Acting and Directing

BW picOnstage for theater and in her own musicals, Priya brings forth various dimensions of her personality, dance training, voice modulation, stage presence and emotive experience of many years. Her keen sense of communication with live audiences thanks to dance, gives her an added edge in effortless presentations. From comedy to tragedy, Priya can portray eclectic characters as part of simple or complex plots.

For her, acting has been enmeshed with dance as the two often go together. She has helped children & youth take the stage at Prithvi, Bhaidas, Rangsharda, Sophia Bhabha & other prominent auditoria in Mumbai India.




Check out the vignette below of soon-to-come web series “Reading Carteret” that focuses on the significance of Radiology in our medical world.  In this, Priya plays the lead character of the brilliant- but opinionated & fiery, Head of Department of Radiology at a rural hospital in NC, Dr. Maira Darwish. This snippet gives a trenchant impression about the characters of Dr. Darwish and Proctor, seen here locked in a battle of wits. Directed & written by Chris Hobson, filmed by the Award-winning Josh Woll, and produced by the American College of Radiology.

One of her past full scale presentation was in the cameo role of “Nisha”- a firebrand elite socialite in Madhu Rai’s famous controversial Indo-English play set in urban India, ‘The Terrace’. Staged at popular auditoria in New Zealand, Priya’s charecterization of the lead protagonist brought her much acclaim within the Indian & extended community of the Greater Auckland region.

Prayas staged The Terrace, a contemporary Indian play in English, over three nights in October 2007. Prayas broke away from the folk theatre genre to explore a modern format. The play is set in a rich Indian city milieu and the characters are people at a party who unearth hidden ambitions, intentions, foul play and affairs between layers of gin and tonic … and some surprises too. The Terrace is a path breaking play written by Gujarati playwright Madhu Rye. It exposes emotional vicissitudes; a story of meaningful yet forbidden relationships. The original Gujarati play was staged in the early 1970s in Ahmedabad, Western India. It was later adapted in Hindi and successfully staged at the famous Prithivi Theatre in Bombay.Indian Performing Arts & Dance- Cary MORRISVILLE Raleigh Durham; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

Here is a snippet of what audiences & the media said :


Acclaim for Priya’s histrionics in the Indian Newslink, Auckland

What a privilege to see you perform again, Priya. I’ve always been excited about being behind-the-scenes in your dance shows, but this time, with your character portrayed in The Terrace, you just blew me away with another revelation of your attributes. How lucky that I got to catch you whilst in Auckland in a superb brilliant role that you did full justice to. The play was 2.5 hours of solid entertainment!…I loved all the characters although I must say the end left me very, very disconcerted. Love Indian theatre !! thanks….you’ve introduced me to both this and Bollywood, and they’re both remarkable in their own right. I love the beauty and color of India !”- Kate Kelly- artistic creator/ stage & dance associate

I was impressed with your histrionics, Priya. I hope this means you will be able to assist us in training the children towards their annual school play this December and also hopefully incorporate speech and drama in your lessons from next year- School Principal, Global Indian International School.

Article in Indian Newslink New Zealand

priya bollywood play, bollywood acting, raleigh, durham, cary, bollywood dancer, north carolina

Stunning performance Priya ! Thank you for an evening of brilliant acting.You looked ravishing and held us captive. Take care and see you soon when my daughter and friends start learning dance from you – Cookie Naidoo- Parent of dancing/acting young girls in Priya’s troupe.

Priya, that was absolutely riveting! Your memorizing skills and public speaking abilities just enhance your intelligence with which you played ‘Nisha’. Once again, top marks Priya! – you’ll make it to the best business speakers someday! and Thank you for a wonderful evening of entertainment-Nano Takai,Tutor and Course Co-ordinator at the Business School, Auckland

Wow, Priya, you’re a natural- you should keep it up, we couldn’t take our eyes off you- your dialogue delivery was crystal clear and you held our attention right to the end…we were 8 of us in the group…almost all of us enjoyed the acting, (yours especially) Despite the English adaptation of the original script, the Indian humor went over our heads…..but overall, it was a good evening….showed us a side of Indian society that we otherwise wouldn’t have known existed – Karl Hacker, Colleague, Space Dome Technologies, Auckland.

BOLLYWOOD DANCE AT MORRISVILLE AND CARY NC; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

I was caught in between my girls as they tried to translate the play to my parents ( who couldn’t understand a word, although they do watch the ‘Kumars’ on TV avidly!)  But we all enjoyed Priya’s acting skills immensely and kept on asking “how did she memorize all those lines!”  Lots of verbosity , more suited for seasoned players.  Must be biased here though when I say that Priya’s performance came close to a professional caliber and Kanchan’s too (Harshad Shah). I need to watch it again with a clear head to make my own deductions on what the playwright wanted us to believe. I think it was good, even though very ambitious-  Dennis Hyde, Managing Director, Space Dome Films Ltd, Auckland

Priya, you were real..genuine..lot of feeling…no doubt about that! –Avalon and Nicole (youth students) 

Other audience members : “Must’ve been hard to keep that intensity going- requires so much energy…’‘What a fantastic performance-and on opening night too!’  “Excellent job’‘ Well done’‘“You rocked’ ‘Priya, you made me cry!” “There was stone death silence when you delivered your fiery monologue..we were so caught up in the unbridled emotion welling from your heart” ‘Realism extraordinaire!’ 

Prayas’ production “The Terrace ” played to packed houses all season in 2007-8 at The Performing Arts Center and at Auckland Girls Grammar School Theater, New Zealand.BOLLYWOOD DANCE AT MORRISVILLE AND CARY NC; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

ATLANTA, USA 2009-2010

Priya has staged full length musicals for children and teens in Mumbai since the 90’s. More recently, a comedy scripted and directed by her “Love Mera Hit Hit” –  was staged as part of  the dinner theater at the Annual “Diwali Dhamaka” Ball for the Indian Friends Meetup Group, Atlanta’s biggest Indian social community. Along with them, members of Priya’s classes at Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple and Gwinnett County Parks & Recreations also performed in this hilarious comedy scripted by her. Priya played a cameo of a flamboyant dance tutor who coaches a novice learner how to dance in order to win the love of his dreams. With several Bollywood routines, acting and humorous dialogue, her production played to packed and appreciative audiences at three different destinations in Georgia from 2009 to 2010.

BOLLYWOOD DANCE AT MORRISVILLE AND CARY NC; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

Indian Performing Arts & Dance- Cary Raleigh Durham MORRISVILLE; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

Audience’s Reactions:

Diwali was truly amazing this year. The Indian Friends MeetUp Group did an excellent job arranging an incredible evening filled with awesome shows, performers and more. It was non stop action from start to finish… The place was packed. Tickets were sold out in advance…. The highlight of the evening was a BOLLYWOOD STYLE show choreographed by Priya Chellani of Indigo Dance. It was very impressive! Absolutely incredible! I couldnt get over the number of Dance scenes and well choreographed pieces. They must have been preparing since March to memorize all that! Wow! For me it was as if Bollywood had come to life right before my very eyes. All involved did a fantastic job. Members from Atlanta’s Bellydance Community also had major dance roles in the purely Bollywood style routines. There was very little “crossover.” Awesome job! The plot was a dance teacher tries to teach a 1st time dance student some moves. He’s terrible at it but soon learns. But that’s not all…as with every Bollywood Film there were twists and turns and all sorts of drama accompanied by fabulous dance scenes and costume changes. If anything it showed the capability of Priya Chellani who put this enormous act together. If you can get a hold of the videos then do. Im putting together a montage soon and will post a link to it on Raqs Atlanta. Big thanks to the IFMG for being so welcoming…And mega zaghareets to Priya for putting the fine touch on the event ! It was incredible. *Priya’s picture is on our Raqs Atlanta page cover. More videos and albums from the show will post Friday.”-Andinha Atughone, RAQS ATLANTA Event Co-ordinator & Dance Journalist

Absolutely brilliant job by everybody…., dance show by Priya and group, …… everybody did their jobs so well and ofcourse such a great night was the outcome. Great and brilliant show, I know we all clapped very hard after the dance show”.-Ramji IFMG 

Priya did an awesome job of training our group for our Diwali show organized in Atlanta. Priya contributed in almost every aspect of the whole dance performanc. At the end, she did deliver outstanding performers in the show and the crowd simply loved it…”--Selva Arunachalam

Indian Performing Arts & Dance- Cary Raleigh Durham; BOLLYWOOD DANCE AT MORRISVILLE AND CARY NC; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

Wow, what a party! The shows, skits, presentation, everything was simply wonderful and engaging. The dancers impressed the heck out of me. Where do I sign up for the class? I’ve known the group for some time and they are talented, caring and genuine people quite capable of creating the “wow” factor!”-Syed,Group member IFMG

Indian Performing Arts & Dance- Cary Raleigh Durham MORRISVILLE; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

I enjoyed all the dances you choreographed – in particular I was floored at how good Selva has gotten at dancing under your tutelage.  Take care and saal mubarak.” –Anand Dave

Thanks for everything. Really enjoyed the experience!”-Tiffiney, Florida, 2010

All the very best! Great time, great outcome! … Congratulations.”-Vijay Gopalakrishnan, IFMG

Truly, words cannot describe our depth of thanks for your unfailing devotion to this production, Priya. From the first spark of our idea to the full flower of our efforts, you have supported us all with your energy, talent, resources and professionalism. We have become stronger dancers and more creative people because of you” –BJ Barrett:  (Bellydancer at RAQS Atlanta /Bollywood student), Atlanta 2009

 Hi Priya, wonderful job as always! It was very little time to have been with you, but even in that while, you have gone into the depth of my heart. May you always have the best. Atlanta 2009 -Shree Vora (Makeup artist & Hairstylist for team IndigoIndian Performing Arts & Dance- Cary Raleigh Durham; BOLLYWOOD DANCE AT MORRISVILLE AND CARY NC; Indian dance school in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, RTP NC

Kudos to all the hard work the organizers and participants put in- impressive fare! – Atlanta 2009, Vijay N. IFMG 

 Priya, thanks for the highly entertaining musical your team put up at our networking meet over the weekend. Everyone is still raving about it and we all think its a good idea to bring you back here to South GA for those of us who want more! You are a great dancer and an even better crowd motivator! Thanks and we hope you and your entire team enjoyed your stay at the Hampton.-Prenita Alimchandani, Hotel Hampton Inn, GA, 2010 

Priya, thank you once again for this selfless piece of art you and your team created. Please accept our gratitude for your services rendered to our community through your dance portrayals and the certificates a small token for each of your team members for this well co-ordinated effort.” –Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple, Atlanta 2010

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