Sri Vidya Dance School in collaboration with the amazing dancers of the Bay Area present “Panchabhoota Linga”. Lord Shiva is part of the Hindu trinity. The other being Lord Brahma (the creator) and Lord Vishnu (the protector). Lord Shiva’s role is to destroy the universe to recreate it. The Shiva Linga is an abstract yet a very strong representation of Lord Shiva as an emblem of the generative power of Nature.
The Hindu culture of India dwells in the strong connection of the five elements in nature and how it represents itself with the Shiva Linga. The five elements of Earth, fire, water, air and space manifest themselves in the various Shiva Temples of India as a form of the Shiva Linga.
In our presentation, using the medium of the Classical dance form from North and South India, the manifestation of the five elements while representing Lord Shiva will come alive. Using the texts from various ancient scriptures written in praise of Lord Shiva, a blend of musical notes with rhythm and lyrics along with the beautiful dance movements of the five elements of Lord Shiva will mesmerize the audience. The classical dance forms portrayed are Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi and Mohiniattam which showcase the major dance forms from all over the country of India.
Smt. Samidha Satyam is a prominent exponent of Guru Padmabhushan Sri Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Sri Jai Kishore Mosalikanti. She is an accomplished young artist who has done Masters in English literature and dance and given performances in India, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and several countries in Europe and has toured several other countries all over the world. After moving to the Bay Area, Guru Smt.Samidha Satyam started Sanskaar School of Dance in 2008 to advance the art of Kuchipudi dance to aspiring students. She has performed and is currently performing in various prestigious festivals and organizations in USA and gives holistic Training to her disciples and brings out the best in them. The institute imparts training to hundreds of students. Many students have performed their rangapravesams and are performing as solo dancers. She was felicitated and awarded the title “TRIBHUVANADITYAVARMA, voN” by Global Natya festival, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. She was recently awarded the title “NRITYA CHOODAMANI” by Hanuman temple authorities, Bay Area, CA.
Bhairavi Nedungadi is an artist trained in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam. She hails from a family of artists, her grandfather Late Vasu Nedungadi, a Krishnanattam artist who performed ‘Krishnavesham’ at Guruvayoor temple, Kerala and her father Late Padmanabhan Nedungadi, secretary of Kathakali club, Thrissur, worked to promote Kathakali art form and artists. His deeds to promote Kathakali have inspired Bhairavi to do her part to bring awareness and appreciation to one of the graceful classical dance forms of Kerala-Mohiniyattam. Senior Disciple of Guru Padmashree Kalamandalam Kshemavathi, Bhairavi has been learning dance from the age of four. She began learning from Guru Kalamandalam Sudha and presented her formal solo debut performance, the Arangetram, in Guruvayoor, India at the age of 14 under the guidance of Guru Kshemavathi. After her Rangapravesha, she continued her rigorous training in Mohiniyattam under Guru Kshemavathi. It is her continued passion to learn and she is undergoing advanced training in Mohiniyattam under the tutelage of Dr Neena Prasad for the past 5 years. Bhairavi has performed to diverse audiences in India and US across multiple festivals. Classical dance has always been an integral part of Bhairavi’s life. She is the founder of Sreepadmam School of Dance, a classical dance institute based in Fremont, CA and the school imparts training to students in Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam. Bhairavi holds a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering and she is currently working as an IT professional.
Anupama Srivastava is a dancer, performer, teacher, and choreographer of the North Indian Classical Kathak dance and the Founder and Artistic Director of InSyncKathak Dance School based in Fremont, CA. She is a disciple of the world renowned Kathak Maestro, Padmashri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee Guru Shovana Narayan, disciple of Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. Anupama uses the North Indian Classical Kathak Dance form as a creative medium to promote physical, mental, social, cultural, interpersonal and spiritual enrichment. Anupama is an energetic and enthusiastic Guru and provides Kathak education and training to about 80 students. In nine short years since its inception, InSyncKathak has over 150 performances and 40 awards to its credit. Anupama’s choreographic works have been presented at dance festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, and India, including Asavari’s Continuing Traditions Festival, International Lalit Arpan Festival and Continuing Traditions Festival by Guru Shovana Narayan and Ministry of Art and Culture, Government of India, San Francisco Movement Arts Festival, PUSHfest, Oakland Dance Festival, Toronto International Youth Dance Festival, Asia Society Houston, Philadelphia Ganesh Festival, SOHARA Dallas, Republic Day and Pravasi Diwas celebrations by the San Francisco Indian Consulate, Yuva Bharati, Kala Sangha, Livermore Temple, among several others. In 2015, she organized a nine-city “Guru Shovana Narayan USA Tour” across Texas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and California, and won critical acclaim for this effort. Anupama has also produced collaborative work with musicians and dancers of different genres. A keen educator of this classical Indian dance form, Anupama holds lecture-demonstrations and workshops regularly for InSyncKathak students and also at UC Santa Cruz. As a Master Artist, Anupama with Apprentice Dr. Anjali Sahay received a 2021-22 Apprenticeship in Folk and Traditional Arts from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Under Anupama’s tutelage, her student and daughter Reva Srivastava became a National YoungArts Finalist Winner in the World Dance category for 2022. Anupama holds a BS in E&C Engineering from BIT Sindri, India, and MS in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. After an eighteen year career as a Hardware Engineer in the Silicon Valley, she made her passion for dancing her full time career, and splits her time between family, dance, writing, hiking, and yoga.
Smt. Akila Rao started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 7 under Sri Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry who hails from the town of Kuchipudi and also learnt Bharatanatyam from Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, a renowned Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer and founder of the Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai. Over the last 30 years, Smt. Akila has performed in numerous ballets and performed in notable sabhas in Chennai and other cities across the world. Smt. Akila was fortunate to continue learning a variety of dance compositions from renowned Gurus including The Dhananjayans, The Charis and other experienced teachers from the Kalakshetra bani. In addition to learning dance, she also learnt Indian classical music from D. Seshachari, one of the famed Hyderabad Brothers. During her brief stay in Malaysia, she was fortunate to perform at various programs with renowned dancer/choreographer Ajith Bhaskaran Das and his troupe. She has collaborated with numerous charitable organizations in the US and performed for cultural events for fundraising and to spread the value of this great ancient art. Along with her dance career, Smt. Akila Rao is a senior project manager at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics. Smt. Akila lives in Cupertino, CA and continues to train and teach students of all ages. Smt. Akila Rao continues to learn the art form under experienced teachers from the Kalakshetra Bani (Smt Viraja and Sri Shyamjith Kiran). The goal is to impart the life values of self-respect, discipline and traditions, and most importantly, carry the passion for dance throughout their lifetime.
Guru Bidisha Mohanty is the Founder & Artistic Director of Indraadhanush-Center for Excellence, located in the California Bay Area. She is a disciple of Guru Sri Durga Charan Ranbir, an Odissi maestro. Bidisha has completed her Master’s (Bhaskar) in Odissi dance from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh and is a Gold medalist in this dance form. She is a software engineer by profession. Bidisha is also a performing artist in Doordarshan, India and has been the recipient of Junior & Senior scholarships from Center for Cultural Resources & Training, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, India. Bidisha imparts dance lessons to various age groups in Classical Odissi, Bollywood & Folk dances and has participated in various premier cultural events internationally as a performer and choreographer. Many of her students are established dancers now and has own several awards in various competitions inside and outside of the Bay area. She conducts lecture-demos & workshops and has been associated with different organizations to promote Odissi dance and take it to the next level.
MUSIC COMPOSITION TEAM
Snigdha Venkataramani is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and has undergone training under various senior teachers for over two decades, prominent among them being veteran vocalists Padmabhushan Guru Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana, Sh. K. Vageesh and Smt. K. Sudha, Smt. Sarada Subramanian and Guru Smt Radhakrishna. She is currently training under the internationally-acclaimed vocal duo – Sh. K.N. Shashikiran and Chitravina P. Ganesh, popularly known as the Carnatica Brothers. She received the Junior Scholarship from the Center for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Government of India, and is a graded artist of the All India Radio, New Delhi. She has released two music albums – “SAMARPANAM”, of Carnatic music compositions and “NATYA MANJARI”, which comprises a repertoire for Bharatanatyam dance. Snigdha is also an established Bharatanatyam dancer having trained under Padma Bhushan Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan. Snigdha is a popular vocalist for dance having performed with several senior Dance Gurus and promising young performers. She is highly sought after for composing musical scores for dance productions. Snigdha imparts training in Carnatic vocal and Bharatanatyam in Fremont, CA and is the artistic director of Laya Dhwani Academy of Performing Arts. Her students have won prizes in National and Regional competitions including the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana, Sangeet Samrat, Papanasam Sivan Academy and Saptami Nationals.
Prakash Rao began his mridangam training in 1977 under Late Sri K. Sudarshanaacharyulu of Hyderabad and vocal training simultaneously under Sri D. Seshachary of the Hyderabad Brothers fame. Sri Sudarshanaacharyulu was a senior disciple of Sri Kolanka Venkatarajulu, a famous mridangam exponent in Andhra Pradesh. Since 1982, Prakash has had the honor and privilege to train under one of the greatest exponents of mridangam, Late Sangeetha Kalanidhi Kalai Maamani Sri Vellore G. Ramabhadran. Prakash has also received advanced training in improving the clarity and precision of his technique on the mridangam from Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Late Sri Kanjira V. Nagarajan and Sri Palghat T. R. Rajamani, son of the legendary Sri Palghat T. S. Mani Iyer. Prakash first ascended the stage in 1980, and has since performed in over 2500 concerts, dance programs and lecture/demonstrations in India and the US. Prakash has been in the US since 1987 and in NJ since 1990 is the most senior mridangist in NJ. He lives in New Jersey with his physician wife, Dr. Bhavani Prakash, an accomplished musician herself, and two sons, both performing musicians in their own right. Together with his wife, Prakash conducts concerts and lecture/demonstrations under the banner of Anandabhairavi. Bhavani teaches vocal music, veena and flute, and Prakash teaches mridangam and vocal music at their home in Scotch Plains, NJ.
Sadha Parasuraman is a Guru in Vedic scriptures (Yajur Veda). Sadha started learning Yajur Veda under Mahopadyaya Sri.Jambunatha Ganapatigal in Chennai, then in Chidambaram at the Nataraja temple through Sri.Ratnasabapathy deekshitar . He continued his advanced learning of Padam, kramam, ghanam and bhAshyam under Sri. Lakshmana Sastry.
Sadha teaches Veda along with his senior students for the past 17 years at the Svadharma Veda Patashala in Phoenix, AZ that he started under the auspices of the achAryas of the Kanchi Mutt.
Srinivas Saripalle is a Tabla artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has accompanied and played with several noted artists and performed solo. He started learning Tabla from Lt Pt. Ashok Mukherjee disciple of Lt Pt Samta Prasad of Benares. He continues to study under Pandit Swapan Chaudhury at the Ali Akbar College of Music. He also teaches Tabla to budding and aspiring students.
Tanjavur R. Kesavan is a renowned percussionist and a Nattuvangam Artiste in the field of performing arts. Kesavan has illustrious lineage and belongs to a family dedicated to music for four generations. His artistry and consistent technical perfection have made him a leading Mridangam artiste in New Delhi. Kesavan’s fine musical instincts were imbibed from his great family lineage and traditions of his Guru Parampara. He started learning at a very early age. He has promoted and projected promising students and has imparted to many of them the art of Mridangam. He has conducted Arangetrams of many of his disciples. Kesavan can play other percussion instruments like Dolu (Thavil), Kanjeera, Pakhawaj with the same felicity and ease. Kesavan has gained acclaim as a proficient accompanist for scores of renowned senior dancers like Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh, Vyjayantimala Bali, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Swapna Sundari, Leela Samson, Geeta Chandran and many more in the last two decades both in India and abroad.
His style of accompaniment is vibrant and energetic. Kesavan is well known for his spontaneity, fine artistry, and deft fingering techniques. Kesavan learned this divine art of Mridangam under the tutelage of Guru. Tanjavur Shri T.K.Lakshmana Naidu. Kesavan has inherited music and fine arts from his family of musical stalwarts. Apart from programmes in India, Kesavan has also toured abroad to more than 75 countries like South and East Africa, East Europe, North, and East Asia, Middle East, USA, UAE, and more. Some of the titles he has received include “SANGEETH BHUSHAN” conferred on him at the international theater festival, Cuttack Orissa; “Mridanga Chakravarti” a title from the SUNAINA lndradhanush, Art festival New Delhi and “VAADYA RATNA” at Bharat Sanskrit Utsav, Vardhaman (West Bengal)
About the Series
“Celebrating Our HeART-filled Heritage” champions local Asian and Asian Pacific Islander performing artists, with the goal of providing a platform for accomplished local performing artists and exposing our diverse community in the East Bay to compelling, culturally relevant artists and performances that inspire intergenerational and cross-cultural exchange. The performing arts series is supported in part by the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.
Donations are appreciated and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.