Preeti Vinayak, great grand-daughter of the famous Andavan Pitchai and professional Bharatanatyam dancer in Atlanta, is a fourth generation performing artist in her family. Preeti was initiated into the art of Bharatanatyam by Gurus. Shri Narasimhachari and Smt. Vasanthalakshmi and had her intensive training in Bharatanatyam at their institution, "Kala Samarpana".
Preeti’s area of expertise lies in fast paced footwork, intense facial expressions especially the nava rasas (nine basic emotions), and the art of Nattuvangam (verbal incantations of the rhythmical patterns of footwork). For the above she has received the rarest of reviews from the harshest of critics in India and the U.S. She has performed at major Cultural Organizations in India during the December Dance Festival. Her notable performances have been at Sri Kapali Fine Arts, Indian Fine Arts,Nungambakkam Cultural Academy, Kartik Fine Arts, Bharat Kalachar and many more.
Preeti was specially invited to perform for the Cultural Secretary of France, Jack Lang, at the Alliance D’Francaise. In 1992 she was rated at one of the top ten dancers in South India by the Indian Fine Arts Academy. Preeti’s strong command over rhythm and her flawless footwork have captivated audiences everywhere.
Preeti moved to the United States in 1993, and obtained a Master of Science degree in Neuro-endocrinology. She has been a star performer every semester at The Florida State University and special productions have been commissioned by them as well. She frequently gives Master Classes at the School of Dance, The Florida State University. In addition, Preeti represented The Florida State University at the International Conferences of Musicians and Dancers held at Wakulla Springs, Florida in 1994. Preeti gave the inaugural concert at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta for the Mahakumbhabhishekam.
Every year she puts forth a unique production; some which have been solo thematic shows and others large group collaborations. “Miya”, "Om Pranava Shabdam" and "Durga" were specially commissioned by The Florida State University and debuted to a packed house in Tallahassee, Florida.
“Tapasya”, was choreographed and directed by Preeti for Ekal Vidyalaya. The tickets to this show sold out weeks in advance and went on to raise funds to create more than 100 schools in rural India. In 2012, “Chapters of her life,” debuted to a full house and generated a sizable amount of money for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital.
Recently, Preeti and her daughter, Nethra Valli Shah, debuted their duet “The Curious Curators” at the prestigious Opperman Music Hall, in FSU.
Besides being an accomplished dancer, Preeti is also a gifted vocalist. She received her initial classical training in Carnatic Music from Shri. Seerghazhi Jayaraman. She later continued her training under the famous legend, Shri. D.K. Jayaraman. Preeti has to her credit an album titled "Omkar" and “Soothing Embers”, both composed by her mother, Smt. Nalini Vinayak.
This rare combination of choreographer, singer and nattuvangist have helped Preeti in directing several successful productions and in making complete artists out of her students.
Preeti added the title of a published author in 2017. Her first book titled “Just Like That” is an anthology of poems published by Next Century Publishing.
In 1993, Preeti founded Natyam Arts Academy where she imparts training to students of all ages. She has conducted concerts for her students and their Arangetram or the debut performances. Preeti resides in Dunwoody with her children Nethra and Rushab.