Emma Draves is an artist and emerging scholar who has worked with a variety of artists including Lookingglass Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Yo-Yo Ma/The Silk Road Project, & Mordine & Co. Trained in bharatanatyam under Hema Rajagopalan, Emma continues to perform with Natya Dance Theatre as well as create her own work as Kalpana/Draves Dance. Recent grant support has come from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Links Hall, and the Chicago Cultural Center. Emma has presented performance work in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Vancouver, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. 



For her Greenhouse Project, Emma Draves developed The Union of Duality, an investigation into ideas of the Temporal and Eternal, inspired by the Shiva/Shakti union and using movement vocabulary of Modern and Bharata Natyam.  Draves was mentored by Hema Rajagopalan, Artistic Director of Natya Dance Theatre.


Here research into Indian Dance in the Diaspora has been presented at New York University's Dance Across the Boards and the 2013 World Dance Alliance Conference. Also in 2013, Emma curated the three-weekend Braiding Rivers Festival as Artistic Associate of Links Hall, bringing a together a number of contemporary Indian dance practitioners to present work and engage in important discussions on the evolution of multi-cultural communities. Emma serves as adjunct faculty at Carthage College, Columbia College Chicago, and has lectured at several other universities.