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Bala Sarasvati, Artist, Director, Choreographer, Movement Specialist

MFA, MA, BFA, B.S., Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) 

Jane Willson Professor in the Arts, University of Georgia (1991-2022)


Bala Sarasvati, Artist, artistic director and choreographer with expertise in contemporary dance technique, aerial dance and somatic movement theory and application. She holds M.F.A., M.A. degrees in dance from The Ohio State University,  Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies,  NYC and B.F.A., B.S degrees from the University of Utah. In addition, a Certified Yoga Trapeze Instructor.

Bala served as University of Georgia Jane Willson Professor in the Arts through 2022, founding artistic director of CORE Contemporary and Aerial Dance. Professor of contemporary technique, dance composition, dance production, improvisation, technology interface, aerial yoga trapeze  and Laban Movement Analysis. Bala has taught and/or presented choreography throughout the U.S and China, and internationally in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, England, France and Taiwan: and guest faculty for Univerisdad Nacional Graduate Dance Program, Heredia, Costa Rica (2007-2022). She has served as faculty member for the Jose Limon School and Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, NYC. Her choreography was selected for Seattle Bumbershoot Arts Festivals, Piccolo Spoleto Festivals, LIMS MOSAIC, National Dance Therapy Association, National Dance Association, National American College Dance Festival, National Society for Literature and Science and several World Dance Alliance Americas Conference and Festival Assemblies. As Founding Artistic Director of  CORE Contemporary and Aerial Dance (formerly) CORE Concert Dance Company, she has created numerous multimedia and interdisciplinary shows, integrating aerial dance, film and video mapping and engaged in numerous collaborative ventures. In 2021, Bala produced, filmed, directed a green screen film T’Apped, in collaboration with the Compañía Nacional de Danza Costa Rica (CND) in collaboration with Mario Vircha, former artistic director and performer of the CND company. Bala currently serves on Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies board and has served on the advisory boards for UGA Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE) and and the US-China Cultural and Education Foundation. Bala's integrated aerial dance training and creative production at UGA Dance was featured in DANCE TEACHER magazine "Bala Sarasvati Sends Students Soaring at the University of Georgia" (2017). YouTube: @Baladance Channel Instagram: @coreaerialdance

Faculty Positions

The University of Georgia Department of Dance, Jane Willson Professor in the Arts (1990-2022)

Univerisdad Nacional, Graduate Dance Program, Heredia, Costa Rica, Guest Faculty (2007-2022) 


Other Faculty Positions

The Ohio State University

Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, NYC

Laban Certification Programs in NYC and Seattle, WA

José Limón Institute, NYC, NY

Queens College,  NY

South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory 

Winthrop University

Dance Centre Seattle

Bill Evans Summer Institute of Dance

Guest Artist Residencies

Compañía Nacional de Danza, San Jose, Costa Rica

University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica

Danza Univeristaria (company), San Jose, Costa Rica

Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) - 92nd St Y NYC 

Centro Coreografico- Rio de Janeiro

Univerisdad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica

Sichuan International Dance Conservatory, Chengdu, China

Tsoying Performing Arts High School, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Brigham Young University

Florida State University

Emory University

José Limón Institute, NYC, NY

Minnesota Dance Alliance - Dance Educators

Ohio State University

Princeton University

Pacific Lutheran University

Queens College, City University of New York

University of Minnesota, Duluth

University of South Carolina

Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose Costa Rica

Western Washington State University

Pre- Professional Instruction 

UGA Festival Dance Camp annually, Mitch Flanders, Director, Griffin Ballet Theatre, (choreographer and faculty, annually)

Choreographer and Faculty for Brenau University Summer Dance Intensive, John Streit, Director (choreographer and faculty 2022 23)

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre School, Suwanee, Georgia, guest instructor

Griffin Ballet Theatre, Griffin, Georgia, choreographer

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, FL, chorreographer and guest instructor)

Davison School Fine Arts Magnet School, Augusta, Georgia, presenter and guest instructor)

Dance Technique Approach

Movement fundamentals to promote muscular balance, range of motion, strength, mobility and ease. Approaches, methods, physical practice enhance movement efficiency, mobility, momentum and dynamic alignment. "Extreme" shape shifting, level change variations, inversions & off vertical transitions with gradated rotation and other applied 3-dimensional ROM processes.

Yoga Trapeze Approach

Applications include 1) YOGABODY Naturals Yoga Trapeze pedagogy 2) enhancing aerial dance 3) increasing flexibility and strength in dance performance 4) overall conditioning, strengthening and improved balance, control and flow for a wide range of athletes.

Aerial Dance and Aerial Arts Approach

Safety, increasing strength, flexibility, flow and developing skillset are a must. Attention to details in the transitions, shape, dynamic phrasing, spatial clarity and body articulation, which clarify the final artistic expression. Technical skills in moving on-and-off apparatus - from the floor to the air to the floor - is critical. When creating aerial dance, the ultimate goal (intention, design and purpose) is to convey the images, feelings, emotional/spiritual connections through story or abstract design. Combining contemporary dance with aerial arts is central to the practice. I have explored and created for over twenty years - engaged in moving explorations and focus (and working with experts; and numerous hours of skill development and improvisational workshopping spanning several aerial apparatus - including silks, slings, lyra (hoops), nets, trapeze, bungee and ropes. 

Bala's integrated aerial dance training and production was featured in DANCE TEACHER magazine: Bala Sarasvati Sends Students Soaring at the University of Georgia (2017).

As a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) NYC and taught the application of somatic movement theory to dance training and performance for seven years at LIMS. Formerly, Jane Willson Professor in Arts at the The University of Georgia Department of Dance, regularly taught contemporary technique, dance composition, improvisation, movement analysis, aerial yoga trapeze and concert production and served as head of Dance 1998-1999 and 2000-2006. She serves on the faculty for the Universidad Nacional Graduate Program in Dance, Heredia, Costa Rica (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2019 and 2021) and has served on the faculty for the José Limón Dance Institute, NYC, the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, NYC, Dance Education Lab (DEL) Summer Institute, NYC, Queens College. Bala is a certified Yoga Trapeze teacher by YOGABODY Naturals, served as a teacher trainer with Lucas Rockwood and Camilo Carreiro and hosted five certification programs at UGA.

Bala is an inspired teacher in the highest sense. She is a loving and generous teacher who offers

a unique dance method. Her training is continually evolving and changing. . ..When I attended

Bala's technique class I realized that I was in the presence of some one who had a solid back

ground; she is an expert of movement, an explorer who, worked very deep into the essence of

motion. Today she has found her own style, which shows her teaching with clarity, intelligence,

and precision. Bala is a master of creative movement, a teacher who has the capacity to

articulate, dance sequences with, dynamics, harmony and inventive. She definitely touches

people’s hearts and souls. This understanding comes when one unites power and love"


Carlos Orta (25-year veteran of the Jose Limon Dance Company and Artistic Director, COREOARTE, Caracas, Venezuela)

I enjoy every moment of this contemporary class. I am able to see how a class is suppose to flow with floor work, body control, spatial movement, rapid movement, powerful movement and slow movement. I have learned a tremendous amount relate to dynamics, control, core support, off-balance movement, hollowing, carving each muscle in the body and so much more. As I reflect on this semester, I cannot help but be thankful for this class. This class is helping in maturity level inside and outside of the studio walls. As I receive constructive criticism, I realize this is only meant for improvement in all areas of my dance training and for that I am eternally grateful.

UGA Dance major

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