Hema Rajagopalan

Hema Rajagopalan

Hema: The Dance of Life chronicles acclaimed Bharata Natyam dancer, choreographer, beloved teacher, artistic director and founder of  Natya Dance Theatre.

We follow Hema's captivating journey from a child prodigy performing for India's elite ruling class to an Indian immigrant transplanted to America. We watch her development as a choreographer and as artistic director of her own dance company. And, we learn the history and significance of Bharata Natyam dance. 

Since coming to America, Hema has used Bharata Natyam dance to build bridges with many American communities—enriching us all with her beautiful choreography and storytelling. 


Hema has accomplished so much as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in Chicago. She started at a time when Indian culture, Hindu religion and Indian classical forms of dance were just unknown in this city. She transformed that — creating a space for Bharata Natyam dance as art form in Chicago’s dance, art, and cultural scenes.
— Leena Bhattacharya



Director/Producer: Rana Segal

Producer : Michael Smith

Camera: Kimmer Olesak and Rana Segal



Produce/Design: Michael Smith

Website Photography: Ravi Ganapathy


Short Promotional Video

Editor: Rana Segal

Music: G.Vijayaraghavan, R.Kalaiarasan, C.Krishnakumar

Camera: Kimmer Olesak and Rana Segal

Additional performance footage courtesy HMS Media