Poorna Swami is an independent choreographer, dancer, and writer.
She writes on arts, culture, literature, and politics. Her essays, criticism, and reportage have appeared in The Caravan, Open, Mint-Lounge, The Hindu BLink, and Words Without Borders, among other publications. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Indiana Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Prelude. Between 2015-2017 Poorna served as the India Editor-at-large for the international online quarterly, Asymptote, and co-curated the journal's first special feature on Indian language poetry in English translation. In 2018, Poorna was awarded the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize for young Indian poets.
At the age of seven, Poorna began training in the classical Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam, before extending her training to contemporary dance and post-modern techniques. Her choreographic works frequently cross disciplines and reflect her interest in converging formal investigations with conceptual concerns. Poorna has performed her choreography in and around New York City, at the Wassaic Project Festival, Theater for the New City, and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Her most recent works have shown in different festivals, galleries and performance spaces around India, such 1 Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery, Chatterjee & Lal, G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture and Serendipity Arts Festival. For the 2017 edition of the Attakkalari India Biennial, Poorna served as the editor of Attakkalari’s online dance magazine, Ligament, and facilitated the festival’s Writing on Dance Laboratory. She was a recipient of the 2018 danceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz - Vienna International Dance Festival.
Poorna holds a BA, summa cum laude (highest honours), in Dance-Theatre and English from Mount Holyoke College (USA). She claims to live in Bangalore, though is often absconding.