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Vivek Kinra

Vivek Kinra is an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher of the Indian classical dance form of Bharata-Natyam and he has performed successfully in India, Russia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. He has an ecstatic quality of passion and precision in his dance, which makes him memorable and sets him apart.

He holds the prestigious post-graduate Diploma from Kalakshetra, the renowned academy for the study of this dance style in Chennai, India. He is also a former faculty member of Kalakshetra. This academy was established by the great exponent of Bharata-Natyam, the late Rukmini Devi, who played a pioneering role in the revival of this ancient dance form. As an artist and a person, Kinra feels deeply indebted to Rukmini Devi and his teachers at Kalakshetra.

From a young age he began training with Guru Sridharan Nayar. Later, he studied with several outstanding exponents of Bharata-Natyam at Kalakshetra and he was awarded a Government of India scholarship for advanced studies there. Kinra participated in many of Kalakshetra's famous dance-dramas and was acclaimed for his various lead roles.

Since early 1990, Kinra has been teaching in Wellington, New Zealand. In early 1992, he established the New Zealand Academy of Bharata-Natyam and is its Artistic Director. The Academy is flourishing with a large number of keen students and is the foremost institution in New Zealand for training in this dance style. It also plays an important role in cultural awareness and identity in New Zealand's ever growing multicultural society.

Kinra has given lecture-demonstrations to various organisations, including the New Zealand School of Dance, the New Zealand Drama School, Victoria University of Wellington Music Department and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

During his illustrious dance career in New Zealand, which has spanned over two decades, Kinra has created numerous new thematic dance productions with a blend of traditional and innovative concepts, which he has performed with the dancers of the Mudra Dance Company. His performances have consistently been received with rave reviews and large audiences. He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2010 Queen's Birthday honours for his huge contribution to the New Zealand dance scene. In February 2015 he received the Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Award for his outstanding contribution to Wellington through his work with Indian classical dance.

Kinra's work has also been recognised and supported by Creative New Zealand (Arts Council of New Zealand) including grants which have enabled him to return to India to choreograph new dance works. These have included the productions of Shiva the Cosmic Dancer, Ashta Nayika, Vaishnavam, Rasa the Emotional Journey, Shiva Geeti Mala, Krishna the Divine Lover, Utsav, Chakra, Angika, Shree Ram Katha, Incarnations, Anand Joy in Motion, Bharatam, Shree Krishna Leela and Satvika.

Successfully obtaining a reputation for excellence through his performances, intensive courses, workshops, lectures and demonstrations both nationally and internationally, Vivek Kinra is undisputedly one of the leading exponents and a celebrated dancer of this rich and complex art form in New Zealand.

"After a time, excellence becomes increasingly difficult to write about, without resorting to familiar superlatives. Kinra presents such a problem." -The Dominion, Wellington.


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