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Government of New Brunswick

Thushara Premarajan

Thushara Premarajan

Thushara Premarajan is a committed Indian classical dancer, having completed extensive training in in the dance form of Bharantanatyam. She relocated to Canada from India in 2019 and currently resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick, with her family. Alongside her proficient dance capabilities, she possesses a flair for artistry, particularly in acrylic painting. Her creative aptitude further extends to the realm of poetry. As an emerging artist in the field of dance, she is actively seeking diverse opportunities in Canada.

Her artistic philosophy is anchored in the belief that everyone harbors the potential for creativity, a concept as simple as it is profound. Reflecting this ethos, her artistic journey resonates with her cultural heritage, mirroring its essence in every stroke and step.

Immersed in the captivating world of Bharatanatyam, Thushara has cultivated an unwavering passion for the art of classical dance. Within the intricate tapestry of movements and expressions, she unveils a boundless wellspring of energy and confidence that courses through her veins. Every graceful step she takes onto the stage becomes a vessel brimming with positive emotions, infusing her entire being with an aura that uplifts her and her audience. Throughout her incredible artistic journey, the spectators metamorphose into her guiding force, their reactions propelling her forward with unswerving determination.

The recent array of performances held in the heart of New Brunswick stands as a testament to the profound connection she has forged with her audience. The resounding applause and sincere appreciation that echoed from the crowd not only touched her heart but also ignited a fiercer ambition within her. She is now propelled to actively seek out more avenues to share the ancient and traditional art of Indian dance with the receptive Canadian audience, thus perpetuating a cycle of inspiration and connection through her remarkable artistry.

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What led you to become a dance artist?

Early exposure to the art form eventually became my personal passion. As I progressed in learning and training in Bharatanatyam, I discovered that dance offered me a channel for self-expression, enabling me to convey emotions and narratives beyond the limitations of words alone. The joy and satisfaction I derived from dancing motivated me to delve deeper into this art form and dedicate myself completely to its pursuit. As a dance artist, I realized the profound fulfillment of dancing both for the audience and for myself with unwavering dedication.

How did your training and experience help you to create and innovate in your artistic practice?

My training and experiences have been important in helping me be more creative and come up with new ideas in my art. I started learning from amazing teachers when I was 9 years old, and it's been over two decades now. This training has taught me a lot about how to move, keep rhythm, and express myself through art, which lets me try out new things and see what works.

Also, my training has taught me how important it is to think about what I'm doing, listen to feedback, and take risks to try new things. I always try to challenge myself, step out of my comfort zone, and do things differently to make my art unique and interesting. I like trying out new ideas, mixing old and new styles, and working with different artists to make my art fresh and exciting for people today.

My training has also taught me to be curious, open-minded, and adaptable, which helps me keep exploring and discovering new things in Bharatanatyam. I'm always pushing myself to go beyond what I know and find new ways to express myself through this ancient dance form, so it stays relevant and meaningful in today's world.

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What stimulates you most about your practice?

What stimulates me the most about practicing Bharatanatyam is how it anchors me to my cultural heritage and traditions. Engaging in dance has significantly improved my mental well-being. This art form is rich with meaningful movements and expressions that narrate tales from ancient times. While learning Bharatanatyam presents its challenges, the journey is equally fulfilling as it deepens my understanding and appreciation of my cultural roots. Through Bharatanatyam performances, I can share my culture with others, irrespective of their backgrounds. It serves as a platform for self-expression, learning, and fostering connections with individuals from diverse walks of life. Ultimately, Bharatanatyam fills me with joy and facilitates personal growth.

How has living and working in New Brunswick helped and/or inspired you on your journey?

Living and working in New Brunswick has significantly impacted and inspired my artistic journey in various ways. A pivotal moment was the 'Illuminate Festival' in October 2022, where I made a comeback to the stage after taking a break from dance performances due to personal reasons. This event reignited my passion for dance and motivated me to resume performing with newfound energy. Following this, I resumed my training and embarked on new explorations. Discovering the vibrant art community and the wealth of opportunities in New Brunswick has been incredibly uplifting and motivating for me.

What motivates your creativity?

What motivates my creativity in Bharatanatyam dance is my deep love and respect for this traditional art form. Bharatanatyam isn't just about dancing; it's a way for me to connect with my culture, history, and spirituality. Every movement and expression in Bharatanatyam have a special meaning, allowing me to tell different stories and express various emotions.

I also find inspiration in the stories and music that are part of Bharatanatyam. Whether I'm dancing to classical songs or creating my own moves, Bharatanatyam gives me a lot of room to be creative and express myself in my own way. Learning and improving in Bharatanatyam is also exciting for me. As I get better at the techniques and rhythms, I discover new things about the dance that inspire me to keep going and try new things.

Overall, my passion for Bharatanatyam and the joy I feel when I dance are what drive me to be creative and keep exploring this beautiful art form.

Thushara Premarajan

How does your creative process unfold as you create an artwork?

When I create a Bharatanatyam dance, I start by getting ideas from mythological stories, songs, or things that inspire me. Then, I listen to the music and think about how it makes me feel. I imagine the dance moves and expressions that will tell the story or convey the feelings I want to express.

I try out different steps and gestures, paying attention to how they fit together and what emotions they convey. I also think about how the dance will look on stage and how I can use the space around me to make it more interesting. As I practice and rehearse, I keep trying new things and making changes until the dance feels just right. Sometimes, I work with other dancers or musicians to make sure everything fits together smoothly.

Finally, when it's time to perform, I focus on doing my best and showing the audience the emotions and story behind the dance. With each performance, I aim to create a beautiful and meaningful artwork that touches the hearts of those watching.

What is your long-term vision and what do you hope to achieve?

My primary goal as a Bharatanatyam dancer is to continually improve and share this beautiful art form with others. I strive to experiment with new ideas and techniques while maintaining the traditional essence of Bharatanatyam.

In the future, I aim to become a teacher and inspire upcoming dancers by passing on my knowledge. I also have a dream of performing in other provinces of Canada, introducing Bharatanatyam to diverse audiences, and highlighting its beauty and significance.

Ultimately, my objective is to use dance as a means of bringing people together and spreading joy and appreciation for this ancient art form. With dedication, passion, and perseverance, I hope to leave a legacy that honors the timeless beauty and importance of Bharatanatyam for generations to come.

Why do you think it's important to make art and pursue an artistic career?

Making art and choosing an artistic career is important if you love art because it lets you express yourself in a way that's meaningful. When you're passionate about art, creating and sharing what you make can make you happy and satisfied.

Art can make people feel things, think about things, and inspire them. When you make art, you get to be creative, improve your skills, and show the world what makes you special as an artist.

Also, having an artistic career means you can share your love for art with others and make a positive difference in the world. Whether you paint, play music, or dance, your art can touch people's lives and even help change society for the better.

Plus, following your passion for art can help you grow as a person and discover new things about yourself. Creating art can help you learn about your talents, overcome challenges, and understand the world in a deeper way.

Overall, making art and pursuing an artistic career matter because it lets you be true to yourself, chase your dreams, and make a real impact on the world by sharing your creativity and passion.

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What have you learned about yourself and New Brunswick's artistic community through your work?

Through my experience as a dancer and artist, I've discovered a lot about myself and the artistic community in New Brunswick. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is how to grow and adapt when things get tough. Being part of this community has taught me the importance of teamwork and helping each other out. It's amazing to see how many different artists are here, all coming together to create and share their work.

Being here has also shown me how powerful art can be in bringing people together and making a real difference in their lives. Whether it's through performances, shows, or workshops, I've seen how art can touch people's hearts and change their outlook. It's been incredibly rewarding to see how my dancing has connected with others and added to the culture of New Brunswick. Even though the art community might seem small, it can still have a big impact. Size doesn't matter when it comes to making a statement or creating something meaningful. Even in a small community, artists can come together and make a big noise that gets noticed.

Overall, being part of the artistic community here has been an amazing journey of learning, growing, and making connections. I'm thankful for all the opportunities I've had, and I'm excited to keep exploring and contributing to the lively arts scene in this province.

What do you think is the impact of artists' work on communities and the province as a whole?

Art serves as a bridge, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, promoting empathy, understanding, and unity within communities. Cultural events and festivals organized by artists enhance the province's tourism appeal, attracting visitors and boosting the economy. Immigration leads to the creation of new cultures and festivals, providing opportunities for local artists to collaborate and share their creative ideas. Each culture brings unique experiences to society, contributing to economic growth and enriching the cultural landscape.

Describe what you are most proud of in your career.

As an emerging Bharatanatyam artist, I'm proud to share the beauty of Indian culture with the lively art communities of New Brunswick. Through my expressive dance performances, I aim to highlight the rich heritage of India. Each graceful movement tells a story that resonates with the audience, inviting them to explore the intricacies and beauty of Indian traditions.

My goal is to deepen understanding and appreciation of Indian culture among the people of New Brunswick. Additionally, I'm currently teaching a few children and eagerly look forward to expanding my teaching in the future.

What advice would you give to people who want to purse a dance career?

If you have a passion for dance, it's essential to keep learning and dancing. Each stage you perform on is an opportunity for growth and expression. Don't worry about the size of the audience; instead, focus on giving your best performance and immersing yourself in the joy of dancing. When the music starts, let it carry you away into a realm of happiness and fulfillment. Trust in your love for dance, and let it guide you through every step you take on stage.

Where can we follow your work?

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