Welcome to my magical world!
Guided by the elements, Shri Rajuli dances with a sprit that is rooted and ancient. Her focus is primal energy. With every dance ritual Rajuli hopes to reconnect with, and have a greater understanding of, her earth, her soul, and her ancestors. Over time, a natural spiral of movement influences from around the world blossomed her ever evolving Temple Tribal Fusion.
Shri Rajul has performed everywhere from Tribal Fest and Baxtalo Drom at Club Amnesia in California, to the Schubert Theatre in Boston, Ma. She performs at private party rituals to showcases at local theaters, but her favorite venue is in the woods with earth under foot, fire, live music, trees, and friends.
Rajuli's is an 8 Elements Initiate. Her movement fusion encapsulates elements of Indian folk, Ballet, Jazz, African, Haitian, Flamenco, Gothic, Butoh, Modern, and most importantly, Intuition.
My name is Rajuli Khetarpal, I am an active movement and installation artist from Boston, who has received a BFA with Distinction from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has performed across America. My degree is in Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM), where I focused on event production, movement art, installation and sculpture and discovered the power of artistic collaboration.
My interest in ritual, sacred dance, altars and adornment, derives from my upbringing in a Indian, primarily Hindu, household. My father was among the first wave of Indians to come over in the 1960’s and my grandfather founded the India Association of Greater Boston. Therefore, many religious and cultural events were held by my family. Keeping heritage alive played an active role in my home. I began performing Indian dance at the age of five, and every holiday would entail an elaborate choreography that I would practice and perform with my family. I have memories of all my aunties bustling around the house preparing ornate homemade altars: brightly colored, sparkling, complete with marigolds and tinfoil lined thali’s (trays). My home was often flooded with the sounds of community member drumming and chanting in a language I did not understand, and when it was time to pray at the altar I would go through motions, but not understand the meaning behind them. Why was the same recipe used to create the dia flame (ritual candles), why marigolds?, or why do you circle the thali of dias three times clockwise? It was this lack of understanding that made me curious about ritual and sparked a lifelong exploration into the subject.
At age fifteen I discovered the the art of Tribal Belly Dance. As a dancer I found it imperative to study the history and technique of Ruth st Denis and Martha Graham in addition to many forms of traditional belly dance. My dance fuses influences of Indian Folk, Afro-Haitian, Bhutto, Flamenco, Balanisian, Odissi, Kathak, Native American and Polynesian dance forms. I have been lucky enough to travel around the country and even live for extended periods of time to study with the masters of Tribal Belly Dance. I am Eight Elements Initiation certified under the instruction of Rachel Brice, and have worked intimately with Naga Sita, one of the original Temple Tribal belly dancers of the world. I have also taken many intensives with Odissi and Rajasthani dancer Colleena Shakti, Fusion Belly Dancer Zoe Jakes, 1920’s dance hall enthusiast Mardi Love, Sharon Kihara, Ashley Lopez, Sedona Soulfire, Kami Liddle, Amar Gamal, Zaphira, Melina Pavalata, Johara of Boston, and Sarah Jezebel Wood (to name a few of the most influential of my dance Instructors.)
SIM and my studies at Massachusetts College of Art have given me an appreciation for the power of light, and I learned how work with a theatrical lighting grid and use it to enhance my projects. All objects, including people, in a given space would take on new dimension with a dance of colored shadow. I hope to harness the lighting understanding of artist like Anila Quayym Agha, Yayoi Kusama, and Mihoko Ogaki’s. Each creates light sculptures that possess the magic and power to transform a space with one object. My altars and installations will look to artist Laurie Beth Zuckerman, Walter Mcconnell, and Browyn Berman, Lisa Waud, Suzan Drummen, Diana Al-Hadid and Tom Price, who all demonstrate an appreciation for nature and sacred geometric formation. Many of my influences are artist who have bridged the gap between sculpture, body and performance, such as Judy Chicago, Joan Jonas, Pipilotti Rist, Rebecca Horn, Yvonne Rainer, Matthew Barney, Hannah Wilke, and my professor from MassArt Dawn Kramer.
Being a spiritual dancer and a new mother, the sacred feminine has taken on deeper significance for me. Being pregnant and transitioning from maiden to mother was the most transformative moment of my life. This metamorphosis inspired my most recent show, Immaculate Portal, held at Out of the Blue Two Gallery in Cambridge, MA. For the show, I created three six-foot tall flower petals that were influenced by the sacred yoni. These adorned an intricate altar-installation representing many forms of the sacred feminine, showcasing especially maternal figures of Durga, Gaia and the Virgin Mary. Each performer created a piece based on their experience with the concepts of mother and the sacred feminine. This project demonstrated that the body is a portal of creation. Shortly after the show I created my finest work of art to date, my daughter, Kalina Spiral Fahey.
Rajuli Khetarpal is a professional Tribal Belly Dancer, a crafts woman and artist, a licensed massage therapist in MA and a new mother.
- Melina Daughters of Rhea
- Naga Sita
- The lovley ladies of the Indego:
- (Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Mardi Love)
- Kamie Liddle
- Colleena Shakti
- Zafira Dance Company
- Amar Gamal
- Petite Jamilla
- Johara of Boston
- Vadalna of Boston
- The Boston Hoop Troop
- Bevin Victoria
- Sarah Jezabel Wood
- Jean Appolon
- Ashley Lopez