Meet Our Teachers

DANCE

Karan Kishan Kingrani

A child prodigy, Karan Kishan Kingrani received his training in Kathak from Kavikulguru Kalidas University in Ramtek (MA in Kathak), Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Miraj (BA in Kathak), and a Diploma in Natya Shastra. He is an ace kathak dancer with an experience of 25 plus years and is a graded artist for Doordarshan. He has received several accolades for his talent and is a renowned face at both National and International Classical Dance festivals. A special mention must be made for his performances for the Indian Army, the Air Force, the Maharashtra Police.

Veena Bhat

Veena Bhat has trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Krishna Panicker for six years and Dr. Deepak Mazumdhar for two years, before she found her calling in Kathak. For the last 12 years,she is training under Guru Rumela Mukhopadhyay of Tarang and the Kaikini sisters of Nrityanidhi from Mumbai. She holds a Degree in Kathak from Prayag Sangeeth Samiti. Constantly empowering herself by attending workshops by Gurus like Smt.Shila Mehta,Dr.Purnima Pandey,Shri. Jayanth Kastoor, Smt Chetna Jalan and Pt.Rajendra Gangani.She has also experimented with other dance forms including contemporary and folk genres, and has also trained with Saroj Khan.

Kalashri Lata Surendra

Having taken indian classical art to more than 50 countries over the past 5 decades, Kalashri Lata Surendra is a true cultural ambassador A Performer, Teacher , Choreographer , Curator, writer of repute, has elevated the Dance in the written, spoken & delineated word and has presented over 250 productions that have regaled audiences all over the world. She is the Section President of the first official Indian Section of the International Dance Council, affiliated with UNESCO.She has been groomed by the veteran Maestro, Vidwan Kalaimamani Shri T.S.Kadirvelu Pillai. Her student list includes several celebrities including Aishwarya Rai Bacchan. Since the past 30 years she has been single highhandedly preserving and protecting art within tribal regions of Maharashtra"

Dr Puru Dadheech

Dr. Puru Dadheech is a well-known choreographer and educator of Indian classical dance, well known for his pioneering work in the field of Kathak. A pioneer in online Kathak teaching, he has spent his lifetime reviving and teaching a number of ancient traditions of Kathak which he distills into unique course modules. He is a Padmashree awardee, Sangeet Natak Academy awardee and the current director of the Sri Sri Centre for Advanced Research in Kathak, Sri Sri University, India.

Pragati Shyam Newale

Pragati Shyam Newale is a professional Bharatnatyam dancer who started dancing at the age of 6 and has been a part of the Kalaniketan family since 2008 under the guidance of Guru Smt. Uma Tilak for the past 13 years. She performed her Arangetram at the age of 16 in 2016.Having completed her Visharad Pratham from Akhila Bharateeya Ghandhara Mahavidhyalaya along with the degree of Padvika from Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, she is a regular performer at several dance festivals and competitions across the city.

Sneha Kappanna

Sneha Kappanna belongs to a genre of creative minds bridging the nuances of tradition, theatre, dance, and culture. She is a pioneer, in being the first woman to learn several dying folk dances of Karnataka which was reserved for men. She has researched, documented, revived several folk dances, and passes it selflessly to the next generations. She is a Bharatnatyam exponent, actor, celebrated storyteller, folk-dance expert, researcher, and acclaimed choreographer. Sneha is the Founder Director of ‘Bhramari Dance Repertoire’ which has completed over 600 shows. The troupe won accolades for performances at New Delhi, Haryana, Faridabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai, Odisa and Mumbai. She has choreographed over 30 thematic dance productions. Bhramari’s landmark show “Swagatha Suswagatha” was produced by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka.

Karpagam Venkatraman

Kuchipudi Artist Vidushi Karpagam Venkatraman is a senior disciple of Karnataka Kalashree Late Smt.Lakshmi Rajamani. She is the founder of Sri Bala Lathika Kuchipudi Centre which has trained hundreds of students and a number of her students have successfully completed their Kuchipudi arangetram under her guidance. Screen reader support enabled. Kuchipudi Artist Vidushi Karpagam Venkatraman is a senior disciple of Karnataka Kalashree Late Smt.Lakshmi Rajamani. She is the founder of Sri Bala Lathika Kuchipudi Centre which has trained hundreds of students and a number of her students have successfully completed their Kuchipudi arangetram under her guidance. Turn on screen reader support WFAC International Desk has joined the document.

Sneha Kappanna

Sneha Kappanna belongs to a genre of creative minds bridging the nuances of tradition, theatre, dance, and culture. She is a pioneer, in being the first woman to learn several dying folk dances of Karnataka which was reserved for men. She has researched, documented, revived several folk dances, and passes it selflessly to the next generations. She is a Bharatnatyam exponent, actor, celebrated storyteller, folk-dance expert, researcher, and acclaimed choreographer. Sneha is the Founder Director of ‘Bhramari Dance Repertoire’ which has completed over 600 shows. The troupe won accolades for performances at New Delhi, Haryana, Faridabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai, Odisa and Mumbai. She has choreographed over 30 thematic dance productions. Bhramari’s landmark show “Swagatha Suswagatha” was produced by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka.

Vishaka Saraf

Vishaka Saraf is a Jodhpur based choreographer who has been teaching and performing over the past decade in her city. She started her YT channel in 2017 which now has over 100K subscribers and over 20M views. Apart from teaching at her own studio in Jodhpur and taking up wedding choreography projects throughout the year, she now also teaches online to students from across the globe since April 2020. She has done a six year diploma in kathak and is now learning advanced level of kathak. She is also acquainted with many other dance forms like Ghoomar, Garba, Bhangra, Bollywood style of dancing, and Semi classical/Fusion style of dancing.

Shwetali Mohite

Shwetali Shinde is a third generation performer who is much sought after for her expertise in the various folk forms of maharashtra like Dindi, Povada, Lavani, Koli ,Tamasha and many more. She has won around 250 to 300 prizes by participating in various dance competition. She has set up various folk art programs like Kavdasa Balmanacha, Kavadsa lokakalecha , Kavadsa Maymarathicha. She has done her Masters in Performing Arts (Bharatanatyam) from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay.

Uthara Antharjanam

Uthara Antharjanam is an Odissi graduate of Sri Sri University, who has been trained under various reputed Gurus of Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's Gharana, including Smt. Sujatha Mohapatra. A versatile performer, choreographer, and teacher, she has been one of the lead dancers in the Art of Living production ‘Njanappana’ choreographed by actor Sri Vineeth Radhakrishnan and Smt. Lakshmi Gopalaswami. She is also a graded artist with Doordarshan and an empanelled artist with SPICMACAY, having graced the stage both within the country and outside.

Gauri Ramesh Bhise

Gauri Ramesh Bhise has been learning Bharatnatyam for the last 14 years at Kalaniketan Bharatnatyam Dance Institute under guidance of Guru Smt. Uma Tilak and has been teaching with them for the last 4 years.She has completed her Padvika exam from Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth and Visharad Pratham exam from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. Gauri has participated in the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth competitions in 2018 and 2019.

Arjun Bharadwaj

Arjun Bharadwaj is a writer and translator, well-versed in Sanskrit, Kannada, English, German and Greek. With a deep interest in classical literature, art, and philosophy, he is a contributing editor of Prekshaa who is currently studying the comparative aesthetics of classical Greek and Indian arts. He has (co-)translated many books, authored over thirty research articles, enjoys composing poems, plays the flute, writes lyrics for dancers and also teaches the fundamentals of the Nāṭyaśāstra at many institutions.

Parshwanath Upadhyay

Parshwanath Upadhye is a world renowned Indian classical dancer, choreographer and teacher trained in the traditional Mysore style of Bharatanatyam. The Hindu very aptly featured these lines on him , as quoted 'There are many perfect performers; but very few who can create magic and still less who dance like the gods. Parshwanath Upadhye belongs to the latter class. He has an electrifying persona and stage presence and there is a vein of spirituality that runs through his dance whatever be the content."

Vidushi Saswati Sen

Saswati Sen is a name synonymous with Kathak. Prime disciple of Pt Birju Maharaj for more than 50 years, she is regarded as the residing Queen of Kathak Abhinaya. Her breakthrough performances on the Geet Govind catapulted her to worldwide acclaim.

Chaitrali Chitnis

Chaitrali Chitnis has been learning Bharatnatyam at Kalaniketan Bharatnatyam Dance Institute under the guidance of Guru Smt. Uma Tilak for the past 13 years and has been teaching there since 2019.She has completed her Visharad Pratham from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and has earned her Padvika degree from Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth. Chaitrali has performed in competitions held by Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth in 2017 and 2019.

Sonal Basarkar

Sonal Basarkar is a Kathak Visharad trained under the guidance of renowned Guru Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar for 15 years and later under Guru Nirupama Rajendra. She has been teaching Kathak for the last 10 years.

Manasa Rao

Manasa Rao has been trained in Kathak under Smt.Veena Bhat and has been receiving advanced training from her as well. She has also been assisting her Guru for the last 5 years.

Samhita K

Samhita hails from a family of artists and has been learning Odissi under Guru Smt Manasi Pandya Raghunandan for 10 years She has also completed her Vidwath in Bharatanatyam under Guru Sri Raghunandan S.

Tirtha Tikam

Tirtha Tikam , is a young graceful dancer who explores unity in diversity through Indian folk and classical dances. A disciple of Kathak danseuse Smt Rupali Desai, she is also trained in a number of folk forms of India and is especially known for her graceful and delicate delineation of Bihu

Snehal Phadke

Snehal Phadke has completed her Masters's in Kathak under Dr. Mahima Mishra Iyengar and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. She has been a Kathak trainer with the Art of Living Academy of Performing Arts.

Gayatri Bhat

Gayatri Bhat is an eminent Kathak performer, well known for her innovative abhinaya. She completed her Kathak Visharad and has been dedicatedly teaching hundreds of students over the last 5 years at Padnyas- Art of Living Academy of Performing Arts , Badlapur.Aside from performing extensively all over India, she has also choreographed unique productions like Rutugandha, Shyamsunder, Prahar, Gof, Subah -e-Banaras Sham -e- Lucknow and Ada – e- Ghazal.

Rupali Bhoir

Rupali Bhoir is a Kathak Visharad. She has trained in Kathak under Guru Dr.Rajkumar Ketkar and Guru Ranjana Phadake. She has been teaching Kathak since the past 5 years.

Navya Bhat

Navya Bhat has been training students for the past 6 years, many of whom have gone on to successfully complete KSEEB and ABGMV Exams. She has herself won numerous awards and accolades as well as an academic distinction in dance.

VOCALS

Smt. Chitra Roy

Chitra Roy has she completed her training in Classical music from Delhi University with a gold medal in Music (Hons.) and got guidance in GWALIOR GHARANA under Shri Lakshman Krishna Rao Pandit . She was awarded the prestigious trophy of All India Radio Classical Music competitopn and also bagged the national scholarship for studying Hindustani classical music. Chitra Roy has been conferred with various prestigious awards and has been an instrumental part of Guinness World Record events like Brahma Naad , Antarnaad and the World Culture Festivals of the Art of Living. She also supports various social service projects through her music.

Srinivas & Shalini

The couple is known for their electrifying devotional melodies in The Art of Living circle. Their compositions have been included in popular music albums of The Art of Living. Born in a family of musicians, Srinivas started singing Carnatic classical since his childhood days under the guidance of Guru A Rukhmini. He later mastered Hindustani Classical from Guru Sri Subramaniam Pottaiy. Shalini has learned Carnatic classical singing from notable teachers, Prof. V Ramaratnam and Smt. H.S. Mahalaxmi. Srinivas and Shalini have been performing on All India Radio (AIR). Srinivas has released several hundreds of music albums and worked in the South Indian music industry. He has also directed many musical ballets for legendary dancers. Shalini has also performed on Doordarshan.

Smt.Sirisha Devulapalli

Smt.Sirisha Devulapalli is a dynamic and talented Carnatic vocalist. After her initial training under Sri I.V.L.N.Sastry she furthered her learning with Smt.Dr. Saraswati Vidhyardhi, Dr. Seshulata, Sangeeta Kalanidhi Nedunoori Krishnamurty and Hyderabad Brothers. She is an MPhil in music and a graded artist at the AIR Hyderabad. She has been the recipient of prestigious academic awards, scholarships and prizes at several music competitions. Sirisha has also performed in several television channels.

Smt. Yamini Subbalaksmi

Smt. Yamini Subba Laxmi Sripada is a disciple of Smt.Radha Venkata Raman (disciple of Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman). She is a Gold Medalist in MA Carnatic music from Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, also plays the Veena and is a Graded artist in Carnatic vocal and Devotional music at All India Radio, Hyderabad. She has had several concerts in India and abroad.

Pandit Rattan Mohan Sharma

Pandit Rattan Mohan Sharma is the disciple and nephew of Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj ji who revived the traditional musical of Haveli Sangeet. Panditji is one of the torch bearers of the Mewati Gharana and is one of the highest selling recording artists ever in the Spiritual and Devotional categories. He now passionately takes forward this tradition of Haveli Sangeet to the younger generation. He has received several awards but the closest to his heart is the title of "Badshaah-e-Taraana" which was given to him by his fans for creating a breath taking unique style of "Taraana" like never before. A composer, singer and a performer par excellence who has more than 5000 performances world wide in temples, colleges and prestigious music festivals.

Smt MS Vidhya

Smt MS Vaidya is daughter and disciple of Late M Sheshagiri Achar( Bellary Brothers) and later took musical guidance from Sri S. Rajam, Shri Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and many more. She served as a guest faculty in Jain University, Bangalore University, currently serving as a faculty with the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS). With a career spanning 33 years she has taken music composership and music direction for several thematic compositions. She serves as the Cheif Examiner for Exams conducted by Goverment of Karnataka and an Invitee to the Board of Examinations , Chief Scrutiny Head for Goverment of Karnataka. She conducts Shri Purandaradasa Aradhana and Shri Thyagaraja Aradhana every year. She has given several concerts in India and abroad in various prominent sabhas.

S. Manikandan

Shri S. Manikandan is an upcoming carnatic vocalist having learnt under several experienced gurus. He has completed his M Phil from Tanjaur University and is also pursuing his MA Sanskrit from Sastra University. He is a graded artist at AIR and has performances in many Temples and sabhas.

Dr. Archana Sahakari

Dr Archana Sahakari had her initial learning from Smt. Madhuri Oak ji, later received her training and guidance from Padma Bhushan Shri Kishori Amonkar, Smt. Alkadev Marulkar ji and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar ji. She has been trained in various aspects of Bandish to structure, in rhythm, the poetic essence, and phonetic pronunciation. She has also learnt tabla for over three years to master the intricacies of Tal and Laya. In her teaching career spanning 25 years she has received several awards and given performances all over the country.

Smt. Tejaswini

Smt. Tejaswini is a trained classical playback singer with an MA in Music from Telugu University, Hyderabad. She started singing at the tender age of 4 and is a disciple of well known Carnatic vocalist Smt. Seshulatha Vishwanath Kosuru. She has performed with many legendary singers, sung in some well known Telugu movies, participated in and won several Telugu reality shows. She is recognized for her performance in the program "ETv Paadutha Teeyaga" in which she stood second.

Shri Mathur R Srinidhi

Shri Mathur R Srinidhi is a disciple of Sangeetha Vidya Sagara Vidwan R.R.Keshavamurthy and Vidwan R.N.Thyagarajan. He is a rank holder in both vocal and violin vidwat exams with a Masters in Music from Madras University. An ‘A’ grade artist at All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has been bestowed with several prestigious awards and has had the honour of performing with the stalwarts of the Indian Music galaxy all over the world.

Smt Meena Ganapathy

Smt. Meena Ganapathy has been teaching music for the past 15 years. She has completed her Ph.D. in Music From Music Academy Madras and is a well known music therapist who also works with special children and blind children. She believes, singing is joy and group singing brings a definitive change in the energy levels.

INSTRUMENTAL

Shri Aakash Thakkar

Shri Aakash Thakkar is a young, dynamic Hindustani classical flautist, composer, singer and performer. He is fortunate to have been trained and guided by gurus like Pandit Nityanand Haldipur Ji, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia Ji, Vidushi Anupama Bhagwat Ji and Pandit Pravin Godkhindi Ji. He is a recipient of the prestigious 2018-2019 NCPA- National Center of Performing Arts Scholarship Award.

Smt. Vardhani Chamarthi

Smt. Vardhani Chamarthi is a skillful Vainika ( or Veena artist) who has been teaching for the last 20 years and training students to appear for both the Karnataka junior and senior Veena exams. She completed her Diploma in Veena from the Hyderabad Music College andher MA in Music from Padmavathi Mahila Vishwavidyalayam, Tirupati. She did her vocal training under Smt. Neela Ramagopal and is a graded artist for Veena with several performances in India and abroad under her belt.

Shri Mathur R Srinidhi

Shri Mathur R Srinidhi is a disciple of Sangeetha Vidya Sagara Vidwan R.R.Keshavamurthy and Vidwan R.N.Thyagarajan. He is a rank holder in both vocal and violin vidwat exams with a Masters in Music from Madras University. An ‘A’ grade artist at All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has been bestowed with several prestigious awards and has had the honour of performing with the stalwarts of the Indian Music galaxy all over the world.

Smt. Radhika Srinivasan

Smt. Radhika Sreenivasan had her initiation to music at Kolkata under the tutelage of Sri Anantharaman and further vocal training under Sri Ranganathan. Violin training under the able guidance of Smt. Vasantha Kannan and further under Sri D. Seshachary (of Hyderabad brothers’ fame. She is presently under the tutelage of Sangita Kalanidhi A Kanyakumari ji. She is a B High with AIR Radio. She has given performances with many senior musicians in Hyderabad and given concerts at Bramha Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai and Kartik Fine Arts in Hyderabad. She has been a jury member for many competitions and was the examiner for BA exams conducted by Telugu University. In 2015 she performed a few times as an accompanist at Naadaneerjanam - TTD . She was the r ecipient of the ‘Award of Excellence’ for Carnatic Violin for the year 2017-2018 presented by Kalasagaram

Shri Amit Raj

Amit was initiated into Tabla at a young age by Pandit Rajgopal Kallurkar of Farukkabad Gharana and has been in his tutelage ever since. He has established himself as an able soloist. He has accompanied several able classical musicians like Padmashri Venkatesh Kumar, Flautist Praveen Godkhindi, Pt Jayteerth Meyundi to name a few. He has made his name in light music and film music and is a part of Fusion bands Hamsadhwani and Jalwa. He is a regular performer of TV and radio and has given several concerts in India and abroad.

Shri Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra is an exponent of the renowned Banaras Gharana of Indian Classical Music. He was both inspired and blessed by his maternal grandfather (Nana ji ) the late Tabla Maestro Padmabhushan Pt. Samta Prasad Mishra Ji . He then received advanced instruction from his Guru (teacher), the internationally acclaimed late Pt. Sharda Sahai Ji, the founder of the Banaras Gharana. He has accompanied some of the finest artists of Indian classical music like: Vidushi Girija Devi ji, Pt.Birju Maharaj ji, Smt Sitara Devi ji, vidushi Sonal Mansingh ji, Pt. Ajay Pohankar ji, Pt. Channu lal Mishra ji, Smt Sunaina Hajarilal ji to name a few. Amit has collaborated and given concerts with many Indian and International artists. At present he is working on world music and classical music of india.

Prakash Dehspande

Prakash Dehshpande ji was initiated into tabla by Pandit Rajgopal Kallurkar into the Farukkabad gharana and later came under the tutelage of Pt. Sheshagiri Hangal under guru shishya parampara. He is has completed his B Music and MA Tabla from Dharwad university and is a graded artist with AIR. He has received several awards and felicitions like the Ranga prapancha national award in 2012 and a certificate from Padmavibhushan Dr. Gangubai Hangal. He has accompanied several senior musicians and has established himself as an able soloist.

ARTS

Ashwini Krishnan

Ashwini Krishnan is a professional visual artist with a post graduation in Visual Arts from Chitra Kala Parishath,Bangalore,India. A multiple National award winner, she has exhibited her works both nationally and internationally. She is very passionate about creating as well as teaching art.