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When Eyes Speak | 2023 | Photo by: Amal Bisharat

Dance Community

As an immigrant, it was natural for me to seek out people from my background and interests. Connecting with my new friends and colleagues with similar interests was a source of comfort, support, and learning for me in this country, that I now call home. Learning from each other and collaborating on projects, helps me create a more inclusive and cohesive society.


Shruti Abhishek curates The ArtEchoes Series for kids in the East Bay and is a co-curator for two exciting festivals in the Bay Area that celebrate South Asian artists: Varnam Salon and When Eyes Speak.

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The ArtEchoes Series | May 2023


The ArtEchoes Series is an initiative by Shruti Abhishek and Kshetram School of Dance that aims to inspire and educate kids through live performances. The series provides a unique opportunity for young audiences to learn, be inspired, and engage with the artists in candid conversations about their practice. By attending these performances, kids can expand their horizons, gain a deeper appreciation of the arts, and develop their own creativity.

Varnam Salon | May 2020, Feb 2021, Nov 2021

Varnam Salon is a unique series that delves into the power of the traditional solo Bharatanatyam repertoire through discussion, performance, and food. This initiative features senior art practitioners, mid-career artists, and upcoming dancers from California, all supported by the California Arts Council Local Impact Grant. Curated by Nadhi Thekkek, Shruti Abhishek, and Preethi Ramaprasad, this series offers an opportunity to explore the timeless characters in these pieces and go deep into their content. 

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When Eyes Speak | 2019, 2022, 2023


When Eyes Speak, founded in 2018, is a South Asian Choreography festival that showcases a wide range of South Asian movement forms in San Francisco. In response to the essentialization of dance in the diaspora, Preethi Ramaprasad, Shruti Abhishek, and Sri Thina created this platform that has seen performances of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, contemporary Indian, theater, fusion, and other styles. This festival has been recognized as a Critic's Pick by the San Francisco Chronicle and has collaborated with Safehouse Arts, American Conservatory Theater, Dhvani Performing Arts, and others. 

When Eyes Speak is proud to announce its fourth iteration in the Mission District, culminating in a performance at Dance Mission Theater, marking its first in-person gathering since the pandemic.


Rhythm Plays with Nadhi Thekkek. Rhythm Play is an open-level Bharatanatyam workshop session for those who have always wanted to learn and have fun with this beautiful dance form. In collaboration with Nadhi and a percussionist, we create unique rhythm patterns that complement the choreography we've created for these sessions. Enroll now to join our upcoming workshops and explore the beauty of Bharatanatyam! 

Shruti Abhishek is part of the Immigrant Artist Network that convenes immigrant artists and their comrades across all borders and disciplines to co-create peer-based creative, personal, and professional development, aid, and support.

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