Aparna Roli Nigam


Instructor - Bharatanatyam, Navanritya & Loknritya


Aparna Roli Nigam, is a classically trained dancer in Bharatanatyam. She has been studying dance under Guru Nandini Mandal since 1999. Aparna, fondly referred to as Roli Didi by the students at the Academy, is the first ever student of Nandanik to complete her Arangetram in 2005. She also underwent classical dance training with Guru Sonal Mansingh, Guru Pavitra Bhat, Guru Sanjib Bhattacharya, Guru Kalamandalam Venkit, Guru Sucharita Sharma, Guru Priyadarsini Govind, and Sukalyan Bhattacharya. She also expanded her dance repertoire over the years to include many other styles from the East and the West.

Aparna graduated from the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she was a member of the University's Dance Ensemble. During her time as a dancer and choreographer in Kentucky, Aparna produced a record number of pieces and went on to receive several awards for her exceptional choreography and outstanding contributions to dance.

Since returning to Pittsburgh, Aparna has been an active member of the dance community having collaborated with Silk Screen, Modern Formations Art Gallery, Hakan Dance, Amethyst's Pittsburgh Belly Dance, and many more. Aparna has been a member of the non-profit organization Nandanik Dance Troupe since 2011 and served as President in 2014-15. As a lead dancer in several Nandanik productions, including Chitrangada, Card Country, and Prakriti, she has excelled in both the classical and contemporary dance forms. She has also choreographed and performed for Pittsburgh festivals such as Ugadi, Holi, Diwali, Three Rivers Regatta, International Folk Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, India Independence Day Celebration, and nationally in North Carolina, New Jersey, and Baltimore.

For more than a decade Aparna has been teaching the Bharatanatyam, Navanritya, and Loknritya styles of dance at the Academy. Aparna's countless hours of teaching, dancing, and choreography for Nandanik is testament to her selfless love and devotion for dance. In 2015 she received the 'Service and Excellence' award from the Academy for her outstanding contribution as an Instructor at Nandanik.