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Indian Classical Dance and World Fusion Music
Sun, April 23, 2017, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT
A Special evening with Indian Dance and Live opening performance by Wahh World Fusion Band. Nrithya Milana presenting four greatest Dance styles from India.
Tara Priyadarshini Bikkasani. -Bharathanatyam-Tampa,FL
Tara Priyadarshini Bikkasani is a professional Bharathanatyam dancer. She mastered her intricacies of Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of Nrithya Choodamani Smt.Krishnaveni Lakshnam of Kalakshetra ,Smt.Uma Sundaram, and Smt.Uma Rao of Kalakshetra, Chennai, India. Tara also had the privilege of learning Abhinayam from Padma Shri. Dr.Nataraja Ramakrishna and Smt.Saride Manikyamma who is a legendary exponent of “Temple Dance form” from Hyderabad, India.
Tara has been the center of attention of media and Connoisseurs of Art by virtue of several hundreds of performances in India and abroad. The schedule she keeps is a testimony of her outstanding calibre and total commitment to her chosen field. She has remarkable appearances at important National and International Dance Festivals.
Tara has gotten an invitation from several universities like Purdue, South Bend, Indianapolis, and other midwest schools to conduct workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and performances. Tara also taught at University of Florida in Gainesville for a few semesters. Tara runs “Rudram Dance Company”, which is a premier dance school where she teaches and trains students for performances. To her credit, several of her students had their Arangetram and continue to dance at the Rudram Company. Also to her credit, Tara has choreographed Ramayana, Krishnam Vande Jagat Guru, Dhasavatharam, and recently Draupadi. RUDRAM DANCE COMPANY - A professional Bharathanatyam dance company.
Shambhavi Dandekar-Kathak-San Francisco,CA
Where every movement is grace and poise incarnate …….
Shambhavi is the Indian classical Kathak dancer par excellence who has dazzled the world with her performances and choreography. Her institution Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak aka SISK has made its presence felt around the world with branches in India and USA, over 400 students and a staff of 10 teachers trained by Shambhavi.
Her forte is her pure traditional solo rendition which was nurtured from training with her own mother Guru Maneesha Sathe and from Tabla virtuoso Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. With her solid academic achievements– Bachelors in Commerce and two Masters in Dance as well as Diplomas in French and Sanskrit, she brings a unique vision to the dance style.Her solo performances and collaborative productions like Nritya Sangam, Pravahee, Strings n Beats have received great appreciation from critics, connoisseurs and audiences all over the world.
She has traversed international shores like Japan, China, Bahrain, Muscat, Canada, Australia and Singapore; needless to mention many reputed cities and venues in India. She has performed ‘Nritya Sangam’ in more than 60 cities of the United States, with Bharatanatyam exponent Parimal Phadke. She is known for her excellent rapport with audiences of all ages and of all nationalities. She is a member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO. ‘Singaar Mani’, ‘Nritya Ratna’, ‘Bharatashree’, ‘Kala Teertha’ are some of the prestigious titles awarded to her in India. She is also a proud recipient of ‘Pu La Deshpande Youth Award’. She is an A grade artist of Indian National Television. Her performances and interviews have been telecast on TV channels of USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore and India.
She has a vast experience of teaching at undergraduate and graduate level at various dance education institutions and universities in India including the Performing Arts Centers at Pune University and Bharati Vidyapeeth University. Her intellectual analysis of the form and content of Kathak clubbed with rigorous teaching regime has resulted in producing talented students who are making a mark on the scene of Kathak, as young professionals. She guides performers and students all over the world through workshops and master classes.
Aparupa Chetterjee - Odissi, Austin
A PhD in how Performing arts may be used in Int'l Development in developing nations, a disciple of Guru Ratikant and Sujata Mohapatra, and a former repertory of Odisha’s 'Srjan', my dance background started off at an early age of seven. I had brought Odissi to Texas in 2007 when I founded the Int'l Institute for Culture and Performing Arts development (IICPD) at Texas A&M University, as the curator and organiser of the North American Odissi Convention. For past 20 years,I have been studying and performing the nuances of technique, choreography and aesthetics in Odissi. I have performed at numerous prestigious festivals of India, Bangladesh, US and abroad. Among national and international awards, I had received the prestigious Regents Fellowship, Indo-American Arts council grants, National Scholarship from Govt of India, Sur Sansad Mumbai's Singar Mani, Padmavati Pratibha Samman, Calcutta University Scholarship, etc. Solo and group performances were featured for Arts council of Houston, Dancing with the Stars on USA'S ABC, Tarang- Disney's best 3D Film, etc. I have guest lectured at several dance departments and arts initiatives. I am currently the Artistic Director of the Texas based non-profit 'ODC'- Odissi Dance Company, recently featured for season 10 of America's Got Talent.
Smitha Rajan - Mohiniattam , St. Louis
Smitha Rajan started her training in dance at her maternal grandparent’s residence inTripunithura off Kochi. Blessed with the perfect ambiance of dance and music, for young Smitha, learning dance was something that was as natural as learning to speak in her mother tongue. Smitha’s aunt, Kala Vijayan (a recipient of the Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award for Mohiniyattam) was the first person to watch the talent in young Smitha. During a master class at her grand parent’s institution, Kerala Kalalayam in Tripunithura, her aunt saw little Smitha performing a full Cholkettu (the first item in a typical Mohiniyattam repertoire) along with the senior students. From then Guru Kala Vijayan started training her in Bharatanatyam and Smitha did her Arangetram in Bharatanatyam at the age of 4. Her mother, Guru Sreedevi Rajan, taught Smitha her first lessons in Mohiniyattam and Smitha performed her Arangetram in Mohiniyattam at the age of 6. She later mastered in Mohiniyattam from her legendary grand mother. Her grand father, Guru Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, taught her Kathakali and fine-tuned her Mukhajabhinaya (facial expressions). Smitha has also undergone training in Classical Carnatic Music under Professor Kalyanasundaram. She taught at the parent institution Kerala Kalalayam from 1983 at the age of 14 which she continued till 1990. She turned professional dancer at the age of 12 and had accompanied her grand mother, her mother, and her aunt all over India and abroad to numerous venues during the pursuit of popularizing Mohiniyattam in 1980. She was the leading performer of Kerala Kalalayam from 1979 to 1992. She has assisted her mother, grandmother and her aunt in teaching Mohiniyattam to a number of today’s Mohiniyattam performers. She is recognized in the field of Mohiniyattam as the complete essence of her grandmother’s teachings and considered the flagship student and performer of the Mohiniyattam style which Guru Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma had enhanced and popularized from the teachings at Kalamandalam. Today, Smitha lives in St. Louis, Missouri, along with her family and is running the institution Nrithyakshetra “Temple of Dance” as a branch of the institution Guru Sreedevi Rajan had started at Kochi, in association with the parent institution Kerala Kalalayam.
Wahh World Fusion Band - East Meets West
'Best of the Bay' 2016 winner WAHH World Fusion Band is a unique 'East Meets West' World Fusion Band that is based out of the Tampa Bay area. We have all original music that features contemporary style Music with Indian and Eastern Influences. Uniquely captivating and fully dynamic 'Vocal Percussion' and Indian Raga flavors weave with Rock, Jazz and Funk Music to create our unique and one-of-a-kind sound. We also feature prominent, world-touring musicians and optional Kathak/Bollywood Dancers in our band who have international performing experience as well as experience performing with high profile musicians around the World to offer a more complete experience for the audiences. Our Band is high-energy, audience interactive and totally unique. We have performed for many Festivals and Public Concerts as well as well-known venues such as the prestigious 'House of Blues' and 'The Mint' in L.A, California.
At home in the Tampa Bay Area, we have performed at the prestigious Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa Bay's famous 'Gasparilla Music Fest', WMNF's Tropical Heatwave Festival 2014 and 2015 , the 2015 'Lights on Tampa Bay' event (where our music was exclusively featured on the television commercial ads for the event), India Festivals , Large Corporate Events and numerous other public and private events that have given us the opportunity to perform for all kinds of people in all kinds of settings.
Our first CD, 'Liberation' debuted at #8 in the ' Top 10' in just the first week on WMNF's 88.5 Radio.
We believe we have a distinct global appeal and far-reaching ability to grow and bring more people together- across cultures, through the power of Music which is one of our aims.