The Studio “Bharata” emerged from the Exotic Dance Center “Alegria” (manager -Ilze Zarina). Since the year 2000 the Center “Alegria” among others offered also dance classes in Bharatanatyam led by Pille Roosi – a dance teacher from Estonia. Thanks to the regular classes of Pille Roosi Bharatanatyam got established in Latvia.
In 2003 Studio dancers established friendly relationship with Dmitry Zmeev – a Bharatanatyam performer and teacher from Moscow (Russia), and he was invited to Latvia to conduct a series of dance classes in the course of several years.
To intensify the learning process, the participants of the Studio have classes with the teachers not only in Latvia, but if necessary travel also to their home countries. The regular training and classes on everyday basis are lead by Anna Melngalve and Ilze Zarina.
With time emerged the necessity to have separate classes for the beginners. The beginners group was created in 2004. The first teacher was Julia Lishchuk, but since September 2005 Larisa Podskochaya (Yanina) has been teaching the group.
Currently the dance classes are conducted on 4 levels: beginners, junior students (dancing experience up to 2 years), intermediate group (3-4 years dancing experience) and the advanced group (dancing experience more than 5 years).
The study process in the advanced group is supervised by Anna Melngalve, the senior among the dancers.
The Dance Studio “Bharata” as an unaffiliated and independent studio was established in 2006.
In May 2006 the Studio received an offer from the Embassy of India in Sweden to participate in the competition for scholarship at one of the India’s classical dance schools. One of the two applications from the group was accepted, and in August 2006 Julia started attending classes in New Delhi in „Abhinaya School of Dance”. For 2 years she studied under the tutelage of internationally renowned dancer and teacher Jaylakshmi Eshwar. After returning to Latvia, Julia conducted dance workshops both for the dancers in “Bharata” Dance Studio and “Amrita” - a dance studio in Tallin (Estonia).
In 2008 three dancers from the group participated at an International Indian dance contest in St. Petersburg (Russia). One of the participants - Svetlana Yanina won the 3rd prize in category - Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, dancing practice up to 3 years.
The repertoire of the Studio is rich - it includes 60 classical dance compositions and some stylizations. Several new dances are in the process of learning.
The core of the Studio consists of around 10 dancers, and it can be considered as an established troupe with a considerable experience of solo and group performances.
Since 2006 the Studio has successfully organized many full time concerts of classical Indian dance in different places in Latvia. Many of the concert programs were developed in collaboration with Pille Roosi (Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher from Estonia), Svetlana Rizhakova (Kathak dancer and teacher from Russia) and Latvian artists: Sergey Ancupov (sarod), Ludmila Zhurkova (tampura), Arnis Silinsh (Raga Dance), Anatoliy Popov (sitar), Indian dance studio «Lilа» (lead by Katrina Rute and Natalya Garanina) and singer Devi Dasi („Vedic Culture Group”).
The minimum requirements for the students are to have the possibility to study their beloved art form and to be in touch with their teachers. The broader goals are to reach the international level (participation in international festivals and other events) and to attract financial support for concerts and workshops. The ultimate intention is to create an Indian Cultural Centre in Latvia, which would comprise many cultural events associated with India, in order to work on common projects and popularize the Indian classical dance.
Thanks to enthusiasm of Larisa Podskochaya (Yanina) the dream of Indian Culture Center is being fullfilled: on the 11 of April the Association of Indian Culture Center Bharata