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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards

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Roopa Shyamasundara (l) and
Anita Sulibhavi (r)
Photo by LuAnne Kozma

Roopa Shyamasundara and Anita Sulibhavi
2009 master artist and apprentice
Rochester Hills (Oakland County)
Indian Bharatanatyam dance

Roopa Shyamasundara was born in India where she learned to dance classical Indian dance from noted dance instructors and gurus, with dance scholarships from the government of India. After graduating with degrees in dance and a career of performance, she moved to Rochester Hills and she founded the Nrityollasa Centre for Performing Arts dance academy where she has taught bharatanatyam dance for 17 years. Currently she has over 50 students attending the academy. Apprentice Anita Sulibhavi, also of Rochester Hills, has been studying dance with Roopa for seven years. Now 14, Anita studied bharatanatyam in one-on-one sessions with Roopa through this apprenticeship to work on techniques such as hand gestures, facial expressions, improvised footwork and varnum, a complex dance routine combining dance with expression.

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