Ms. Monisha Chakravarthy is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, where she graduated from the Harpeth Hall School in 2006. She matriculated to the University of Pennsylvania, where she pursued a degree in the Biological Basis of Behavior as well as minors in Philosophy, English, and South Asia studies. While at school Ms. Chakravarthy participated in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including a competitive South Asian folk dance team, the school newspaper, student government, and religious organizations such as Hindu Students Council. Throughout her college career she worked in various neurobiology labs and completed an Honors thesis on subpopulations of neurons in the dorsal raphe. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant and Peer Writing Tutor through the Penn Writing Center, which allowed her to mentor countless students in the craft of writing for all disciplines. Following her completion of the Fulbright-Nehru grant, Ms. Chakravarthy hopes to attend law school.
Her Fulbright-Nehru research title is, ‘Modern Bharatanatyam: Art, Entertainment and Business.' As a classical art form, Bharatanatyam is a performance tradition tightly constrained by rules and customs. However, modernization and globalization may be prompting a search for new patterns within Bharatanatyam's classical rigidity. Ms. Chakravarthy plans to research how this transformation is occurring today, through the study of dance items. This endeavor would entail learning a broad curriculum of dance, designed to address several branches of inquiry. However, her study as whole would focus on how Bharatanatyam continues to evolve as an art, entertainment, and business despite being a fundamentally traditional, conservative dance style.