Vraja Sundari Keilman
Vraja Sundari Keilman (1982, Amsterdam) receives her pre-education at the Amsterdam Theater School (1995 – 2000) and is granted her first apprenticeship at the age of 16 for Julio Rivera’s Horton dance company ‘Contemporary Motions’ in New York. From 2000 to 2004 Vraja studies at the Rotterdam Dance Academy/Codarts Performance Department where she receives a scholarship for The Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program of 2002 in Becket, USA. In 2004 her work ‘Romneya’ (2003) is selected for the Rotterdam Dance Academy’s main repertoire and is presented at the l’Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower Exchange Program in Cannes. From 2003 to 2004 Vraja works as an apprentice for Dylan Newcomb, Glenn van der Hoff and the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. At the Scapino Ballet Vraja performs choreography’s of Sacha Steenks and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
In the following years Vraja works as a free-lance dancer with choreographers Bruno Listopad for Korzo Productions (04/05), Douglas Bateman of the MD Kollektiv (2005), Ederson Rodrigues Xavier (2007) and Wincky Hoedt (08/09). In 2005 Vraja presents her first independent work ‘Krodha’ (2005) at Locus010 in Rotterdam as well as ‘3.3 Heaven Got Pink’ at the Muiderpoorttheater in Amsterdam and The Meekers Studio in Rotterdam. Here Vraja invites her sisters Rasarani and Sarada Sarita and some of their fellow classmates to perform short choreography’s as guest performers. Thereafter she has made work for among others saxophone player Lovro Ravbar of the award-winning band Leelo Jamais (2005), author Deepak Chopra (2006), composer Surajit Das (2006), composer and writer Stormvogel (07/08), painter Humphrey Bennett (since 2007) and numerous photographers and filmmakers.
Photo by Karen Scheffers
January 2007 Vraja Sundari founds the Samadhi Dance Company in Amsterdam and presents her first short work for the company titled ‘Blue Boy’ (2007) at the Muiderpoorttheater in Amsterdam. During the evening of Blue Boy’s premiere Vraja is approached by sitar player Surajit Das to collaborate on a live music and dance production which results in ‘Navarasa Gauri’ (2008), a production based on the yoga of the nine emotions according to the Natya Shastra written by Bharata Muni. The same year Vraja is invited to choreograph for the 1st edition of the Summer Festival ‘Zomeravonden’ in 2008 held at the AINSI Theater in Maastricht where she presents a work-in-progress of her improvisational production ‘Daya’. Ever since all of her productions for Samadhi Dance Company such as ‘Navarasa Gauri’ (2008), ‘Daya’ (2008), ‘Vizve’ (2009), ‘Bho’ (2010) and ‘Saranágati’ (2011) have been successfully received by press and audience and the fan base of the company currently reaches up to 25.000 fans spread all over the world. Beginning 2012 – during the company’s 5 years anniversary – Samadhi Dance Company and Vraja Sundari Keilman’s stunning and innovative production ‘Saranágati receives the prestigious Dutch Dance Audience Award (Danspublieksprijs) for best production and dance company of 2011.
In May 2012 her new work ‘Mohini’ will be presented at Podium Mozaïek in Amsterdam and excerpts will be performed through out The Netherlands, Europe and India during the Summer and Autumn season of 2012 and 2013.
Besides performing and choreographing Vraja Sundari is also a (private) teacher and coach in modern dance and ballet at several renowned dance academies in The Netherlands. She has been a regular (private) teacher and coach at the Balletschool Marut Jorquera in Baarn since 2005 and is currently head of the artistic staff of the Balletschool. Since 2007 Vraja Sundari has also been teaching on a regular basis at the Dance Academy Lucia Marthas in Amsterdam and has choreographed for their annual performances ever since. Since the Spring seasons of 2011 Vraja has also been invited by Ben Bergmans to teach and choreograph for the Teachers Department of Codarts in Rotterdam on a yearly basis and on request of artistic directors Roy Jonathans and Franklin Ignacio to teach and choreograph for the graduate students of the Albeda Dance College in Rotterdam.
April 2012 Vraja Sundari is invited by the artistic directors Feri de Geus and Noortje Bijvoets of the intercultural dance company Le Grand Cru to perform and give an exclusive interview for their documentary and installation ‘Dance/Devotion/Deviation’ which will premiere on May 20 2012 at Theater De Regentes in Den Hague to be presented at several renowned festivals and events all over the world.