For Purvi Jejurkar, the Pagrav Dance Studio artistic director, dancing has provided a spiritual and physical experience since she was 10 years old. And she is bringing that experience to the Coastside this weekend.
The Pagrav Dance Studio will run a workshop and performance of a traditional Indian dance style called Bhartanatyam from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Half Moon Bay Library. The event will take place just after Holi, a popular springtime holiday in Hindu culture.
Jejurkar earned a bachelor’s degree in dance from Bruhad Gujarat Sangeet Samiti, India. She took up the style as a child, but it was at the university where she excelled in a rigorous eight-year program while taking classes full time. She has more than a decade of teaching experience in
the United States. The studio in Belmont offers lessons, but students have performed at the San Mateo County Fair and numerous Asian Heritage Month celebrations in the Bay Area. Visit pagrav.com to learn more.
“At the end of the day it’s a performing art, and people should enjoy what they see,” Jejurkar said. “But at the same time, you can also partake in it. You can see how it’s done. Patrons can see that a lot of dance forms are very similar, even if it comes from the East, West, North or South.”
Bharatanatyam originated in Southern India and uses a variety of subtle hand, leg and neck gestures. The positions and moves are loaded with symbolism dating back to ancient Indian sculptures.
On March 1, kids and families joined the Pagrav Dance Studio at the Belmont Library for a workshop and performance. Jejurkar said it was a joy to watch parents and kids participating in the dance routine. Though it can be a complex choreography, Jejurkar and her staff want to create an approachable and adaptive environment so anyone can experience the same joy they get out of Bharatanatyam.
“A lot of it is all about posture, your frame and how you project yourself, and the grace you bring to the floor,” Jejurkar explained. “It’s how you emote and tell a story.”