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Indian-American Vocalist, Dancer, and Instructor

“My art aims to traverse the distance between traditional and contemporary, East and West, planned and spontaneous. As an American of Indian descent, my dance and music represent a hybrid of my two cultures - an effort to preserve the ancient cultures of India by interpreting them in a modern language and context. My artistic practice means, to me, acting as a conduit for the beauty of India's cultural arts in the West. I consider myself on the fringes between two worlds, floating somewhere in between, trying to act as a bridge between them. Indeed, my desire is to use the arts to bridge gaps between cultures, castes, and religions, as a vehicle for greater peace and harmony in the world.” ~Rimi Basu

Basu has trained with renowned musicians and pundits of Indian music and dance, including Ajoy Chakrobarty in Kolkata, India at his school, Srutinandan and Ustad Iqbal Khan of the Delhi Gharana of Hindustani Sufi Vocal Music. Her formal dance training includes 16 years of Odissi with Nrityalaya Academy in Washington DC and training in Sufi Kathak with Smt. Manjari Chaturvedi in Delhi. Her love affair with the Indian arts started from a young age, as she was trained in Indian classical music and dance and had a deep affinity for the Indian arts and entertainment.

The daughter of Indian Immigrants-turned Washington bureaucrats from Calcutta (Kolkata, as it is known in their homeland), she grew up negotiating multiple selves: One who attended an Indian Language School that her father founded in Washington DC and actively learned Indian classical music and dance, and another, who avidly listened to hip hop, R&B, and American pop with her Black, Asian, Latin, and White peers. These influences culminate in her music, which reflects her own multi-faceted upbringing and identity. Basu produced two albums in India, The Unveiling (2006) and Crossing Over (2009), which received acclaim and a high demand for performances in India. Her song and music video "Maahiya" topped Indian music charts in the Indian pop category and received Bestseller status. Thereafter, she performed across India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States at various venues including the Kennedy Center, Annenberg Center, and Embassy of India. Among her awards include two Homewood Arts Certificates in Music and Dance; Completion of "Ranga Pravesham" in Indian Classical Dance by Nrityalaya Academy, and arts awards from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and Association for Performing Arts Presenters.

A true polymath, Rimi currently works at the intersection of business, data, neuroscience, and the arts to create change within organizations and individuals. She started her career as a neuroscience author at Johns Hopkins U, before deciding she wanted to channel her passions in psychology to help organizations and pursued her MBA at INSEAD in France. In between, she completed an original music album and toured India, Turkey, and the USA as a musician. As an Indian-American woman who often felt out of place growing up in the USA, she is passionate about helping workplaces thrive through understanding diversity. She has devoted her life to creating unique learning experiences that combine the arts, technology, and psychology . She has worked with companies like Cisco, Groupon, and NYU to create lasting change in employee wellness and culture. She has also published original thought leadership on topics of diversity and inclusion in Forbes and Entrepreneur.






Dance of Kali

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July 1, 2015


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