My name is Priya Varunesh Kumar and I am a choreographer and performer of Indian fusion style of dances that take influences from Bharatanatyam, Indian mythology and folklore, to create a distinctive movement vocabulary. I also teach and perform Bollywood and Indian folk dance inspired choreographies. I founded Piah Dance Company in 2011 with the idea of spreading Indian contemporary and folk dances designed for modern audiences. Our work at Piah Dance Company showcases the beauty of India and takes inspiration from all aspects of Indian culture including dance, music, fabric and handicrafts. I wanted to reach out to the world with my dance choreography and thus I started Piah’s Youtube channel, reaching over 58,000 subscribers and 17 million views till date, with the aim of sharing our choreography, creating a platform for people to learn Indian dance across the world and to develop a repository of dance videos that encompasses all aspects of the culture of the Indian subcontinent. My journey extended to the TV Industry in 2015 and I was selected to be among the top 12 finalists at Zee Dance India Dance Season 5 and Zee Main Hoon Michael. Highlights of my extensive performances include showcase for BRICS, Goa, performances as a part of India@UK festival in 2017 organised by Teamwork Arts and performances in Paris, France as a part of Daksha Sheth Dance Company. Piah Dance Company is based around a nucleus of trios, expanding to combinations of upto fifteen performers.
Born and brought up in a city that is now recognised as the UNESCO world heritage city, Ahmedabad, I was always fascinated by the folk arts. The sheer vibrancy, the motto of joy that the folk arts spread always felt like it resonated with my interest. Folk dances, and the way it is originated do not follow a strict, rigid structure, but evolves with time and social settings within towns and cities. The fluidity of this folk dance always gave enough room to experiment without actually breaking a rule of the dance form. Coming from a Bharatanatyam background, I’ve always found freedom in folk dances, as it is a more evolved kind of movement. I feel like I can contribute to the folk arts in India because of the combination of my technical knowledge, my passion for dance and the folk arts, and the mission to bring this together to the country and to the world.
One of my long term projects is to create a video encyclopaedia of all the folk dance forms in India in the form of documentaries, and then expand it to tutorials on educational portals to help not only preserve and document the folk forms, but also prevent them from reaching extinction and also help share this knowledge with the world and thus help create even more evolved movements across the world.
Priya Kumar, Artistic Director, Piah Dance Company
Watch our Performances on Indian fusion and folk inspired dances among other performances.
Photos tell stories.
Stories tell tales of journeys.
I have been extremely passionate about creating 'The Photo Series Project' which are dance related and also to create a social message and to do research about various aspects of Indian mythology and culture.
Please click on the links below to view all the photo series I've done so far, and the history behind each story.
Click here to get more details about online choreography and training.
Online Dance Consulting and Dance Mentorship programmes coming soon.
You can follow me on my social handles below.
Facebook : Priya Varunesh Kumar
Instagram : @priyavaruneshkumar
Youtube : Piah Dance Company Youtube Channel
Blog : Of Chai and Happy Things
Click here to contact us via phone or email.