Smaran Dance Festival (SDF) was conducted on September 13th, 2014 at Jain Temple Auditorium, Milipitas, Califonia.
In 2014, we had a number of applications and we selected two beautiful and highly skilled dancers - Vinay Srinivasan and Swathi Ramesh. Another highlight of the festival being an unforgettable performance by a very eminent guest artist from India, Dr. Sanjay Shantharam.
Most importantly, Smaran Dance Festival was a fundraising event for a local non-profit organization, Aram Sei, that we always support and truly believe in their cause of supporting grassroot charities worldwidewith specific focus on education and healthcare. Click on the link to know more about Aram Sei: https://aramsei.wordpress.com/home/
Bay Area Talents
Vinay Srinivasan has studied Bharathanatyam under Smt. Hema Rajagopalan for the past 18 years. Having completed his Arangetram in August 2007, Vinay has toured & performed as both a solo artist & with the acclaimed Natya Dance Theatre at various prestigious venues both national & international—to name a few: the Erasing Borders Conference at the Chase Manhattan Plaza, NYC; Padma: The Evening Rose, at the Pritzker Pavilion—Millennium Park, Chicago; Divine Equations, in collaboration with Chitravina Ravi Kiran; the December Music Festival in Chennai, India; The Flowering Tree, at the Harris Theatre, Chicago; Encountering the Other, a collaboration with Chicago's contemporary dance company—Mordine & Co., has taken part in the Cleveland Thyagraja Aradhana: Dance Competition, and most recently performed in Music Within (choreographed by world renowned artist, Savitha Sastry as part of her debut of The Prophet). Alongside dance, Vinay has also trained in Carnatic music and has been a part of various acappella groups, both collegiate & professional. Having earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Design, Vinay is currently pursuing a career as a Designer for tech companies in the Silicon Valley.
Swathi Ramesh has been learning Bharatanatyam since 2002, when she was 5 years old. Her first guru was Smt. Vidhya Subramaniam of Cupertino. In 2008, her family moved to India where she underwent intensive training with Guru Padmini Ramachandran (disciple of Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai) in Bangalore. She had her Arangetram at Bangalore in July 2010. The same year, she passed the Karnataka State Dance Examination with high honors. On returning to the Bay Area in 2010, Swathi began learning from Mathura Viswanathan, founder of the Kaladhaara Dance Academy, Sacramento. She is currently learning from Shirisha Shashank in Chennai. She has also attended a number of advanced workshops, given by leading gurus such as A. Lakshman, Bragha Bessel, Smt. Radha. , and Guru N. Srikanth.
Swathi was a finalist at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Bharatanatyam competition in 2011. She also won the Judge’s Appreciation Award at the Nada Nritya dance competition the same year in Sunnyvale. She has given a number of solo and group performances in and around the Bay Area. Notable performances include a solo 3-hour fundraiser for Jeena (an organization for children with developmental challenges), a solo performance at the India Community Center – Senior Center in Sunnyvale, and a number of solo and group performances at Fremont, Livermore, and Sunnyvale temples in bay area. She has performed several times in Sacramento through Kaladhaara dance Academy under the guidance of Mathura Viswanathan.
In addition to classical dance, Swathi has been involved with other popular forms of dance, particularly Bollywood dances, since a young age. She has also played a part in the Bollywood-style dance drama, “Nine” produced by Jashn, a Bay Area drama troupe, in 2012.
Swathi is a senior at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, where she has been in the National Honor Society throughout her high school career. She is also active in the India Literacy Project and Mitty Robotics.
Celebrity Artist from India
Dr. Sanjay Shantaram
Dr. Sanjay Shantaram, a child prodigy was initiated to the nuance of Bharatanatyam at the tender age of 7 under the tutelage of Guru Smt. G.S. Rajalakshmi and in the later years from late Guru Smt. Narmada. He forayed into Kuchipudi dance form receiving training under gurus Smt. Sunanda Devi and Smt. Veena Murthy Vijay.
He has been performing for 35 years now with over 3000 shows to his name. Since 1980, he has been exclusively touring America and United Kingdom performing and conducting several workshops. He has also been invited to perform in Muscat, Indonesia, Andaman, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Switzerland leaving his audience spellbound.
While his passion for dance and acting in movies and TV shows got him a lot of recognition, he didn’t let his academics suffer but successfully completed dentistry.
Accolades have only embraced this triumphant artist since his childhood.
National award for best child actor as ayappa in 5 languages in 1989.
SAMAJA SEVA BHUSHANA by the shubharam trust for his dedication to the artiste community
ROTARY VOCATIONAL AWARD
THE RAMGOPAL AWARD for best male dancer 2012 by the Indian Dance history society, New Delhi
Titles such as Navarasa balaka, kannada kala kanda, Kala arathi ratna are some of the feathers in his cap.
He started his journey as a teacher at the age of 15. He established SHIVAPRIYA school of dance in1989 imparting his knowledge of dance to his ardent disciples. It is now an academy of 250 aspiring artists in Bangalore and Kunigal who are now diligently following their master’s footsteps securing top ranks and several disciples have started their own dance academies.