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Anupama R. Mirle

"Dance is integral to Indian culture.  But it has not always been the case… India went through a lot of invasions, maybe from like tenth century, especially, tenth century A.D. and...it is very easy to ad—be derogatory to a woman by forcing her to dance in not so pleasant settings and that actually caused prostitution of dance, and, therefore, of the art itself.  So, people from...you know, good families did not want their daughters to be associated with art.  But, in the 1930’s as part of the independence movement, they were able to separate the prostitution part of it from the art form. And that really helped the art because now it has come a full circle and it is a status symbol to be a dancer.  So, it has always been part of it, but it has...suffered through the social and political...cultural history of India.  You can see the ups and downs also in the art form."

Anupama Mirle began learning dance at the age of six with various master dancers, including Dr. Padma Subramaniam and Dr. Jayashree Rajagopalan. She specializes in a south Indian classical dance called Bharatha Natyam; additionally, she is skilled with percussion instruments, holding four degrees in both dance and percussion. In 1990, Mirle moved to the United States and settled in the greater Cincinnati area. Here, she established the Nrityarpana School of Performing Arts, which teaches the traditional style of Bharathanatyam. Founded in 2004, her school partners with local non-profits to promote diversity in the arts at musuems and other dance companies. Mirle is an innovative, visionary choreographer. As an Ohio Arts Council Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Master, she has shared her dancing with several apprentices, including her son Vikrant Mirle.

Anupama Mirle's Traditions episode is available here: https://video.thinktv.org/video/ohio-heritage-fellows-anupama-mirle/. 

Contents of the Collection

  • Black and white photos of young Mirle dancing on stage in various performances
  • Photos of Mirle teaching dance classes
  • Video performances of Mirle dancing at the Columbus International Festival