception – our projected persona versus our real internal person; and more relevant today, the dualities of hope and fear and the parallel existence of the two.

This is indeed a very expansive topic, with a wide scope for interpretation. We are excited to see what these artists have created…


Premiered November 2020 on Youtube and Facebook Live

Jiva Performing Arts

Curator and Director:
Sonali Skandan

Artistic Consultant:
Maya Kulkarni

Festival Assistant:
Jenny Tsang

Archana Raja
Aishwarya Sriram and Mallika Murali
Nandini Kannan
Sahana Sridhar
Sahana Rao and Sneha Subramaniam
Sophia Salingaros

(un) silent voices (2022)

(un) silent voices is the third dance on camera festival produced by Jiva Performing Arts.

The festival paired dancers with collaborators of spoken word and/or music to create new works that give voice to the unspoken, to the silent, and to the unheard.

We explore a tapestry of themes – the power of identifying and accepting your own internal voice, finding and engaging with the silent pleas of nature, hearing the anguish of a mother separated from her daughter during war, shutting out and overcoming traumatic voices of the past and heading the loud and resounding call of change.



Premiered June 2022 on Vimeo on Demand

Artists and Collaborators:
Pranamya Suri and Keerthana Vaidyanathan
Barkha Patel and Alexandra Ricketts
Sonali Skandan and Purvi Shah
Srinidhi Raghavan and Joseph Kuipers
Amrita Doshi and Sumesh Narayanan