Dega Arts


Smitha Madhav : Bharatanatyam

Smitha is a bharatanatyam dancer, carnatic vocalist, teacher and television personality.

Smitha is an acclaimed Bharatanatyam artist. Trained in bharatanatyam by Nritya Choodamani Smt Rajeswari Sainath, Smitha has also acquired a strong foundation in the theoretical aspects of dance, nattuvangam and choreography. She holds a masters degree in bharatanatyam and has performed in several prestigious centers, the world over. She is also a creative choreographer and has created several innovative productions, that range from the sacred to the secular.

An acclaimed classical vocalist, Smitha is a disciple of Sangeetha Choodamani, Hyderabad Sisters, Kum. B Lalitha and Smt B Haripriya. Initiated into the classical arts at a young age, Smitha has complemented her training in music with a strong theoretical foundation. She has completed with distinction, a diploma in vocal music from Telugu University, Hyderabad and a Masters in music from the Madras University.

A graded artist of the All India Radio and an empanelled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Smitha has performed at several prestigious centers, the world over. Smitha’s concerts are a regular feature on various television channel, the most recent appearances being for Star Vijay TV and Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel. She has also lent her voice for various recording projects.

Smitha is a widely traveled artist and has toured the USA, UK, Dubai, Singapore, indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc. She represents Chennai in its sister city relationship with San Antonio, USA in arts and culture.

Smitha also aspires to share her knowledge of the arts with the younger generation. She runs “Varna Arts Foundation” (Hyderabad), a center for training and excellence in music and dance where she grooms budding artists with care and passion

A lawyer by training,Smitha endeavors to create and present a rich body of artistic work, while retaining classicism and pushing boundaries.

Masako Ono - Odissi:

Masako Ono started dancing at the age of 4 under the instructor Masako Yokoi, the only Japanese protégé of the Martha Graham Dance School .She also trained in western classical ballet Tokyo. On joining Nrityagram she initially trained in Odissi directly under its founder Protima Gauri and continued studying with Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. After a five year training period she took the plunge as a solo performer. She choreographs her own performance pieces blending tantra, yoga and classical Indian dance. She continues to live in Orissa, the homeland of the Odissi dance form where she was fortunate to study under the father of modern Odissi Guru Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra. Based out of Bhubaneswar, she works as a professional Odissi dancer and yoga teacher, collaborating with dancers, musicians and artists from India and abroad.

Rashmi Menon - Mohiniyattam:

Rashmi Menon started learning dance at the tender age of four and had undergone intense training in Mohiniattam, Bharathanatyam & Kuchipudi under the tutelage of disciples of Guru Smt. Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma (late)- Sri Kalalayam Mohandas & Sri Kalalayam Kumarji for about eighteen years. She is a lawyer by profession who has quit the same out of her intese passion for dance. She is a Post- Diploma holder in Mohiniattam, Bharathanatyam & Kuchipudi. Out of the three South Indian classical dance forms she has mastered she found her true calling in Mohiniyattam. Her unending quest for refinement and perfection has taken her to Guru Padmasree Smt. Kalamandalam Kshemavathi who is now guiding her through the deeper realms of her passion.

Rashmi established a centre for learning cultural skills by name Sree Rajarajeswari School of Dance in Kerala in 1992 and later in Chennai to impart training to the new generation and refine them with the techniques and nuances in dance.

Rashmi is a graded doordarshan artist both in Mohiniyattam & Bharatnatyam making her regular on television. She has graced several prestigious stages and continues to do so. She was honoured by KALADARPANAM in 2004 for her multi-talents.

A graceful performer to the core and a choreographer par excellence, she is a sought after collaborator with many established artists in the Indian Classical World. She is recently honoured with NATYA PRAVEENA title for creativity in choreography & NRITHYA SHIROMANI award for the excellence in her field & her contribution and efforts to promote and popularise Mohiniyattam. She was well appreciated for her excellent performance in her debut short-film titled Wings Of Freedom.

Prateeksha Kashi - Kuchipudi:

Prateeksha Kashi hails from an artistic family of the legendary Dr Gubbi Veeranna and was initiated to dance at a tender age of five. Ever since she is being trained in Kuchipudi-a classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh, under the guidance of her mother and guru Smt. Vyjayanthi Kashi, a celebrated performer and choreographer.

Having attained distinction at the dance examinations conducted by the State and Central Governments, Prateeksha is one of the very few dancers who have been selected to advance her studies in Kuchipudi by the Central Government of India. Prateeksha was honored with “Aryabhata International Award-2011 ” and “The young dancer award” by Sanjali for excellence in Kuchipudi. She has the titles of Nalanda Nritya Nipuna, instituted by the renowned Nalanda Dance Research Centre and Nritya Jyoti, awarded at the Naveen Kalakar to her credits.

A graded artist of the broadcasting media-Dooradarshan Kendra, she is also an empanelled artist of ICCR, Govt of India. Prateeksha has performed in several prestigious Indian dance festivals including Unbound Beats of India-New Delhi, Ananya-New Delhi, Rain Drops -Mumbai, Jayasmriti-Mumbai, Ankur Utsav-Kolkatta, Dover’s Lane-Kolkatta, Konark Utsav-Orissa, Devdasi-Orissa, Natarani-Ahmedabad, Dharani Utsav-Cochin,Kinkini Mahotsav-Bangalore, Mysore Dasara Utsav-Mysore and more.

Prateeksha has received invitations from the prestigious Milap Fest-UK and Asea-Italy not only to perform but also to conduct Kuchipudi workshops along with her mother. She was polled by the audience to be the winner of the dance competition held at New York, Vedic Heritage of Pandit Jasraj. Her performance at Los Angeles for the first International Kannada Convention was highly appreciated. She has had an initial footing in the theatre domain when she played the lead role as Akkamahadevi in the telefilm “Hejje Guruthu” .She has also be chosen to choreograph and present the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurthi in the Kuchipudi style for the multimedia production titled ” Essence of Life. “

Prateeksha’s passion extends beyond dance to acting, teaching, organizing and natuvangam. With a keen interest to spread Kuchipudi and to inspire the youth towards it, she coaches dance aspirants in Bangalore.

Her organizing abilities were well appreciated when she volunteered to be part of dance jathre, India’s one and only International Dance Fair. With her passion, exquisite grace and commendable command over the technique, Prateeksha has won the hearts of many art lovers in the cultural domain.

Achutamanasa - Kathak:

SRI_8568-207x136Achutamanasa is an acclaimed leading young exponent of “Kuchipudi “ with 19plus years of experience who rendered over 800 plus solo recitals in and across the country,a disciple of renowned Guru Sri Kaza Venkata subrahmanyam who is a disciple of the world renowned legendary Guru Dr.Sri. Vempati Chinna Satyam. She is also trained in “Kathak” and “Bharatanatyam” equally-the classical dance forms of India.She is a disciple of Internationally acclaimed Guru Pandit Sri AnjuBabu of Lucknow Gharana-Founder of Kathak Kala kshetra,Hyderabad. She being recognised as versatile artiste explored not only Kuchipudi ,Kathak and Bharatanatyam but also many other art forms of India. She is also pursuing “Temple dances” called Simhanandini, Mayura Kauthvam and Mahalaxmi Udbhavam in which the dancer portrays the images with her footwork. She is also trained in “Carnatic Vocal”, “Light Music” in the directions of Sri M.S. Bala Subramanyam then ,Now Pursuing under Sri N.C.H. Butchacharyulu. She is a prodigious “Painter”, especially in Creative painting that throws light on social well being ,oil paintings and stumping Portraits. She has expertise in choreography which she had started at the age of 12.She has choreographed several solo and Group songs from spiritual to secular like Annamaya keerthanas,Thillanas(one jugalbandhi with Kuchipudi,Kathak and Bharatanatyam), Taranagams etc., to Vande mataram,Jana gana mana etc., till date.Hence,Achutamanasa is recognized as a brilliant performer, student and a multi-faceted talent house.She is adorned with the prestigious international award “UNESCO MILLENNIUM BEST CULTURAL AMBASSADOR”and several National –State awards like “PRATHIBHA PURASKAR”, “UGADHI PURASKARAM”,“NATYAMAYURI” , “KALA SRAVANTHI”,”SAPTHAGIRI BALAPRAVEENA”,“NATYA KALAMAI”,“PRATHIBHA PALLAVAM”,“NTR MEMORIAL ‘TELUGU MAHILA AWARD”, “GIFTED CHILD”, “QUALITY KID”, “Award and Cultural Talent Search Scholarship” etc., in which few awards were given for her multi talents-Dance forms,Music and painting.A Graded artist of Dhoordharshan now, The Cultural Ministry of the Government of India recognized the spark of excellence in the young ten year old then and supported her with scholarships to pursue her training in classical dance for the next decade.

Achutamanasa, an impassioned danseuse has a desire to share Indian classical arts with the next generation, especially with the under privileged children,Children from downtrodden communities unable to afford it, led to the initiative of the teaching programme “Kuchipudi-Mylife” –a free education campaign by Achutamanasa where she shares art education and as well as social education .

A Software Engineer by education, she is highly committed to the classical art-forms and an energetic silent social and cultural innovator.She resigned her job at a prestigious MNC and Pursued Master of Performing arts-M.A and stood First in Rank with distinction.She is an aspirant of services to do her best for India-Humanity on a whole.

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