"Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body".-Martha Graham


Kiruthika Rathanaswami is an Indian classical dancer in the bharata natyam style.  She has been under the guidance of Jai Govinda, artistic director of Mandala Arts and Culture in Vancouver, Canada for the past twenty two years.

From a very young age Kiruthika has been an active individual who regularly participated in school sports.  Her early passion in sports and physical activities led her to eventually study this area in University as well.  Her interest for the performing arts also began at a young age with filmy and folk performances at various cultural events.  Her father initiated her into the classical dance form bharata natyam, after witnessing a stellar performance by Jai Govinda for the Thamil Cultural Society of British Columbia.  She began her formal training in bharata natyam at the age of nine at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy.  She immediately developed a love for this dance and went through the rigid curriculum and training it requires.  In 2004 she completed her arangetram (formal dance graduation) at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy.  It was during this process that she realized the hard work and dedication one needs in performing this art form.  This experience made her devote more time into learning, practicing and developing the nuances required for one to be a good performer.

Since 2004 she has been a part of many professional Mandala productions as a soloist, and ensemble.  Although she has performed extensively in Vancouver, she has also been presented in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Santa Barbara, California, and Baltimore, Maryland.  Some of her notable performances include: The Temptation of Buddha (2006); The Monk and the Courtesan (2008);  Honourable Governor General of Canada Ms. Michaelle Jean (2009); Canada Dance Festival (2010); Gait to the Spirit Festival (2011); In The House Festival 2013); Horizon Series (2013); Feats Festival (2015, 2016, 2017);HH11 Dance Festival (2016, 2017); and Nextfest (2016, 2017). 

Kiruthika was also featured as the lead dancer in the documentary film "The Great Night of Shiva" (2011) which was broadcast nationally on Vision TV Canada.  In 2010, she received the Arts Fellowship from the Shastri Indo- Canadian Institute and studied with Gurus B. Bhanumati and Sheela Chandrashekar in Bangalore, India.  In the summer of 2015 Kiruthika was invited to speak as a panelist on the topic "Dance in the Diaspora- Dancing on our own terms" at a National Dance Symposium "Beyond Boundaries - Imagining a New Future for South Asian Dance in Canada" by Sampradaya Dance Creations in Mississauga, Ontario. Kiruthika is the recipient of the 2012 City of Vancouver "The Mayor's Arts Award" for emerging artist in Dance and the 2016 Dancing Damsel Women Achiever award for the Performing Arts.


  Photo Credits: Ron Sangha
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