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Downtown Dance Festival

Natya Academy (Manipuri)
Mandakini Trivedi (Mohini Attam)
Lakshmi Sriraman & Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Bharatanatyam)
Bageshree Vaze (Kathak)
Rukmini Vijayakumar (Bharatanatyam/Contemporary)

Natya Academy

Natya Academy

Natya Academy is a premier institution of Indian dance and music in North Carolina. The work presented at the festival is choreographed by guest choreographer and visiting faculty Sanjib Bhattacharya, a disciple of Guru Bipin Singh, Padmashree Darshana Jhaveri and Smt. Kalavati Devi. He is a double recipient of the prestigious President’s Award in India. The group features Jagannath Lairenjam, Rinku Bhattacharya Das and dancers trained at Natya Academy. Rinku teaches Manipuri and Kathak at Natya Academy. She studied Manipuri from Guru Bipin Singh and Kalavati Devi. Jagannath Lairenjam, a disciple of Guru Bipin Singh based in New York, specializes in Pung Cholom (the dance with the Manipuri drum called Pung).
Mandakini Trivedi

Mandakini Trivedi

Mandakini Trivedi is a unique dance personality whose quest for truth has taken her to frontiers beyond the form. A Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Mandakini has trained in Mohini Attam under Dr. Smt. Kanak Rele. She is an accomplished performer, teacher and choreographer and is involved in various aspects of dance education and expression. As the Creative Head of the Nateshvari Dance gurkul she is working towards reviving the yogic traditions in Indian dance and creating awareness about the approach to Indian dance as means of self evolution. She has authored 2 books The Yoga Of Indian Dance and Sutras On Dance. She owes her vision and approach to her spiritual mentor Swami Shri Harish Madhukar.

Lakshmi Sriraman & Aniruddhan Vasudevan

Lakshmi Sriraman & Aniruddhan Vasudevan

Lakshmi Sriraman is a Bharatanatyam performer based in Lexington, KY, where she runs the Shree School of Dance. Her initial training was with Sujatha Ramalingam (Chennai), followed by her work with Padmaja Kelam in Atlanta. Lakshmi is currently studying with Priyadarshini Govind, a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam. She trains in nattuvangam with Bhagavatulu Sitarama Sharma.

Aniruddhan Vasudevan is a performer, writer and activist from Chennai, India. He is a student of the legendary performer and teacher, Chitra Visweswaran. Aniruddhan's initial training in dance happened in Kumbakonam with Kuttalam M Selvam of the Kattumannar Kovil school of Bharatanatyam. As an activist, his work is mainly in organizing support and advocacy services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Bageshree Vaze

Bageshree Vaze

Bageshree Vaze is a multi-talented Indo-Canadian artist - a dancer, choreographer and musician. Raised in St. John's, Newfoundland, Bageshree initially trained in Bharathanatyam, and studied vocal music with her father. She later trained in Kathak dance with Jai Kishan Maharaj (New Delhi), and studied vocal music with the renowned Veena Sahasrabuddhe. Bageshree has two CDs to her credit, including Tarana, a breakthrough album of music for Indian dance. In 2010, she performed as a solo artist in Pt. Birju Maharaj's 'Vasantotsav' Kathak festival in New Delhi. She recently premiered a contemporary Kathak choreography titled 'Avatar (9)' in Toronto, and is currently working on a third CD.

Rukmini Vijayakumar

Rukmini Vijayakumar

Rukmini Vijayakumar has been dancing for over 20 years. She pursued an intense study of Bharatanatyam under Gurus Narmada, Padmini Rao and Sundari Santhanam since the age of 8. She performs extensively as a Bharatanatyam soloist. She graduated with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet from the Boston Conservatory in 2008.  She has studied acting at the NYFA and the Ivana Chubbuck Studios in LA. She has her own dance company, Raadha Kalpa, where she teaches and choreographs new work. She is a certified mat power pilates instructor and is currently pursuing her fitness training certification from UCLA. She is currently pursuing a graduate program in Bharatanatyam at Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam’s Shastra University.

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