FOR THE LOVE OF L.A.
For The Love Of L.A. highlights the broad and expansive array of Angeleno creativity across diverse disciplines and geographies. New artists and works of art will be posted every Tuesday. In its first two seasons, For The Love Of L.A. premiered 48 projects while offering artists a platform to express their views of Los Angeles that are relevant and reflective of the current time through music, dance and visual culture.
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My intention for the project Objects in Mirror is to explore the multifaceted nature of South Asian American artists and deviate from the stereotypical representation of the Indian dancer. In this piece, I seek to reveal the complexity and duality of my Indian American identity, portraying my own mirror reflections as a modern Western and bharatnatyam dancer.
Many For The Love Of L.A. curators ask their artists questions and post them here. You are the reader of this collection, so for context, prior to your viewership, some questions for you instead:
- How does a South Asian person dance?
- Who do you see when you hear “Girl next door,” or “America’s sweetheart?”
- What does Indian music sound like?
- What does contemporary dance look like?
- What is authentic Indian art?
Write down your answers, then please watch the pieces and the artist Q&A. I would love to hear your thoughts before and after, and any realizations or thoughts that might have/or may not have occurred. Tag @achintablue13 and @musiccenterla on Instagram using the hashtags #ftlola #objectsinmirror.
Shreya Patel, a 17-year-old high school senior, was born and raised in Southern California. At the age of five, she began training in Western and classical Indian dance forms. She has studied Bharatnatyam under the guidance of Ramya Harishankar, director of Arpana Dance Company. With Arpana Dance Company, Patel has toured nationally and internationally as a soloist and company member.
In December 2019, Patel performed solo at the Margazhi Festival in Chennai, India. She has performed as a soloist throughout Southern California including the Silk Road Festival, Bowers Museum Festival of India and Japanese Art and Culture Festival in L.A. (2019).
Patel started dancing competitively at the age of five and currently competes as the captain of her high school dance team. She currently studies under the guidance of Krista Miller, director of the Brea Space and Terri Shirokawa, director of Yorba Linda Academy of Ballet. She has participated in various dance-related community projects close to her heart including Dancers for Black Lives Matter and Dancers Against Cancer. Her goal is to continue her work in dance while fusing her background in Western and classical Indian styles.