academy of Dance was established in 1985, shortly after its founder
and artistic director,
Mrs. Mrugakshi Patel, immigrated to the Chicago area. It started as
the school of Bharatnatyam style
of Indian classical dance with ten students. Over the past 24 years,
its activities have grown in student size and dance styles.
Currently there are over 100 students learning Bharatnatyam at Nartan.
The classes are conducted in multiple locations, but primarily at
Nartan’s dance studio in Naperville, Il. Over the years over
550 students have learned the Bharatnatyam dance style from Mrugakshi.
In the last five years over 20 students have mastered the complete
repertoire of Bharatnatyam and have graduated from Nartan, performing
an intense and beautiful recital known as the Aarangetrum.
is an accomplished exponent of the Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi styles
of Indian classical dance and a well known choreographer of Indian
folk dances. She received dance training from Mrinalini Sarabhai at
the Darpana Institute of Performing Arts in Ahemdabad, India.
With a Masters of Arts in Sanskrit and a Visharad degree in Indian
Classical music, she has a unique, well-rounded background to interpret
and impart the ancient dance forms to the next generation.
Before teaching in the United States, Mrugakshi served as a Gold Medalist
and Professor of Sanskrit
at St. Xavier College in Ahmedabad, India and performed extensively
in Gujrat. She is currently the director of Nartan Academy of Dance
in Naperville, Illinois.
Over the last twenty-eight years she has taught classical and folk
dances in Ohio, New Jersey, and Illinois, receiving several prizes
for choreography from the Federation of Gujarati Associations in North
America and The Illinois Arts Council, including a Master Teacher
Award and the Program Award from
the IIAC multiple times.