"The characteristics that make the Madras-trained Raman an extraordinary performer.......are precisely those that mark an extraordinary ballerina. She places each gesture, every movement with precision. Through it all, Raman displays warmth, ease and pleasure...." - Cerinda Survant, The Oregonian.

"Raman ignites the form with a singular focus, making the dance as riveting today as it was 2,000 years back in the day......" Willamette Week


**2015-16: First Bharatha Natyam faculty position in Northwest as Assistant Professor of dance at Portland State University

*Author of two books on Indian dance published in May 2015 with OAC Fellowship award.

Dr. Jayanthi Raman is a dancer, choreographer and master artist who has a critically acclaimed and an extensive and impressive career spanning three decades. Using the Indian classical dance form Bharatha Natyam as the starting point for her exploration, she creates thought provoking work. Her contemporary approach to classicism is provocative in our cultural environment. Her choreography based in ancient Indian traditions, has been lauded for its deep-rooted classicism as well as for its aesthetic experimentation and willingness to cross boundaries. Her enthusiasm to take risks and explore unpredictable and complex movements has established her as an exciting and groundbreaking choreographer in the US. She has choreographed 25 full length evening works and numerous solo and group pieces.

Raman has created a unique language that expresses her personal Indo-American identity. Raman has become a recognized persona in the US, called as a "cultural treasure" (Oregonian) and as a "world class dancer" and "scholar of dances" by Martha Ullmann West (DANCE Magazine). She is reputed as a scholar by the critics and her peers and as the ‘gold standard of Indian dance in the region’. As a performer and choreographer, she is well known for her precise footwork and her eloquent abhinaya -expressive dance. She has performed over 600 solo and thematic performances at reputed dance festivals and performing art centers in India and in US.

Raman is recipient of several local, regional, state and national awards, almost all of them as the first artist in her genre, recognizing her as one of the foremost performers and choreographers of Indian dance nationally. She is the first Indian performing artist to receive the Oregon Art Commission's Individual Artist Fellowship Award (2015).

She was the first recipient in her genre to receive the National Dance Project NDP-NEFA grant for production and touring as well as from Regional Arts and Culture Council, Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Beaverton Arts Commission, Forest Grove Public Arts Commission etc. She toured 26 US cities acclaimed as one of the most successful NDP supported tours in her genre to date. This unique strength of Raman to appeal to world presenters makes her a successful contemporary choreographer.

Her other awards and recognitions include the Arts Leadership Award from Beaverton Arts Commission in recognition of her work in promoting the performing arts of India locally for past twenty years, the Master Artist award from Washington State Arts Commission and Oregon Historical Society recognizing her as a master artist in the Northwest. Raman received the TAAP mater artist award from the UO Folklife Program in 2015-16 recognizing her as the foremost master artist and educator of Bharatha Natyam classical dance in Oregon. She expanded her horizons to teach Indian dance as first faculty in Northwest of her genre teaching dance as Assistant Professor at Portland State University, a rare honor for Indian dance.

Raman is a powerful performer and choreographer with the ability to reach to global audiences with her genuine vision and innovative choreography. Her dance company has performed at prestigious venues like the Symphony Space- New York, Flynn Performing Art Center- Vermont, Lied-Nebraska, Rialto Theater- Atlanta, Wortham Performing Art Center - Houston, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Newmark Theater at the Portland Performing Art Center, Meany Hall- Seattle, (UW World Series) Listner Auditorium- Washington DC etc. In many cities like Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho- Pullman, Sun Valley etc., the audiences were seeing Indian classical dance for the first time!

Grants from National Endowment for the Arts, Westaf-Tourwest etc have supported her touring productions. Commissions from Microsoft, PICA TBA Fest, Bank of America, Oregon Health Sciences University, City of Hillsboro PASA- Lafayette are acknowledgement of her strong presence. Her work has received rave reviews from the DANCE Magazine, Oregonian, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal, Daily Nebraskan, Hindustan Times, Dayton Daily News, Seattle Times etc. Dayton Daily claimed her work to be the ‘best show of the season’!

As an educator, she is the consummate cultural ambassador presenting lectures, workshops and master classes at Universities and Colleges. She has presented lectures on Indian music and dance at the Portland Community College, Portland State University, Reed College-Portland, University of Washington, Spokane Falls Community College, Yakima Valley Community College, Washington State University, Flynn Arts and Lecture series with University of Vermont, George Washington University, University of North and South Dakota, Drexel University-PA, Dayton Community College-OH, Georgia State University, University of Vermont, University of Washington, University of Cincinnati, University of Louisiana etc.

A versatile performer, director, chorographer, teacher and scholar she has her own training institute of Bharatha Natyam dance -Natya, based in Portland, along with its performing unit and dance company, the Jayanthi Raman Dance Company. As an eloquent speaker, her lectures and mater classes have received funding from Oregon Council for Humanities, American Library Association, National Endowment for the Arts, Cultural Coalition of Washington County and local libraries.

Dr. Raman has served on the Board of the Beaverton Arts Commission and on the Regional Arts Culture Council panel for grant and fellowship programs. She has served as cultural coalition leader for the Washington County panel of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Raman actively donated her time and effort for fund raising concerts helping India including for AID- Association for India’s Development and other charitable causes like Good Samaritan ministries.

Her collaborative works with legends from India: Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. Violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman, Veena players- Geetha Bennett, Jayanthi Kumaresh and Rajesh Vaidhya as well as Violinist Ganesh (Ganseh Kumaresh fame) and with dancers from Orissa Dance Academy, Manipuri Nartanalaya and from Chennai speak of the work she has done as intercultural and cross cultural works.

With and MD in medicine and Master's degree in Computer Science and Informatics, Raman pursues dancing full time passionately.  She enjoys the merger of arts and sciences in her productions.

To come from a small city and find recognition in world of dance is difficult for a choreographer in any genre, and this is especially true for this remarkable choreographer and performer who has proven her merit over the years.


With Guru Adyar Lakshman, first graduate group of Kalakshetra, Chennai, India With Guru J. Venkatachalapathy of Kalakshetra performing at the Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival, India

Thank you to the following organizations for your support


National Dance Project- NEFA/NDP

Regional Arts and Culture Council

Washington State Arts Commission

Collins Foundation

Beaverton Arts Commission

City of Hillsboro

Cultural Coalition of Washington County

Oregon Arts Commission

City of Beaverton

Beaverton City Library

Oregon History Center & Folklife Program

Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts PICA

National Endowment for the Arts

Oregon Public Broadcasting OPB-PBS

Oregon Council for Humanities

Forest Grove Public Arts Commission World Affairs Council of Oregon

"Raman, who's been crafting and performing modern takes on the centuries-old South Asian dance form for nearly two decades, is an energetic and mesmerizing performer......” Kelly Clark Willamette Week,

"The characteristics that make the Madras-trained Raman an extraordinary performer.......are precisely those that mark an extraordinary ballerina. Her feet slap crisply; her ankle bells sound cleanly on the beat. She places each gesture, every movement with precision. Through it all, Raman displays warmth, ease and pleasure..." - Cerinda Survant, The Oregonian

"Few dancers communicate effectively across the wide gulfs of cultural difference. Jayanthi Raman is one. Even a viewer conditioned by American culture can recognize what sets Raman’s dancing apart. Technique, expressiveness, acting ability, musicality - just as in a ballet. Raman is an elegantly musical dancer……... Watching improvisation of this caliber is an unalloyed pleasure."  Cerinda Survant, The Oregonian 

"Raman Sparkles in Dance of India - Jayanthi Raman is an artist of sparkling presence and crystalline technique. The minute her jingling ankle bells and stamping feet ring out and her silk-clad body, sinuous arms and dramatically mobile face appear, the audience knows it's going to see a world-class dancer. Raman’s talents go beyond dancing, more than the star …She also choreographed, costumed and produced it." - Martha Ullmann West, The Oregonian.

Author of two critically acclaimed books on Indian dance with book release ceremony attended by Robert Bucker, Dean of COTA-PSU and Brian Rogers, Executive Director, Oregon Arts Commission in 201.

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Speech at the book release ceremony at Portland5 Centers for the Arts May 2015

The writer: Raman's publications include articles written for the Valley Times, Happenings Magazine, ICA Chakra newsletter, and she was also the editor and compiler for the 300 page Sangeetham book on Indian classical music for Rasika. See article below published in Valley Times: "The musings of a migrant dance teacher"

The speaker: Raman has been Mistress of Ceremonies for concerts, educational and outreach events, she has served as workshop panelist for the Washington County Arts, Culture and Heritage Coalition as well as for the Beaverton Arts Commission. Her lectures include wide variety of topics including about Indian dance, history, mythology, women's rights, Hinduism etc.

Circle of Peace, Inaugural Event, First Congregational Church, Portland


Raman at Rasika music concert as MC and at the HACC Arts and Culture Summit.

Outreach Events at Colleges, Universities, libraries and community centers


Featured in the NW Book Festival 2015

Pre-concert LecDem at University of Washington attended by 500 people

Lecdem during Shrishti tour 
Lecdem preview: Glimpsing India in Valley Times
PASA Lafayette, workshop at University of Louisiana
Spokesman Review newspaper coverage for Lecdem at Spokane Community College, WA
Shivanjali: Fund raiser concert for AID: Association for India's Development 2000
Beaverton Heritage Celebration featured dance
Fund raiser concert for Good Samaritan ministries for orphanage in India, Natya has been performing for the ministries since 1998 Fund raiser concert for Seva Chakra orphanage, India
Explaining Indian dance to Rasikas after the concert, Seattle
LecDem on Renaissance of dance with Guru Adyar Lakshman Educational event series on dance and music for Rasika