Three Aksha

 The goals of Three Aksha include:

  • To both preserve and promote traditional Indian performing arts and culture, and to increase awareness and appreciation for them, among Indians in the U.S. as well as all Americans, through dance, theater, and education.
  • To use creative movement as a tool to encourage cultural understanding and awareness and reduce discrimination.
  • To create opportunities for emerging artists from the five-county Pennsylvania area and to serve as a platform to help promote their work.
  • To foster and engage with a network of local artists sharing an open exchange of information and resources in order to further the development of art and ideas.

History of Three Aksha:

Dance is the only art in which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.
—Ted Shawn

Three Aksha was founded in Philadelphia in 2003 by Artistic Director Viji Rao, and is based at Girard College, where she has been an artist in residence since 2008. Three Aksha seeks to preserve and promote Indian culture and heritage through classical Indian Bharatanatyam dance choreography in the Philadelphia area and in other ethnically diverse regions of the world. Three Aksha has performed in major cities across the US, the UK, Europe and India.

Three Aksha has been recognized for its development of new choreography within the realm of classical Indian tradition, and for its work in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam, which is renowned for its focus on the body. The company’s dancers have trained in Kalakshetra Bharatanatyam under Viji for a minimum of six years, and have also studied under teachers in India.

In addition to its active performance and touring schedule, Three Aksha shares its expertise in Indian dance in workshops and lecture-demonstrations throughout the Delaware Valley. As a complement to the socially conscious themes that frequently play into the company’s performance work, Three Aksha engages with social issues by working with youth and with fundraising programs.

Many of Three Aksha’s students have pursued Bharatanatyam to its fullest, completing arangetrams (debut performances) and receiving support for apprenticeships from the Philadelphia and New Jersey Councils on the Arts.