Celebrating Magnificence – Neelanthi Vadivel – Artistic Director Hoa Hele Retreats Division

An 11 year veteran Performer and Artistic Director for Cirque du Soleil, Neelanthi Vadivel (Neela) has freshly arrived on island to create a new division of Still & Moving Center: Hoa Hele Retreats.

Hoa = friend; Hele = to travel.  

As your travelling companion, Hoa Hele Retreats will accompany both local and international students to meet and experience mindful movement arts.

Having been on the road herself for over 2 decades, Neela has access to a wealth of international movement artists, teachers and trainers to share at Still & Moving, as fully inclusive retreats and local trainings.

In this vein, Hoa Hele opened this week with an Aerial Teacher Training, featuring Neela’s Cirque du Soleil colleague, Alexandra Apjarova.

Though Neela grew up with the circus in her backyard in Montreal, Canada, home of the world famous Cirque Du Soleil, it was not until Cirque offered serious dance roles that her interest was sparked. When offered a role on the show Dralion, she jumped in without hesitating and continued with the company through her transition to directing entire Cirque productions.

Neela was drawn to the multi-dimensional nature of Cirque Du Soleil  shows, with artists of every ilk, from the world over, collaborating to create a unique experience. She also appreciated the original music scores, fantastic costumes, compelling storylines, and the chance to travel extensively.

About her childhood, Neela recalls: “I have a distinct memory of deciding to lead a production of Giselle with my classmates at the ripe age of 11 years old. The ultimate ‘bossy pants’, I had a plan and clear vision of the end product, and would brook no deviation from my cast members. In a fit of brutal honesty, I reduced one of my friends to tears… mutiny ensued and the production fell apart… In that moment, I learned that the best-laid plans are all well and good, but influence and compassion are also essential tools for a leader.”

After leading 3 world-renowned Cirque du Soleil productions to over 40 countries, directing collections of truly unique individuals, Neela thinks of herself as a “clown wrangler”! Quite a people skill to bring to Still & Moving!

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