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American cousin prepares for classical debut

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

The fact that art transcends man made boundaries of religion, language and even culture will once again manifest itself at a Bharatanatyam Arangetram later this month in Auckland.

Suzett Perry, a North American by birth (with Greek, German and Native American lineage) can be expected to bring pride and joy to lovers of this ancient traditional dance at Selwyn Theatre of Selwyn College in Kohimarama on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Entry to the event is by invitation only and those interested may please contact Suzett. Email: suzett.arangetram@gmail.com

Her debut would be another significant milestone for Kalaichelvi (Selvi) Uthayakumaran, Principal and Director of the Howick based Narthana Aalayam School of Indian Dance. According to our records Suzett would be her 36th student to graduate in this form of Indian Fine Arts.

Selvi is known for her uncompromising stand on discipline and values of ‘Gurukul’ (Resident teaching and learning), and expects her students to be committed to the art. She approves students to organise their Arangetram recitals only when she is completely satisfied that they have achieved the requisite proficiency.

In many ways, Suzett is one of a kind.

Impressive credentials

american-cousin-prepares-indian-art-and-culture-inspire-suzett-webA graduate in Biochemistry (BSc) from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, she studied Mathematics and Statistics for four years as a Master’s degree student at Columbia University, an Ivy League school, in New York City before moving to New Zealand in 2005.

She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years, initially as a Research Scientist and currently as a Regulatory Affairs Team Leader.

Since arriving in New Zealand, Suzett has undergone extensive training in various ancient Hindu techniques for spiritual growth and developing mind power technique through Tapa Energy Intensive courses.

She is a capable healer under the discipline of Tap Shakti Vikas and received initiation in 2009.  She is also a Reiki healer and has received Reiki Grand Master attunement.

Indian Newslink had carried her article entitled, ‘The Lamp clears the mind of dark thoughts’ in its Diwali Special 2011 (October 15, 2011) issue.

Classical Journey

Her interest in Indian Classical Dance was kindled after she watched the performance of a visiting professional dance group from Mumbai.

She was so inspired by this single performance that she started seeking a teacher the next day.

Her Indian Classical Dance journey began as a student of Kathak. She was very passionate about it and travelled to India in 2009 to learn from a renowned Kathak dancer.  She had the opportunity to participate in a documentary about Kathak that aired all over India on Sahara TV.

She began learning Bharatanatyam under Anuradha Ramkumar, Principal and Director of ‘Nrithyabhinaya’ and a year later (in 2010) started training under Selvi.

“I am grateful to both Gurus who encouraged me to keep learning Bharata Natyam and believed that I had the potential to achieve proficiency,” she said.

Suzett completed a Certification in Bharata Natyam from Annamalai University in India, which required written theory and practical dance exams.

She has also completed the Level 1 Carnatic singing exam.

Over the years, Suzett has had the opportunity to participate in performances in Auckland and regularly helps in teaching younger students.

Other interests

She has always been passionate about dance and sport, as she also has years of combined training in tap, jazz, ballet, Middle Eastern dance, gymnastics, Shaolin Kung Fu, and others.

Suzett supports organisations, such as SAFE and SPCA, that help neglected and abused animals, has been involved in social activism and consciousness-raising activities over the past few decades and is an avid writer and reader of works by the intelligentsia.

 

What: Arangetram of Suzett Perry

Who: Narthana Aalayam School of Indian Dance

When: Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 5 pm

Where: Selwyn Theatre, Selwyn College

  203 Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama, Auckland

          Entry: By invitation only

Contact: suzett.arangetram@gmail.com

 

 

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