"Dance is a gift. To love it, live it and breathe it is a blessing. If I can ignite that passion into one student, I have succeeded in my duty as a teacher..." preya
Preya Mangalat Patel began contemporary dance at the age of four. At age seven, she was introduced to Bharatanatyam by her guru, Kalashri Asha Gopal, founder/director of Arathi School of Dance (Arizona) and disciple of Guru Muthiah Pillai, Guru Kittappa Pillai and Professor U S Krishna Rao. Due to Preya's passion for dance in all of its forms, she continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Odissi, and Kuchipudi. From childhood her summers were spent in India learning from different gurus in search of gaining insight into the vast world of dance. Some of those gurus include Srimati Padmini Ravi (Bangalore), Janardanan SIr (Calicut), Kalamandalam Radha (Calicut), Dr. Veena Murthy Vijay (Bangalore), and Ajit Bhaskaran Das (Malaysia).
Preya has received numerous awards for her grace and fluidity in dance both nationally and internationally. She was a senior dancer and teacher with the Arathi School of Dance in Phoenix. She has performed with the Arizona Opera Company in the opera “Lakme” and has been fortunate to dance alongside renowned artists such as Ajit Bhaskaran Das, Radha Carmen, Satyanarayan Raju, Emily Mayne and Oliver Rajamani (music). After receiving her Bachelor of Science with a minor in dance, Preya completed a graduate program in Cytology. While working as a cytologist in Los Angeles she was a lead company dance member with Blue13 Dance Company and the featured dancer in two movie productions. She sat as the dance chair for the prestigious festival, Artwallah, and conducted workshops in Bharatanatyam for East West Players. Today, settled in Austin she directs the Devi School of Dance while also an active member of the classical dance company, Stage Sanchaar- a unique collaboration of wide-ranged classical Indian Dancers.
Thus far, her solo work and group collaborations have been mostly non-profit in nature with an emphasis on children's education, victims of domestic violence and community building. She has served as a core team member for the community building non-profit Be The Change Austin and worked closely with Hindu Charities for America to raise funds to purchase school supplies for underprivileged children. A momentous time for Preya was working along side the non-profit Manav Sadhna in bringing 16 children from the “slums” of Gujurat to the United States and UK in a world tour of dance and music called EKATVA. Her role in bringing them here to Austin is something that will live with her forever. One of the many lessons learned during that time was that dance, music, art performed with passion and love transcend all boundaries.
Preya has choreographed for the Scottish Rite Theater on their productions of Little Red Chunari , Midsummer Night's Dream: From The Furthest Steep of India, The Town Musicians of Mumbai, Jungal Ki Kahani and their most recent production Treasure Island in the Bay of Bengal.
Over the past 6 years she has been fortunate to collaborate and tour with musician Oliver Rajamani and the Mondsee Orchestra in the production, Flamenco India.