I was born and spent most of my life in Kazakhstan and was a proud capital city girl of Almaty. When I was 16, my biggest dream was to have a ‘foreign’ visa in my passport  and this dream finally came true 4 years later when my parents took me to India. Since then I had to change my passport because there was no place for visas any more but even more – I had to change my life. May be because I gave such a big importance to it, but that first ‘Indian visa’ determined my life. I don’t know what would have happened if my parents took me to Africa or South America…

I’ve been dancing since the age of 5 and always wanted it to be my career. I was also interested in India and its culture, but I had no idea that I would be able to join the two passions together.

On the way to discovering Bharatnatyam, I tried different styles of dance, performed with different groups and even graduated from the university and got diploma in International Relations and foreign policy of Republic of Kazakhtsan.

When I saw classical Indian dance on my first trip to India in 2000 I was very impressed with its uniqueness – its fast rhythmic foot work, its dramatic aspect and bright beautiful costumes, all these together with the live orchestra and beautiful temple as the background made it a unique experience.

Later on I found that there are Bharatnatyam classes at the Cultural Center of the Indian Embassy in Almaty taught by Akmaral Kainazarova (graduate of Kalakshetra) and I joined, not believing my luck in getting closer to the “magic” dance I witnessed in India.

Just after a couple of months of learning I was already performing simple dances and had developed a real passion for this art form; enough passion to accept an offer to do a 4-year course in Bharatnatyam funded by a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. After 6 months of collecting different documents, and sending video cds of my dance to the admission committee of Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai… and getting ready for my marriage, I was finally admitted to the full time 4 year course in Bharatnatyam Classical Dance at the world famous Kalakshetra in Chennai.

Almost 5 years in India is a completely separate subject that I am going to describe later. Time passed very fast, I got priceless knowledge and some skill in Bharatntyam and gained unforgettable experience of life in India.

At the moment I live and work in Hong Kong and feel very happy that I am able to teach dance to my interested and talented  students and have chances for occasional performances.

Here is more detailed record of my experience in the field of dance:

Qualifications

  • Graduate in International Relations, Kinar University, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • Diploma in Bharatnatyam Indian Classical Dance, Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts (Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarship programme), Chennai, India.
  • First Class Diploma in nattuvangam (rhythmic accompaniment to dance) at  ‘Kalapeetam’ music school, Chennai, India

Current positions

  • Artistic director of the Cosmic Dance Company.   Teaching Bharatnatyam to children and adults in private and group classes. Producing shows for charity, intercultural events and corporate events.
  • Part time Bharatnatyam dance instructor at Planet Yoga, Hong Kong. (April 2007 –  May 2010)

Awards

  • Won  1st prize for dance choreography at the 45th HK Interschool Dance Competition – 2009.

Performances and workshops.

2010

  • Produced, choreographed and performed in “We all are cosmic dancers”, performance showcasing achievements of Cosmic Dance group, Fringe Theater, Fringe Club, HK.
  • Collaborated and performed along with Kathak dancers and other Bharatantaym dancers for Krshna show organized by Sri Shakti Academy, Sheung Wan Civic Center, HK.
  • Students’ group performance and solo performance at International Dance Extravaganza, Academy for performing arts, HK.
  • Designed and conducted ‘Indian Dance’ workshop at the Urban Dance Festival.
  • Choreographed and performed “sight specific” dance at a 3 day show – Dancing “in” dancing “out”,Dance in the bamboo garden at Yuen Long Theater, HK. Presented by Y-space.
  • Tought 1 month workshop ‘Basics of Indian Classical dance’  at Yeun Long theater, HK.

2009

  • Choreographed and performed along with the life tabla music at the Dance and Drum charity event. Grappa’s Cellar, HK
  • Classical performance at the celebration of Sai Baba’s birthday in HK.
  • Choreographed 2 dances and performed along with the students at Raqs Mastika – the Biggest belly dance event in HK, Jockey Club Auditorium at Polytechnic University, HK.
  • Performed for the annual Classical Indian dance Charity show for Udavam Karangal, French International school, HK.
  • Co-produced, choreographed Indian dances and performed the main role in “The Journey of the lotus”. The event blending Indian and contemporary dances set to the poems of Tagore and accompanied by a life tabla and sarod music.

2008

  • Danced part in a duo and group items at the program by Tamil Cultural Association, City U, Hong Kong
  • Performed for the YWCA charity “Bollywood night” event, YWCA, Hong Kong
  • Took part in the charity performance for “Udavam Karangal” – charity organization based in Chennai, French International School, Hong Kong
  • Series of performances and workshops at the bamboo theaters around the Hong Kong city organized by Y-space.  Y-Space
  • Charity dance show organized by KaiFong Welfare Assosiation and Gary Ahuja in order to raise funds for the victims of Sichuan earthquake in China.  You can see photos here.
  • Performed at the Yoga Nidhi workshop conducted by master Kamal (Kryoga world), Hyderabad International Convention Center, India.
  • Took part in Orientalia – Hong Kong’s biggest ethnic dance and music event of 2008 at the City hall, HK.

2007

  • Duo and solo performance with Passion India at China International Travel Fair, Guangzhou, China
  • Performed at the presentation of Review Asia magazine at Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong.
  • Classical and fusion dance performance with Passion India at the International Travel Fair, Hong Kong.
  • Bharatnatyam solo performance at American University in Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Took part as a guest dancer in Bharatntaym recital by Passion India at the Fringe Club, Hong Kong

2006

  • Took part in a group Bharatnatyam recital at Telugu University, Hyderabad, India.
  • Joint choreography and fusion performance for the 5th Global Conference of the World Malayalee Council, Cochin, India.
  • Choreographed some dances and performed in joint duo project “Different Dimensions of Indian Classical Dance through Russian eyes” at Russian Cultural Center, Chennai, India.
  • In collaboration with two other dancers created the idea of the dance show  “Shrishti, Stithi, Samharam” on Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva and performed at The Mylapore Fine Arts Auditorium, Chennai, India.
  • Performed the full Bharatnatyam recital in solo performance at Kalakshetra Prayer Hall, Chennai, India.

2002-2005.

  • Took part in dance drama “Rukmini Devi” composed by Krishnavei Lakshman, Chennai, India.
  • Performed fusion theme in collaboration with A. Janardhanan on Navarasa (9 emotional states in dance) for the Global Adjustments’ 10th anniversary celebration, Chennai, India.

2000-2001.

  • Was part of the dance troupe of the Indian Cultural Center in Almaty, performed folk Indian dances as well as Bharatnatyam.

1996 -1999.

  • Danced in the modern ballet troupe “Magma” that took part in a number of stage/TV/circus shows in Almaty and other cities of Kazakhstan.

Teaching experience.

2009

  • Part time Bharatnatyam dance instructor at Planet Yoga, Hong Kong. (April 2007 – Present)
  • Conducting private classes for children and adults.
  • 2 months Bharatnatyam workshop at Yuen Long Theater, HK.

2007-2008

  • 4 weeks workshop “Introduction to Bharatnatyam” at YWCA, Hong Kong
  • Lecture-demonstration on Bharatnatyam at Culture Club, Hong Kong
  • Introduction to Indian classical dance – workshop for ESDF ( Education for Sustainable Development Foundation), Yerevan, Armenia
  • Part time Bharatnatyam dance instructor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Read more about me here (in tamil language).

10 Responses to “Bio”

  1. Sveta Says:

    very impressive

  2. Anjali Says:

    Hello Oxana, it was really nice to know about your journey of excellence. Do share with us some of your learning experiences at kalakshetra. looking forward to read more.

  3. Oxana Says:

    Thanks for your comment Anjali. I really need to organise myself better and write more.

  4. Ainur Says:

    You mentioned that you were getting ready for your marriage, did you? If yes do you have children and how this influences to your career life? Thanks

  5. Oxana Says:

    Dear Ainur,
    I am so happy that more people from Kazakhstan are getting to know Indian Classical Dance.
    I got married 2 months before I started the course at Kalakshetra, that was a very difficult decision to make but I got a big support from my husband. Even though he could not be with me in India all the time, I knew he was always there to help me.
    I do not have any kids yet but I believe it would not interfere with the teaching career, performing would have to wait for a bit… But hey, children are the most important thing in life!

  6. Ramachandran.A Says:

    Hi Oxana,
    I just finished posting a question on “Bharatanatyam teachers in HK” in the web before stumbling in to your site.
    My wife is classical dance enthusiast and she will be doing her “arangetram”in December.We will be shifting to HK after that from Mumbai and were worried about our daughter’s dance classes.Good to know that you are there

    1. Oxana Says:

      Dear Mr. Ramachandran,
      Happy to know you will be moving to HK soon. Wish your wife all the best for her arangetram!

  7. dipti Says:

    Dear Oxana,
    Very impressive and splendid profile…
    My husband and I will be moving to HK i a few months. i am a professional dancer pursuing the art for the past 19 years and i have been teaching for the past 10 years assisting my Guru Smt. Malathy Thothadri.Dir Kalasagara Academy of Performing Arts. Also a carnatic vocalist pursuing the art for the past 20 years.
    I would like to know abt the oppurtunities over there to teach at the music and dance institutions or shcools. You can mail me and keep in touch. eagerly waiting for your response…bye

  8. Shweta Says:

    hi,
    gr8 to know about you. I also want to learn Bharatnatyam. Where about do u conduct classes? also could you share ur contact no so I can get in touch with u..

  9. harsha Says:

    respected mam,
    im soooo much interested in doing diploma in bharatnatyam, kindly guide me.
    i will be obliged.

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