Sa Ni Dha Pa Live – Sur Sangam in Your Living Room: A new music series that aims to brighten your day!

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Sa Ni Dha Pa Live – Sur Sangam in Your Living Room: A new music series that aims to brighten your day!

Sa Ni Dha Pa Live - Sur Sangam in Your Living Room: A new music series that aims to brighten your day!By Raj Shah, Managing Editor, Desh-Videsh

In less than two weeks, Desh Videsh Media Group and Florida Fine arts came together to create a music series to alleviate some of anxiety and stress caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Sa Ni Dha Pa Live – Sur Sangam in Your Living room, a web-based music series, is a true community project, and we are grateful for the support from volunteers and viewers alike.

The weekly performances include diverse Indian music genres such as Hindustani Classical, Semi-Classical, Bhajans, Ghazal and Gurmat Sangeet. Each week, the episode will each feature a different musician or a group of musicians presenting their vocal, instrumental or percussion talent.

The first episode aired on April 18, 2020, and was a big success. Two weeks later, Sa Ni Dha Pa Carnatic Live launched. Both programs serve as a platform for a diverse group of musicians and provide the community with some much-needed moments of joy.

If you missed any of the episodes from either show, please visit www.SaNiDhaPaLive.org to watch past performances.

Read below to learn more about the talented artists who performed in May 2020.


ARTISTS


Alka Jupudi, Playback Singer
Hindustani Classical/Semi Classical
Alka Jupudi is from Canton, Michigan. She has done playback singing for South Indian films along with singers like Hariharan, and she has rendered her voice for over 25 television serial title songs. She is a winner of the Telugu version of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa hosted by renowned playback singer S.P. Balasubramanyam. She also received the Best Female TV Singer Award in 2012 in India.

She is also an accomplished classical dancer. She trains chilren and adults in classical music and dance and gives voice lessons for those wishing to sing Bollywood music. She recently finished working on her original music video in Hindi and is waiting for the release.


Deepti Pappusetty, Sitar
Hindustani Classical/Semi Classical
Dr. Deepti Pappusetty began playing sitar at the age of seven. She got her training under the guidance of Basheer Ahmed Khan ji, disciple of Vilayat Khan ji. She has won several national-level competitions in India and received a scholarship covering her entire educational expenses until her high school studies by IFFCO organization. She played for Hyderabad B radio station and Doordarshan TV channel regularly in India. She gave several concerts in different parts of India. Deepti is an FAU alumnus, having received her Ph.D. in Computer Science. She currently works as a Software Engineer for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In Florida, she performed at events organized by FAU, PBIA and South Florida Hindu temples and also teaches Sitar. She thoroughly enjoys music, and she believes music has magic to be a great distraction from petty thoughts and bring happiness to you.


Sudhir Limaye, Tabla
Sudhir Limaye was born and raised in the culturally vibrant city of Pune, India. He received formal training in Delhi and Farukhabad gharana of tabla from Late Pandit Suresh Samant from Pune, India. Limaye is a versatile tabla player with the unique ability to accompany Hindustani classical, light Indian and fusion music formats. An active performer, he accompanies various Hindustani classical, semi classical and Bollywood artists who are visiting the United States. He has been actively collaborating with local Jazz artists in the area and was part of a “Metaphysical Jazz” ensemble that recently released a fusion album online called The Third Alignment.

A resident of Boca Raton, Florida, since 2001, he has not only been actively performing at various local events, but has also been teaching tabla for over 15 years in the area.


Dr. Monica Shah, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi Classical
Dr. Monica Shah is a well known Hindustani Classical and Semi-Classical singer from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She is a prominent disciple of Thumri Queen Dr. Girija Devi, who earned a Padma Vibhushan, and Surmani Dr. Pradipta Ganguli. Dr. Shah has a Ph.D in Music and was first in her class. She is the founder and director of Aradhana Sangeet Academy, where more than 200 students are training under her guidance.

Dr. Shah has performed in more than 1500 classical music and bhajan concerts. She has earned many awards including the Gujarat Gaurav Puraskar, coveted SURMANI, Sangeet Shiromani, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation award, Sangeet Ratna, among many others.

Her 30 classical, semi-classical, bhajan and jain stavans CDs are highly appreciated by music lovers worldwide. She has also written “Sangeet Aradhana” in 7 parts in English and Gujarati for students and music lovers alike.

Since 1980, Dr. Shah has been serving the music world with her melodious voice and gharana gayaki. Since 2005, she has been visiting the United States and Canada every year to conduct workshops, perform in concerts, and teach.


Mamta Yadav, Vocal
Hindustani/Gurmat Sangeet
Motivated by her mother’s passion for teaching her music, Mamta Yadav received a “Sangeet Prabhakar” in vocal music, tabla, and Kathak dance before the age of 16. Prior to moving to the West, she was a television anchor on Doordarshan TV and a host on All India Radio. While living in Scotland for over a decade, she sought to bring Indian Subcontinental music and arts to Scottish communities, working as a policy coordinator for Indian arts and culture, and serving on the Ethnic Minority Arts Committee and the Dance and Mime Committee of the Scottish Arts Council for several years. She has also given a large number of public performances as part of both solo and ensemble productions in virtually all the major theaters in Scotland, and in concerts in New York, New Jersey, and Oklahoma, where she currently lives. These have included opportunities to perform with Pandit Ravi Shankar, Allah Rakha, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Jagit Singh and Anup Jalota. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards by public bodies to bring Indian music, dances and performances to the public. Her career also includes two decades of teaching classical singing, harmonium, and tabla. In addition to music, she is a trained lawyer with an LL.B., and Masters degree in Oil and Gas Law from Oklahoma University. She loves writing and composing songs. In her spare time, she enjoys being a part of the vibrant South Asian community in Oklahoma and taking part in regular music evenings and competitions that keep excitement for Indian arts alive in the Midwest across different generations.


Rucha Muley Jambhekar, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical
Rucha is a Sangeet Upantya Visharad who started obtaining training in Hindustani classical vocal at the age of 7 from Shri Parulekar of Gwalior Gharana. She later took taalim of the Kirana Gharana Gayaki from Shri Appa Indurkar, a Ganda Bandh Shishya of Ustad Aamir Khan and was fortunate to get brief guidance from Shri Vijay Koparkar. She has been under the tutelage of Vidushi Arati Ankalikar for the past 10 years.

She recently recorded an original Marathi composition with Dr. Saleel Kulkarni, a well known music director. Rucha has performed at various places in the US and also had a successful India tour with six concerts in different cities.


Nisha Kulkarni, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Nisha Kulkarni began her Hindustani vocal training at five with Sri Manu Srivastava of Phoenix Gharana. She showed early promise and, at the age of 10, won the Swarganga Crescendo national competition in Atlanta for the age group 15 and under. Since then she has continued to learn from Manuji and has performed at many venues, including Pt. Kashinath Bodas Festival in Phoenix, Festival of Tabla in Los Angeles and Swarzhankar festival in India. She has completed her Visharad degree from the Indian Institute of Classical Music. She is a senior in high school. She is an advocate for educating and empowering women around the world, and is the president of She’s the First organization at her school. She researches honey bee neurology at Arizona State University.


Priya Dharma BondrePriya Dharma Bondre, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Priya Bondre is an accomplished Hindustani classical vocalist. She completed her Sangeet Visharad (B. Mus.) in India under the able guidance of Late Mrs Leela Khandekar. Most recently she has been a two time IndianRaga fellow in 2019 and 2015. Priya has previously given classical and semi-classical performances associated with DMIA, IPAP and MMKC. She enjoys singing semi-classical genres, Natyageets, abhangs in addition to the hindustani classical genre. She has been a part of several local music groups in Seattle and Kansas city. As an IndianRaga Fellow, she has been involved in several musical collaborations involving classical, semi-classical and fusion genres


Shankar RamanShankar Raman, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Shankar Raman is a 15 year-old sophomore at Corona del Sol High School in Chandler, Arizona. Shankar has been learning Hindustani classical music for 10 years under the tutelage of Shri. Manu Srivastava. He has also been learning Carnatic vocal music for 12 years from Sri. Syam Krishnan Pillai. Shankar also plays Western violin and tabla.

Shankar will be singing a Hindustani classical composition in Raag Jog.


Vaishnavi KondapalliVaishnavi Kondapalli, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Vaishnavi Kondapalli is a vocalist gifted with a silken voice. Her mother exposed her to all forms of Indian music and encouraged her to sing different genres. In her young formative years she sang Bhava geet in Hindi and Telugu . She sang regularly at All India Radio Hyderabad and Doordarshan Hyderabad. She won the All India Radio Light Music regional competition in 1997. She has received Carnatic Vocal Training under Sri Neti SriRama Sarma. Vaishnavi started learning Hindustani Classical Music from Smt Sangeeta Lahiri . She is currently studying Hindustani Vocal music under Vidushi Smt Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar. Apart from many stage performances, Vaishnavi also rendered her voice in private albums in India. Her album “Simply Love” from 2016 was featured as the “Top album of the week” on Musicindiaonline. She actively collaborates with musicians and is regularly featured in IndianRaga an independent music channel.


Mahadevan IyerMahadevan Iyer, Tabla
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Mahadevan Iyer (Tabla) is a sophomore in Mountain Pointe High School, Tempe, Arizona. He started learning Hindustani music from Shri Manu Srivastava at the age of six. At about he same time, he started learning Carnatic music from Shri Syama Krishanan Pillai and Tabla from Shri Shreyas Iyer. He has several performances to his credit in Hindustani, Carnatic and tabla. He is also a violinist and plays the Euphonium (Western classical). As a freshman in high school, he was selected for the Arizona Regional Honor Band in both instruments. Besides music, Mahadevan is passionate about football (NFL), video games, and basketball.


Srivatsan IyerSrivatsan Iyer, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Srivatsan Iyer (Vocal) is a freshman (Biochemistry) at Arizona State University. He started learning Hindustani music from Shri Manu Srivastava at the age of six. He has performed in the Kashinath Bodas Festival in Phoenix and the Swar Malhar Festivals in Nagpur and Pune. He has also performed in Mumbai and New Jersey. He is also a violinist and trombonist (Western classical). During his freshman year in high school, he was selected for the Arizona Regional Honor Band in both instruments. He has also been learning Carnatic music from Shri Syama Krishnan Pillai from the age of five. Three years ago, he began learning tabla from Shri Prafulla Athalye. Besides music, Srivatsan is passionate about reading and football (especially NFL).


Guru Sandhya Pandurangi & her StudentsGuru Sandhya Pandurangi & her Students, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semiclassical/Sugam Sangeeth

Guru Sandhya Pandurangi has her training under Pt. Manohar Poddar, Desciple of Pt. Basavaraja Rajguru, Mrs. Vijaya Bokil & Mr. Chandratre from Nasik (Maharashtra,
India)

since age 7 and currently is training under Living Legend Ustad Imrat Khan.. She is also an approved AIR Artist (Jalgaon, Nasik), Bombay Doordarshan Artist. She has accompanied several accomplished artists touring USA from India. Rendered several concerts in USA and in India, trained several students in USA and produced CDs and Cassettes.
Expertise: Hindustani Classical/Semiclassical/Sugam Sangeeth


Rishi ArmstrongRishi Armstrong, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Rishi Armstrong has been learning Indian Classical Hindustani vocals since the age of 4 from his mother and guru, Smt. Sujata Ghanekar, disciple of Padmabhushan Begum Parveen Sultana, and tabla since the age of 9 from Pandit Sanjay Deshpande. Rishi has also received training under Smt. Arati Ankalikar and Ustad Dilshad Khan. As a young talent, he won competitions in the Bay Area and around the United States, including the Satya Devi Memorial Trust, Maharastra Mandal Bay Area, and Swarganga Crescendo Mega-Final. Additionally, Rishi has won the IndianRaga Fellowship in 2013, 2016, and 2018 for classical vocals, tabla, and semi-classical vocals and fusion, respectively. Many of his featured projects on the platform have crossed 100,000 views. Rishi has also co-caught a UC Berkeley music lab course and performed at a Noon Concert. In 2017, he completed an India concert tour, performing in Pune and Mumbai, and had his official debut concert in 2018. Rishi is currently a full-tuition Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, majoring in Business Administration and Pre-medicine.


Makheer SinghMakheer Singh, Taus player
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Makheer Singh is a 14 year old Taus player, an instrument used initially in the Sikh Devotional music tradition known as Gurmat Sangeet, in the North Indian musical tradition. Makheer began learning the Taus at the young age of 8 years old from the renowned Taus player, Sandeep Singh. Being raised in the tradition of a vocal Hindustani classical musical household, Makheer began his musical journey at the age of four under the tutelage of his Grandfather, Kanwaljit Singh and Mother, Channi Kaur. He continues his vocal training from Harlove Singh. Makheer’s current Taus trainers are Sandeep Singh and renowned young violinist Raaginder Singh. He has won various international Gurmat Sangeet competitions and has performed at various international venues including the Washington D.C. (the US Capital), Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego, and various Raag Darbars in Maryland, Los Angeles, London, New Jersey, and San Francisco. Makheer is also a two time Indian Raga fellow. Makheer has learned over 50 raags in over 10 taals. He enjoys improvising and learning new raags from time to time.

About the Taus: Taus is a persian word which means “peacock.” Created by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, the Taus produces a sound similar to the bird it so fondly represents. The sound is produced with the combination of the bow and movement of the fingers across 20 frets on 4 main strings. The resonance on its 28-30 sympathetic strings is truly reverent and reminiscent of a call to the divine by the peacock.


Carnatic Edition


Mumbai Shri Shankaranarayanan, Mridangam
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical
Mumbai Shankaranarayanan began his training  under Guru Shri. Ramanathan. He continued his training under Karaikudi Shri R. Chandramouli of Shri Shanmukananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha.

He has performed widely in India as well as abroad accompanying well known musicians.  He has had the honor of performing at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of His Excellency President Shri. R. Venkataraman and at the Raj Bhavan, Mumbai in the presence of His Excellency Governor Shri. C. Subramanium accompanying Smt. Aruna Sairam.


Vignesh Shankarnarayana, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Vignesh Shankarnarayanan began learning vocal music at a tender age of five under Guru Smt. Vidya Harikrishna. Currently, he is also undergoing training under Shri Delhi P Sunderrajan. Born to a family of musicians, he is the son of  Mridangam Vidwan Mumbai Shri. Shankaranarayanan. He is a B-GRADE Artist of All India Radio (AIR), Akashvani, Prasar Bharati. He was featured by Sankara TV Channel as part of the Sangeethotsavam programme in July 2019.

Vignesh was featured by Radio FM 93.5, along with his father to talk about Konnakol & Percussion in relation to melody.


Kavitha Jayaraman, Vocal and Veena
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Kavitha was initiated into music at age five and since then has been on a relentless pursuit of this art form over the years. She trained under the Carnatic Classical style in both Vocal and Veena. She started her initial Veena tutelage from Smt Jayashree Aravind, Mumbai and currently under advance guidance from Smt. Meenakshi Somasundaram. She completed a Diploma in Vocal and Veena music under the aegis of Singapore Indian Fine Arts and was awarded the title ‘Sangeetha Visharad.’ She has won several awards at various institutions for music and fine arts. She has performed extensively in Mumbai, Chennai and Singapore including prestigious venues like Music Academy – Chennai, Esplanade Singapore etc . She has also been part of the music ensemble for various dance productions.

She was awarded the Cultural Talent Scholarship from Center for Cultural Resources & Training (Ministry Of Human Resources & Development, Govt. of India) for specialized training in Carnatic Music for 10 years.

Kavitha was selected as an IndianRaga USA fellow 2018 and since then has been part of various collaborations with artists from across the country. She promotes and practices the concept of ‘Seva through Vidya’ or ‘Teach to Reach’ – by teaching Vocal/ Veena to raise funds for various social causes.


Rohit Prasad, Mridangam

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Rohit Prasad started learning Mridangam under the tutelage of Guru Shri T.S. Nandakumar from Shri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetna Vidyalaya since 1995 until 2002. Later, he continued advanced training in mridangam under the same guru at TSN’s Percussive Arts Centre, Mumbai. He is a B HIGH grade artist in the All India Radio, Mumbai. He earned a Diploma in Carnatic Vocal Music (KVC) with A Grade under the tutelage of Sangeeta Kala Acharya Guru Smt. Radha Nambhoodiri and Guru Smt. Susheela Mani from Shri Shanmukhananda Bharatiya Sangeetha Vidyalaya, which is affiliated to University of Mumbai. Currently  he is undertaking advance training for vocal from Sangeeta Kala Acharya Guru Smt. Radha Namboodiri. He regularly performs and accompanies various artists for mridangam since 2000.


Dhwani Karthik, Vocal
Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Dhwani is a 7th grader at Rice Middle School in Plano, Texas. She started learning Carnatic music at the age of four from her mother, Smt. Sarada Karthik, a performing carnatic vocalist and guru in Plano. Since the age of eight, Dhwani has won top prizes, in various competitions by Sivan Fine Arts, Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana.

Dhwani has been an integral part of Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana production organized by Sivan Fine Arts over the last three years. She has been part of many productions and fundraisers as part of her music school including “Yuva Prathiba” by IFAA DFW. She has sung two short concerts at the DFW Temple and for Saptami Foundation.

She is passionate about all kinds of music. In addition to Carnatic vocal music, she pursues Carnatic violin and piano and plays saxophone in the school Wind Ensemble band.


Kavya Akkiraju, Vocal and Flute

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Kavya Akkiraju is a 9th grade student from Pembroke Pines, Florida. At the age of 10, Kavya was initiated into Carnatic Flute by Guru Late Sri Chaitanya Kumar from Bangalore, who taught her well for four years. Kavya now continues to learn flute from Guru Sri Amit Nadig, Bangalore with whom she began learning last year. Guru Sri Sanjay Chandran, from Florida (Violin Vidwan), recently started mentoring Kavya coaching her in creative aspects of music. Kavya also learns Carnatic vocal music from Guru Sri Sanjay Subramanian in St Louis.

Kavya has participated in Advanced Level Carnatic workshops conducted by eminent artists like Smt. Shantala Subramanium & Smt. Dr Sudha Raghunathan. Kavya has been participating in cultural programs conducted at the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Florida for the past 10 years.


Archit Suresh, Mridangam

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Archit Suresh has been learning mridangam from his father Sri K Suresh since an early age. For the past three years, he has also been taking advanced mridangam training from Shri K.V.Gopalakrishnan, popularly known as KVG.

Archit has been accompanying local artists on mridangam and kanjira for many years. He has also played kanjira for multiple dance arangetrams. Archit is the winner of the Atlanta Papanasam Sivan mridangam competition for the last two years, in the sub-senior and senior categories respectively.

Archit is currently a sophomore at Parkview High School and has been a member of the school varsity tennis team since his freshman year.


Harish Poojari, Saxophone

Hindustani/Gurmat Sangeet

Harish Poojari began learning Carnatic Classical Saxophone under Udupi Alevoor Shri Sundar Sherigar, and then later from Madurai late Shri Sevucaperumal Pillai. He currently learns under the guidance of Smt. Prasanna Warier.

He has nearly 20 years of experience playing professional saxophone at special events and national venues such as Thiruvaiyaru Thyagarja Swamy Utsavam, Vellore Sripuram Golden Temple, Udupi Shri Krishna Mutt, Kollur Mookambika Temple, and more. He has also received various awards such as Puttaraja Gavai Yuva Puraskar 2009 in Gadag Karnataka, Vadya Naada Vaibhava by =by  Saxophone Chakravarthy Padmashri Dr. Kadri Gopalnath. He also teaches Carnatic classical saxophone to students in Mumbai.


Abhishek Balakrishnan, Violinist

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Abhishek Balakrishnan is a Carnatic violinist who plays regularly in the U.S. and India. Abhishek is a disciple of violin/vocal virtuoso Delhi Sri P. Sunder Rajan. Growing up in Houston, he was initiated into Carnatic violin by Sri Vittal Ramamurthy and Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat, and Sri Mahesh K. Iyer. From several years, Abhishek received training from AIR violinist Kalaimamani Smt. Usha Rajagopalan. Abhishek has been presenting concerts in the Chennai December Music Season annually since December 2011. He has given over 300 violin performances around the world, both solo and accompaniment. In December 2014, Abhishek received the Lalgudi Jayaraman (Best Junior Violinist) Award from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha for his merit-worthy violin accompaniment. Abhishek was also selected to represent Carnatic music in a solo piece before 50,000 people and televised to the world as part of the 2019 Howdy Modi cultural show.

Abhishek currently resides in Houston, TX, and teaches Carnatic music through his school Roopa Fine Arts. Under the auspices of his guru, Abhishek founded MaargaUSA’s Houston Chapter, which is dedicated to giving upcoming youth performers a platform to give quality concerts.


Sindura Sridhar, Vocalist and Violinist

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Sindura Sridhar, is a 7th grader and was initiated into Carnatic music at a young age, by her mother and father, who are a vocalist and violinist respectively. She is currently taking Carnatic vocal training with Srimathi Padma Sugavanam. Sindura has competed and placed in multiple competitions with organizations such as SAPTAMI, CMANA, Sivan Fine Arts, and the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival where she also participated in the Sustaining Sampradaya concert. Sindura is also pursuing Carnatic violin lessons with her father Dr. Gopalan Sridhar.

Outside of Carnatic music, Sindura enjoys learning and performing western classical voice, violin and piano, as well as bharatanatyam. She also presides over a speech club at school.


Janani NagarajJanani Nagaraj, Violin and Vocal

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Janani Nagaraj, Sophomore, has been classically trained in violin, vocal and dance since the age of 5. She has been learning violin from Shri. Sanjay Chandran. For her first three years of Carnatic vocal she was trained by her mother Smt. Priya Nagaraj. From the age of 8, she has been under the tutelage of Shri. Ajay Namboodiri. Furthermore, she has been trained in Bharatanatyam by her mother Smt. Priya Nagaraj. Janani has also been classically trained in piano since the age of 7 and has been consecutively awarded top accolades in the National Piano Guild and Royal Conservatory Program.


Rohit WarierRohit Warier, Mridangam

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Rohit Warier started learning mridangam from Dr. S. Ramakrishnan at the ShivaVishnu Temple of South Florida in 2009. He performed his mridangam arangetram in 2016. He has played the instrument at numerous educational workshops throughout South Florida. He is a member of the University of Florida chapter of SPCIMACAY, an organization which seeks to promote an awareness of Indian culture through active participation in Indian classical music and arts. He will graduate from the University of Florida in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.


Shyam ThyagarajanShyam Thyagarajan, Vocal

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Shyam Thyagarajan, is a disciple of Srirangam Sri Prasanna Venkatesh, has been learning Carnatic vocal music under his tutelage for about 9 years now. He received his initial training from the age of three by his mom Smt. Radhika Murali. Shyam is a freshman in college, attending the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign for aerospace engineering.

He was selected for four years now as one of the privileged students to learn from Sri. Neyveli Santhagopalan during summer music camps held in New Jersey under the auspices of the organization Yuva Sangeetha Lahari. Shyam has won several prizes starting from the age of five at CMANA Great Composer’s Day and Cleveland Thyagarajaaradhanai festivals. He gave his first one-hour concert at Raga Sudha Hall, Chennai at the age of 9 under the auspices of Carnatica.


Sahana SrinivasanSahana Srinivasan, Violin

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Sahana Srinivasan is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Computer Science. She now works at Salesforce as a software engineer. She has been learning Carnatic violin from Guru Smt. Tara Anand in Boston for the past twelve years and performs frequently in New England, Bay Area, and India.

She has performed in esteemed venues in India, such as Bharat Kalachar and the Maarga Music Festival and performed at the Madras Music Academy as part of the Spirit of Youth Festival. In the last nine years, she has accompanied many artists across the country and has also performed several solo concerts.

Sahana had her violin arangetram in the summer of 2014. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and had her dance arangetram in the summer of 2013.


Rasika SivakumarRasika Sivakumar, Vocal

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Rasika Sivakumar is 12 years old and a sixth grader at Skyview Upper Elementary School in Collegeville, PA, USA. Blessed with prodigious talent, even as a toddler she could identify ragams and sing to perfect pitch. She started learning Carnatic music at the tender age of 4 from her mother, Smt. Uma Sivakumar and later from Smt.Rajarajeshwari Bhat of Houston. She is currently under the tutelage of revered Guru Kalaimamani Neyveli Sri Santhanagopalan.

She has been regularly presenting concerts in India and USA, and has been performing at the Chennai music season for the past three years. Rasika has participated and won several prizes in competitions at Cleveland Aradhana, CMANA, Sivan Fine Arts and also won the child talent award at Sangeetha Saamrat.

In addition to vocal music, Rasika is also learning violin from Vittal Sri Ramamurthy as well as Bharatanatyam from Smt. Maya Vinayan in “Kalakshethra” style. Music remains an integral part of her growing up, and Rasika is working hard to master the nuances and intricacies to evolve into a professional Carnatic musician.


Shashank GaneshanShashank Ganeshan, Vocal

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Shashank Ganeshan began learning Carnatic vocal music when he was 7 years old, under the guidance of his grandmother who instilled in him a passion for Carnatic music. He is currently a student of Sri Prasanna Venkatesh and Sri Vishnudev Namboothiri. Shashank is a freshman at the University of Georgia, studying Economics and Computer Science.

Shashank has given performances in Atlanta and in India during the December Music Festival in Chennai. He has also won several awards at competitions hosted by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival and Sangeet Samraat.


Kalidas Parakkal MenonKalidas Parakkal Menon, Guitar

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Kalidas Parakkal Menon is the elder son of Rashmi Parakkal & Praveen Ashokan He is 13 years old, studies in Grade IX at Gems Modern Academy in Dubai and is a passionate student of music and theater.

Kalidas is blessed with a highly accomplished guru – Shri Guitar Prasanna sir whom he idolizes. Kalidas previously trained under Guitar Gokul (Gokul Shyamsundar), a young Carnatic guitarist prodigy.

Kalidas has performed in multiple arenas in Dubai, Sharjah and in Kerala and has his presence in Instagram (Kali_strings) and Facebook (Kali Strings) through which he connects with his peers and well-wishers.

Some of the notable performances of Kalidas were at the music festival “Sreerama Sangeetha Sadassu”, Thrissur, temple venues, Thalom cultural trust Thrissur, concerts for Geyam Adhidevam, Samagana Sabha, Bollywood park Dubai. He is also passionate in preparing and presenting fusion music by combining Carnatic krithis with popular film songs. Owing to the recent lockdown status – he has been performing in various online portals.

Kalidas is also learning carnatic music vocal from Mrs. Vishalakshi Shankar, the acoustic guitar from Mr. Joy Sen and Mr. Sangeeth.

Kalidas is active in theater and is a budding actor in drama and speech, he plays football and represents the school team and is a brown 2 belt in karate.


Anagha HesaraghattaAnagha Hesaraghatta, Flute

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Anagha Hesaraghatta has been learning flute for the past four years. She started learning Carnatic flute from Smt. Geetha Gopal, Bangalore and continued learning from Shri Pashanth Kallur, Chattanooga. Currently, she learns flute from Smt. Shantala Subramanyam, Chennai.
Anagha has also been learning vocal from Smt. Uma Kumar, Mahati Culutral Academy, Bangalore for the past few years. She has also learnt Western classical flute for three years.
Anagha has participated in many cultural and musical events with the Hindu Temple of Florida and the Ayyappa Temple for the past few years.
Anagha is a freshman at the University of South Florida. She is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Psychology.


Akash GururajaAkash Gururaja, Violin

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Anagha Hesaraghatta has been learning flute for the past four years. She started learning Carnatic flute from Smt. Geetha Gopal, Bangalore and continued learning from Shri Pashanth Kallur, Chattanooga. Currently, she learns flute from Smt. Shantala Subramanyam, Chennai.
Anagha has also been learning vocal from Smt. Uma Kumar, Mahati Culutral Academy, Bangalore for the past few years. She has also learnt Western classical flute for three years.
Anagha has participated in many cultural and musical events with the Hindu Temple of Florida and the Ayyappa Temple for the past few years.
Anagha is a freshman at the University of South Florida. She is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Psychology.


Nikhil SathyanathanNikhil Sathyanathan, Mridanga

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Nikhil is a sophomore at Naperville North High School. He was introduced to the art of playing the Mridangam, by Guru Sri. Rajesh Salem of Illinois. Presently Nikhil continues his advance training from Kalaimamani Sri Guruvayur Dorai, Chennai.

 


Tejas GururajaTejas Gururaja, Vocal

Hindustani Classical/Semi-Classical

Tejas Gururaja is a budding musician who is currently under the guidance of Vidushi Prarthana Sai Narasimhan, Chennai for Carnatic vocal. Tejas is a freshman at Linn-Mar High School in Cedar Rapids, IA.


Indian Classical Dance


Ranjana Warier, Indian Classical Dance Artist

The sound of ghungroos ringing, feet stomping, and tabla beating are sounds that have been deeply ingrained in Ranjana Warier’s daily routine since she was six years old. Born in Thirunavaya, a small village situated on the northern bank of the Bharathapuzha (River Nila) in Kerala, Warier now resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where she spreads the love of dance amongst her students and the broader community. Founder of Rhythms School of Dance, Warier brings the beauty and history of Indian classical dance to life for students and dance enthusiasts in much the same way her own gurus did for her at a young age.

Warier grew up in an art-loving family, and she began taking Bharatanatyam lessons from her gurus Kalamandalam Devaki and Kalamandalam Indira at the age of six. When she was 10-years-old, she also began learning Mohiniyattam. Under the guidance of her gurus, Warier performed at several festivals, which served to enhance her present commitment to promote the Indian culture and art forms. Warier credits her gurus for strengthening her passion, and over the years, she has progressed from an avid student sitting in her teacher’s lap to a teacher herself. “Because of the efforts of my gurus, I feel committed to promoting priceless artistic treasures of India, through traditional and cross-cultural collaborations,” reflects Warier.

Warier is currently working on hosting an “International Dance Day” in association with the International Dance Council (at UNESCO) to educate and engage the community on our art forms.


Anupama Sunil

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Anu is a freshman in high school. She began dancing at the age of 5, and continues her dancing education at Rhythms School of Dance in Florida. Anu dances because she believes that it allows her to connect with her culture. Besides dancing, Anu likes to draw, paint, travel and read. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Arya Nair

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Arya Nair is an eighth grader at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Florida. She began dance in Kansas when she was 5 years old, and continued in Florida at Rhythms School of Dance when she was 12. Arya likes to dance because it is a fun way to connect with her Indian culture. Arya is now 14 years old, and likes to spend her free time with her family and friends.


Blessy Mannattuparampil

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Blessy Mannattuparampil has always had a passion for dance. She began cultivating this interest at the age of five when she started taking her first Indian classical dance classes. She completed her Arangetram in 2014 and has continued to grow her dance career by teaching at Rhythms school of dance(Davie, FL), doing workshops and events and continuing to learn and perform dances. Outside of dance Blessy works as an Account manager at Eaton Hydraulics in Minnesota, which is where she currently resides


Eja Joseph

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Eja is a junior at Cypress Bay High School. She has been dancing for the last five years. She enjoys doing taekwondo, reading, and going to the beach. Eja aspires to continue dancing and will carry the wonderful experiences she has had through those years in her heart. She hopes that through her dancing she will be able to inspire others to do the same.


Kamna Nair

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Kamna Nair is 15 years old and is a freshman in high school. She has been doing Indian dance since she was 5 years old. Dance has always been important to Kamna because it helps her stay connected to her India culture. Other than dance, she enjoys art and traveling.

 


Miraa Shukla

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Miraa Shukla is a freshman at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She began dancing at Rhythms School of Dance at the age of 4. Learning Bharatanatyam has allowed Miraa to gain a close relationship with her culture. Apart from dancing, she enjoys reading, painting, and playing lacrosse. Miraa believes that dancing is an outlet that allows her to express herself and has helped shape her into the person she is today.


Rishana Amar

Indian Classical Dance Artist

This is Rishana Amar, she is 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, singing,and painting. She hopes to inspire others and help them realize that they should put their passion first!

 


Sahana Thayagabalu

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Sahana Thayagabaluis a freshman at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida. She began dancing at Rhythms School of Dance at the age of 6. Being an American-Indian, Bharatanatyam is how Sahana embraces her Indian culture. Currently, at the age of 14, Sahana continues to portray her passion for Bharatanatyam. Apart from dancing, she enjoys painting, sketching, and biking. Sahana believes that dancing has helped her express herself tremendously and has shaped her into the person she is today.


Sionika Thayagabalu

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Sionikais a junior at Cypress Bay High School. She has learned classical dance for eight years and is currently on the Rhythms School of Dance’s fusion competition team. In her free time, Sionika enjoys painting, riding roller coasters, and parasailing. Sionika hopes to continue dancing through college and is thankful for this wonderful opportunity to share her love for dance with others.


Thangam Kuttiyani

Indian Classical Dance Artist

Thangam was born in Kerala, India and currently resides in Davie, Florida. She is a manager at Bailey Hall at Broward College where she is also pursuing a degree in Marketing. Thangam has been learning Bharathanatyam since the age of 4 and completed her arangetram in 2013. She also earned her degree in Performing Arts from Alagappa University in 2012 and is currently a teacher at Rhythms School of Dance. Outside of work and dance, Thangam enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and fashion designing.



Bijal HariaBijal Haria, Indian Classical Dance Artist

Bijal Haria personifies the grace and elegance of not one but two Indian classical dance forms; Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

She is a promising disciple of renowned Gurus such as Guru ant.Smita Shastri, SNA Awardee Dr.Sandhya Purecha and Padmabhushan Dr.Raja Radha Reddy.

Bijal has completed her MFA from Mumbai University under the able guidance of Dr.Sandhya Purecha and is further planning to pursue Ph.D under Guru Purecha ji. In 2014, she was awarded the Junior Fellowship for her research work from Gov. Of India.

Being the founder and director of Parampara Academy Of Performing Arts,” Bijal imparts her experience and wisdom in both the art forms to the younger generation in a pure and comprehensive way. And as a result students of Parampara are receiving scholarships from Gov.of.india. And also receiving medals in their Diploma degree courses from Sarfojiraje Centre,Mumbai.also performing in various festivals and competitions.

In her 25-year-long artistic journey, she has performed at several prestigious forums across India and internationally. She has earned awards and recognitions like Singar Mani, Nritya-Vilasini, Nritya-Ratna, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation award and more.

She has contributed towards the publication of the Abhinaya-Darpana and Ashta-Nayika written by Dr.A.M.Upadhyay and Assisted by Bijal Haria.


Ananya Sanjay DaveAnanya Sanjay Dave

Indian Classical Dance Artist

I am Ananya Sanjay Dave student of class 10. I am perusing Diploma course in Bharatanatyam under the able guidance of my guru set. Bijal haria My hobby is dance and writing. And passion is acting.

 


Pratika AgarwalPratika Agarwal

Indian Classical Dance Artist

I am pratika agarwal. I study in 9th garde. I love dancing but apart from it i like to paint and play sports. I have also received a schlorship in bharatnatyam from gov. of India.

 


Nihira PillaiNihira Pillai

Indian Classical Dance Artist

This is Nihira Pillai
I study in 9th grade and have a great passion for Bharat Natyam dance. I am being trained in the field by my guru Smt. Bijal Haria. Some of my other hobbies are baking, reading and doing Kalaripayattu.


Himani MajithiaHimani Majithia

Indian Classical Dance Artist

I am Himani Majithia. Currently studying in 10th Grade in Ahmedabad International School. I am in my 10th year of Bharatanatyam Diploma Degree. My passion is Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu and Computer programming. I completed my Arangetram in Bharatanatyam in December 2018 under the guidance of my guru Bijal Haria and my dadi-guru Dr. Sandhya Purecha.


Ayushi ThakkarAyushi Thakkar

Indian Classical Dance Artist

I am Ayushi Thakkar, a regular girl with extraordinary dreams. I’m a final year student at PDPU,Gandhinagar. One of my biggest passions in life is dance – in all its inspiring forms.