Joyce Paul Siamak

Dancer, choreographer & anthropologist Joyce Paul Siamak, has been creating movement for the stage and street theatre since 1986. Born in New Delhi, India and now a native of Redmond, WA, Joyce began her dancing career inspired by the dancers of Bharatiya Kala Kendra as they played the epic story of Ramlila. She joined the institute to learn Bharatanatyam under the direction of the renowned Leela Samson in 1986, completed her “Arangetram” in 1992 and continued to perform for productions with her guru.

f41_640x400(2)Her choreographic career began in 1986 when she co-founded Abhivyakti Karya Shala, a grass roots performing arts organization that sought to bring social change with dance, music and theatre. Joyce continued to learn and dabble with other arts forms such as Carnatic vocal, Chhau, Odissi and Mohiniyattam. She spent time honing her skill with stalwarts such as Prof C.V. Chandrashekhar, A. Janardhanan and Kalamandalam Gopi.

In academia, she focused on the Anthropology of performance. Her Ph.D thesis on Anthropometry and Physiology of elite Bharatanatyam dancers remains the only work of its kind till today. From the University of Delhi, she moved on to work for the leading software company in India which paved her path to her UX research career at Microsoft, ultimately bringing her to settle in the Pacific Northwest.

The unique quality of Joyce’s work is her ability to stay within the definition of classical dance while pushing boundaries and exploring non-traditional themes and contexts. Her work also tends to gravitate towards social problems and women’s issues. Her choreographic works include acclaimed works such as Kalaprayanam, Laya Samvaad, Ecclesiastes Reworked, Guru Ashtakam, Shanthala Varnam, Maand and Mother Mary Thillana amongst others.

Along with teaching and running her own company, Arpan, she is also faculty at the Spectrum Dance Theatre teaching and choreographing for their annual Academy shows. Joyce occasionally teaches master classes at the University of Washington and Cornish College. She is a published author for dance medicine and Anthropology journals.

For more information visit | For her dance company and Vidyalaya, visit

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