Smaran Dance Festival 2019 Performers Profile
Urmila Vudali (age 15) is a 10 th grader at Saratoga High School in California. She began training in Bharatanatyam at age 5 and performed her arangetram at age 9.Under the guidance of her guru, Navia Natarajan, Urmila has performed solo margams
in the US and in Chennai. As a second-generation Indian American, Urmila feels it imperative that her performances are accessible and relevant to a broader audience beyond the Indian diaspora. It is her belief that the most effective way to achieve this is
to introduce audiences to the art form through collaborations with other traditions that the audience may already be familiar with. With the guidance of her guru she has successfully collaborated with artists from artistic traditions while staying true to the
grammar and technique of traditional Vazhuvoor style of Bharatanatyam.
Urmila is the founder of Mosaic Saratoga High – a school enrichment club that works to promote multicultural understanding through the arts. In 2018, she helped launch the first Mosaic Saratoga festival featuring over 100 artists from 12 artistic traditions ranging from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Indian and many more. Urmila has won numerous dance competitions in the US including Kala Aaradhana (2014) – First place in Classical Dance Sub-Junior category Saptami Foundation (2016) – First place in Bharatnatayam solo competition (Western region) Shivam (2018) – First place in solo Bharatnatyam In addition to dance, Urmila is an avid student of painting and sketching. She is committed to serving the community in a variety of ways – from performing dance for the elderly in senior centers to tutoring students in disadvantaged communities.
Guru Navia Natarajan
Navia Natarajan is among the world’s elite Bharatnatyam dancer-choreographers. She is a disciple of Gurus Smt Padmini Ramachandran, Guru Sri A.Lakshmanaswamy and abhinaya exponent Smt Bragha.G.Bessell. She is an empanelled artist with Indian
Council for Cultural Relations and the recipient of Yuva Kala Bharathi, Kala Rathna, Sanatan Nritya Puraskar and many more prestigious awards. Navia splits her time between US and India. To learn more, please visit navianatarajan.com
Anupama Mayooranathan is a dedicated and passionate freelance Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam dancer living in the Bay area in Northern California. She has learnt classical Indian dance art forms: Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi from her Guru Sri M.K Giri (Nisari Kalakshetra Thrissur, Kerala) She went on to further her training in Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of
Smt Nirmala Madhava of Pampa Dance Academy in the Bay area. She is currently under the guidance of Sri Shijith Nambiar and Smt Parvathy Shijith (Samradhya School of Dance (http://www.shijithnambiar.co.in/samradhya.html) She re-started her learning in Mohiniyattam with Smt Kalamandalam Supriya Sivakumar in 2018 and is currently in the phase of exploring more of the depth and beauty of this wonderful art form. She has also actively worked with Smaran Performing Arts (Vidyalatha Jeerage), Atma Tarang and other dance groups in the bay area and has had the privilege to have been part of many productions and workshop from eminent artists like Smt Rama Vaidyanathan, Smt Indira Kadambi, Sri Sanjay Shantaram and Smt Savitha Shastry. She enjoys pursuing her art
with vigor and hopes to scale new heights in her artistic endeavors.
In her own words “Dance is not only an art form for me, it is my way of enjoying the present moment while coping with life's ups and downs. It is the one thing that I turn to, where I can express freely and brings a great deal of happiness to me. I believe dance is an ocean and with every practice, you are learning something new.I love choreographing various pieces in my own style and presenting them. Incredibly grateful to my parents and my Gurus forteaching this art form to me and for their encouragement and support”“Balancing motherhood, a corporate job and passion for dance is one of the most challenging jobs in this phase of mine, but I try to consistently keep in touch with the art form that has given me so much happiness and continue
to explore and learn in my own pace.”
Neeharika is a passionate Kuchipudi dancer based in San Ramon, California. She has been training under the guidance of Smt. Sunita Pendekanti since the age of 9. Through this art form, she has been allowed to win at several competitions hosted by organizations like BATA, SiliconAndhra, and Saptami on both regional and national levels. After completing her Rangapravesam in 2016 Neeharika used her motivation to win her first national competition at the Sri Annamayya Jayanthi Utsavam hosted by SiliconAndhra. She is now in her first year of undergrad and pursuing a degree in Psychology. In the coming years, she hopes to further her education both as a student and a dancer and imagines a future where she is both a mental health advocate as well as a dancer devoted to furthering the arts.
Shreeya Indap is a rising Senior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont and is a co-founder of non-profit Dandilyonn (pronounced as Dandelion) to educate youth about climate change and raise funds. She started her Kathak training at Chhandam School of Kathak founded by Late Pt. Chitresh Das at the young age of 5. She eventually became part of their semi-professionally trained performing youth group called Chhandam Youth Dance Company or CYDC where she learned directly from Panditji. Since 2016, she has been training under her current Guru, Antara Bhardwaj-ji as part of her Antara Asthaayi Dance Company. Under Antara Didi’s tutelage, Shreeya has started choreographying and experimenting with her art form within the boundaries of Kathak. She has performed at many prestigious venues like Palace of Fine Arts and the San Francisco Opera House. Last year, she performed her first solo, a fundraiser to raise money for solar panels at her dad’s village school in India. Her believes in not only spreading joy through her dance, but more importantly using it for benefiting others.
Trina Sarkar began her Odissi training under the tutelage of Smt. Nandita Behera at the tender age of 5 in Los Angeles, CA. Since then, she has been performing both nationally and internationally at venues such as the International Odissi Dance Festival in Bhubaneswar, the International Arts Festival in San Francisco, and the International Odissi Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was also selected as a National YoungArts finalist for World Dance in 2012. She is now continuing her formal training with Smt. Niharika Mohanty and Guru Shradha in the Bay Area.