Mythili Dance Academy

Natya Kala Jothi
Rama Suresh

Artistic Director of Mythili Dance Academy

"Rarely does one find the coming together of art and intellect, the magic of dance and the mystery of music merging into one seamless entity, an artist whose body, mind and soul speak the unified language of dance, a dancer like Rama Suresh.” The Hindu.

Rama Suresh is a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam and is one of the early pioneers to nurture and promote Indian classical dance in the US. Rama is the founder and Artistic Director of Mythili Dance Academy (MDA), one of the oldest and premier Bharatanatyam dance schools (Indian classical dance) in Texas & Illinois. Rama taught for 35+ years in Peoria, IL before moving permanently to Frisco, TX where she currently resides and teaches Bharatnatyam in the Prosper/Frisco/Plano/McKinney area. Her senior students teach Bharatanatyam in Peoria, IL that Rama oversees. Rama is deemed a cultural icon among the Indian diaspora for keeping alive Indian traditions and culture abroad and for bequeathing a cultural legacy for future generations. A very talented danseuse, Rama brings alive the classical traditions of the dance, sensitively nuanced with a creativity that imbues relevance and meaning to this art form in its current age. Through her academy, Rama continues to train the next generation of Bharatanatyam artists that share her joy and passion for the art and helps them develop skills that are necessary to explore new possibilities of this art in today’s world. Many of her students over 3 decades have completed their arangetram and are teachers and practitioners of this art form. An exponent of the Tanjore school of Bharatanatyam, Rama learned under the renowned gurus, Kalaimamani Sri. Thanjai M Arunachalam Pillai and Thanjai M Vasudevan Pillai. Rama is noted for her technique and eloquent and emotive expression, and is considered to be an exemplary teacher, performer and choreographer in the art form.

A true testament to the profound impact Rama has had on the cultural landscape in India and USA is the many grants she has received from Sangeet Natak Academy and Illinois Arts Council. In recognition of its unique cultural significance, Mythili Dance Academy has the honor of being the first Bharatanatyam dance company in residence at Illinois Central College. A versatile and gifted artiste, Guru Rama Suresh is a woman of uncommon artistry and rare compassion. She has supported fundraising efforts for various charitable organizations in the community, built temples, raised funds for community associations, sponsored and hosted cross-cultural exchanges of Indian artists of national repute. Rama is well known for her innovative and creative dance productions she has choreographed and directed in collaboration with different dance institutions from diverse cultures in the Dallas & Peoria communities. To this end, Rama has enthralled the audience by producing and directing several successful collaborative Broadway style shows with her diverse team of 120 dancers comprising ballet, Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean and other artists from various other cultures! Through these shows, a sum of $708,428 has been raised and donated in the past 8 years to various charitable organizations.

Rama has been conferred with several prestigious awards and titles, and in the recent past she was conferred the title of “Natya Kala Jothi” in Chennai, India. Rama has performed in several countries and has been the recipient of government grants from the Sangeeth Natak Academy in India which gave her the opportunity to tour India and perform her choreography of the dance drama “Shakunthalam” in 30 different cities in India receiving critical acclaim nationwide. Rama is also an empanelled Master Artist with the Illinois Arts Council and Grade “A” artist with the Indian National Television - Doordarshan. In recognition of Rama’s unparalleled devotion to Bharatanatyam, she has been conferred with several prestigious awards and titles, prominent among them being, the 'Natya Mani' in 2005, and "Natya Kala Jothi" in 2019. Rama has also produced “Ananda Natana Prakasham” - a dance CD, that comprises several Bharatanatyam dance songs to help benefit the upcoming dancers. Rama continues the century old tradition of passing on this divine art form to the next generation by identifying and training students who have the dedication and passion for this art form, thereby extending the frontiers of Bharatanatyam towards new horizons.

Apart from teaching dance for decades, Rama has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Journalism from Chennai, India and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Management from University of Illinois Springfield. Rama also has a Masters degree in Leadership in Human Services from Bradley University in Illinois. She worked as a Senior Human Resources Director for decades while teaching dance full-time in parallel! Rama is a voracious reader and writer and has published several articles and blogs on dance and other relevant topics. She is an articulate speaker and has given many lectures and workshops relative to Bharatanatyam as well!