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Megha P Rao, Practicing Bharatanatyam artist and the Artistic Director of Dhirana Academy of Classical Dance.
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Describe you and your work

As an accomplished and dedicated artist of Bharatanatyam, a celebrated Indian classical dance
form, Megha has over two decades of experience both as a performer and as a teacher. She is a
Graded Doordarshan Artist and currently serving as the Board of Directors of Downtown
Bentonville Inc. Over the past decade, Megha has captivated the hearts of audiences across the
Central U.S at multiple venues. She has extended her creative journey in choreography
combining many Indian dance forms. Uniquely conceptualized and choreographed productions
KANHA. In recognition of her contribution to the performing arts in Northwest Arkansas, she
was recently awarded a grant by Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, to
support her Dance production – ‘Baala – tale of Kanha’
Since 1996 she has performed 1000+ dance performances across India and the US, some of them
nationally significant events such as Nrityotsav-Mumbai, West Bengal Tourism Festival
Calcutta, Pallavothsav Mysore, Navaraspur Utsav Bijapur, Hampi Utsav, India Fest – Little
Rock, 21st TANA Conference -St louis, NAVIKA- Cincinnati, OH.
As Artistic Director she currently runs the ‘Dhirana Academy of Classical Dance’ based in
Bentonville Arkansas, training over a hundred students in the US every year in Bharatanatyam.
Over the past five years, she has organized and produced ‘Pradarshana’ an annual Fall student
showcase, to encourage young talents. She has trained multiple students towards their
Arangetram, a debut solo 2–3-hour performance often referred to as the ‘graduation’ of a dancer
from student to performer.
She also works with school districts and other organizations to bring Bharatanatyam to the
community. Her goal is to Bridge the gap between society and the classical art form by inspiring,
educating and guiding budding talent. She often collaborates with like-minded artists across
different genres of music and performing arts, expanding the vocabulary while staying true to the
art form. Team Dhirana is a staple at various community and social events across the region.