Priya Kumar Varunesh

"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 in life is to create a video encyclopaedia of all the folk dance forms in India in the form of documentaries shot of those artists, and slowly even consider expanding it to tutorials on educational portals so that this helps not only preserve and document the folk forms, 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.

She has directed 2 folk dance productions - Bandhani & Bhoomi. She has choreographed multiple shows for schools as well as corporates. She also has a popular Youtube channel with over 9 million views.

She has been part of various reality shows - the most notable being Dance-India-Dance. She reached the last 12 contestants and won many hearts with her versatility in showcasing different genres of dance. She also recent performed on the Kannada hit show Kick.

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