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‘A Tribute to my Roots’ choreographed by Nayanika Vyas,

was presented on the weekend of April 13th and 14th in 2019 at

The University of the Arts.

The piece, an amalgamation of Western and Indian dance styles

came together as an attempt to quite literally blend Nayanika’s

“two worlds”. The work was an expression driven from

Nayanika’s research and interests; those which branched from

culture and diversity, the lives of immigrants much like herself,

and how they uprooted their entire home in search of a better


“A Tribute to My Roots, was an innovative fusion of Classical Indian forms and Contemporary Ballet. The movement language had shimmy shake delight and syncopated rhythmic complexity. Nayanika steadfastly directed student dancers who were initially unfamiliar with her training. She empowered in all of them a joyous performance command. At the end of the dance, flower petals rained down on the dancers and audience alike making everyone in the theater feel part of a happy-ever-after Bollywood movie. Both nights as the lights went down, the audience rose to its feet in a standing ovation. The buzz surrounding her work was palpable and well deserved.”

-Paul Matteson

Assistant Professor, The University of the Arts

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