Puja Allepalli, an exponent of Bharatanatyam, has touched the hearts of many with her soulful performances across the globe. Dance is a form of Bhakti yoga for her, her attempt to seek and be one with the divine. To appease the divine she turns every performance into a revelatory experience for herself and the audience. Her performances are an elegant amalgamation of precise footwork and crisp postures in harmony with elegant movements of the hand and heart rending emotions which transform music into a symphony of graceful movements; renditions that transcend the borders of language. Her dance is uncompromisingly classical, resulting in a perfect communion of body, mind and soul which transports the viewers to a higher level of spiritual consciousness. Puja's performances have earned rave reviews from both, the East and the West, highlighting the universal appeal of art.

Puja Allepalli
Puja Allepalli

Puja's sojourn with Bharatanatyam started at the tender age of four with renowned Guru, Ratnam Janardhanan, an exponent of the Vazhuvoor style and culminated with her Arangetram. Endowed with her teacher's guidance, and her desire to imbue the essence of Chennai's classical arena, she moved to the Kalakshetra style, under the able guidance of the legendary Guru Adyar K Lakshman, characterized by adherence to the traditional form, grace and vigour. She is indeed fortunate to have studied with Guru Lakshman in the traditional "Gurukulam" style where she resided with her teacher's family, imbibing the nuances of Bharatanatyam. She was also taught Nattuvangam by Guru Lakshman. As an extension of her quest for perfection, Puja pursues Abhinaya under Bragha Bessell, a quintessential Bharatanatyam exponent and a fine teacher. After Guru Lakshman's retirement, her desire for excellence in her art led her to the iconic and legendary artiste, Padma Bhushan Guru Smt. Alarmel Valli in 2011. With Guru Smt. Alarmel Valli, Puja continues her artistic endeavour, discovering many facets to this ever evolving art form. A preeminent teacher, Guru Alarmel Valli delicately knits her vast performance experience, profound knowledge of poetry, literature, music and philosophy in every training session.

'Shivanjali Center for Fine Arts' founded by Puja in 2004, is a culmination of Puja's vision to inculcate the love of arts among children and her love for Bharatanatyam. Puja synthesizes her rich performance experience into her classes to foment the best in her students. Puja has successfully trained over 200 students and conducted Arangetrams for many. She choreographs the repertoire and makes it a unique production for each student. Her choreography has been admired by all, experts as well as laypersons. She uses her expertise as a certified Yoga teacher from Yoga Alliance, USA, to include yoga as an integral part of the training given to students. Her professional training program has been meticulously planned to stress artistic excellence and lays emphasis on self-discovery for students. It helps them find their inner strength and use that to hone their skills. Puja teaches creatively and nurtures the talents in children and youth. Watching their progress and their talents blossom, are amongst the greatest satisfaction of her teaching.

Over the years Shivanjali CFFA has raised more than $25,000 for several charities by organising fundraisers for S.V Swamy Temple, Hindu temple, Boulder shelter for the homeless, and being a part of other charities and gala events for Orange City, Chirag, Red Cross.


Performances:
Puja has performed at most leading Sabhas and dance festivals across the globe. She is a visiting faculty at many Universities in the USA and periodically presents lecture cum demonstrations to aspiring students of music and dance.


Selected performances from India:
Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai
Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai
SPIC MACAY, Nagpur
International Giants Conference, Jaipur
Natyanjali Dance Festivals at Thanjavur, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Thiruvarur, Thirunallar, Nagapattinam
Natyarangam, Chennai
Kalaposhakam, Chennai
Mylapore Fine Arts, Chennai
Government Music College Festival, Chennai
Bharat Nrithyotsav, Visakhapatnam
International Dance and Music, Cuttack Mahotsav, Odisha
Every Friday Cultural Programme organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Bangalore
South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur
Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam
Ravindrabharati, Hyderabad
Vani Mahal, Chennai
Kalapradarsini Dance Festival, Chennai
Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha, Chennai
Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Chennai
Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai
Sahitya Kala Seva Mandal, Nagpur


Selected international performances:
The Nehru Center, London, UK
Asian/Pacific Cultural Heritage Celebrations, Denver
Southeast Asian Cultural Festival, Denver
Lotus Temple, Virginia
Denver Performing Arts Complex
Rocky Mountain Thyagaraja Utsavam
ISKCON Festivals, Arizona, Utah, Colorado
World Dance Day Festival
Himalayan Festival, Salt Lake City
Boulder International Dance Festival
Dance events at 'Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre'
Concert with Guru Adyar Lakshman, Broomfield Auditorium
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
'Strictly Bharatanatyam', DL Parson's Theatre
'Nrityanjali', DL Parson's Theatre
Blossoms of Light Festival, Denver
'Nrityopasana', Boulder
"Triad", Introspection, Observation & Tradition, Longmont
Council on Arts and Humanities, Denver
Dance Festival at Shiva Vishnu Temple, San Diego
Reed Whipple Cultural Center, Las Vegas
Natyanjali dance festival at Denver and Castle Rock
Neem Karoli Baba Ashram, Taos
Lakshmi Ashram, Crestone
IBM, Boulder
Indian Dance Festival conducted by Kerala Association of Colorado, USA


Awards and Titles
'Nritya Shiromani' by Utkal Yuva Sanskrutik Sangh, Odisha 2016
'Naatya Saradi' by Natraj Academy, Visakhapatnam 2016
'Yuva Kala Ratna' by Sahitya Kala Seva Mandal, Nagpur 2015
Graded artist with Doordarshan, National TV India 2009


TV Programs/Live Broadcast
Featured in Solo Classical Dance Programs in Chennai Doordarshan, UCN, Odisha TV and Asianet
Interviewed in Chennai Doordarshan Program Episode's 'Beyond Boundaries'
Featured in the USA Fox Network for performance in Spanish Fork, Utah

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Austin, Texas, USA