Meet the Artists!
Stage Manager, Lighting Designer
Stage Manager, Lighting Designer
Shruti Abhishek is a professional Bharatanatyam Dancer from Mumbai, India and is currently based in San Francisco. Over 20 years, she has gained vast experience learning from and performing under well-known exponents of dance. At Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Performing Arts under the tutelage of Guru Smt Kanak Rele, a Padma Bhushan awardee by the President of India. She also trained with Guru Shri. CV Chandrashekhar in Chennai.
Shruti has performed in prestigious festivals in India and Europe such as at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Modhera Dance Festival, Natya Darshan- Chennai, India Habitat Centre – Delhi, Festiwal Indii – Poland, etc with her teacher Shri Vaibhav Arekar and Sankhya Dance Company. More recently, she has performed in several shows with multiple dance productions as a freelance dancer in the Bay Area. She is a principal dancer and rehearsal director at Nava Dance Theatre based in San Francisco. She has co-founded a cross country collaborative initiative with her colleague Ms Deepika Panchamukhi in Europe.
Shruti’s recent initiative “Kshetram” is an institute in Pleasanton where she teaches Bharatanatyam to young children and adults.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Sophia studied Bharatanatyam with
She is an ICCR Empaneled Artist, a 2013 Young Arts Finalist, and a 2017-2018 IndianRaga Fellow. In 2018, she was invited by the UAE Prime Minister to perform at the World Government Summit in Dubai for Indian Prime Minister Modi. Sophia also studies intensively with Rama Vaidyanathan in Delhi, and performed in her 2018 and 2019 US and India tours of ‘Vivartana’.
Also a pre-professional ballet dancer, Sophia studied at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow for six weeks under full scholarship in 2015. She recently graduated from Columbia University with a degree in chemistry, and passionately continues her pursuit of dance.
Anjana Dasu is a bharatanatyam dancer, a disciple of Smt. Mythili Kumar, Artistic Director of Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose. She began her training at the age of 7 and performed her arangetram in 2005. She has performed in many of Abhinaya Dance Company’s productions and toured with the company across the United States. Anjana has given solo concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area and India. Anjana has also been training in odissi under Smt. Niharika Mohanty, Director of Guru Shradha since 2013, with additional training from Guru Sujata Mohapatra.
Vedya Spurthi Konda has been pursuing Kuchipudi since the age of 5 under the tutelage of Guru Smt. Himabindu Challa. Over the years, she has also trained under world-renowned master artists, performed in several traditional Kuchipudi ballets, and presented solo performances in the US, India, and Mexico. She is a 2017 National YoungArts Foundation Winner, a 2018 IndianRaga Kuchipudi Fellow, and the 2018 Saptami Foundation National 1st Prize Winner in Kuchipudi. In addition to holding certificates in Kuchipudi and Telugu language from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Vedya Spurthi strives to augment her dance training through her pursuit of Carnatic Vocal Music under Guru Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan for the past 10 years. Vedya Spurthi is an incoming Freshman at Santa Clara University, and is an award winning photographer at the state and national level and holds several accolades for her work for the Girl Scouts of USA.
SaiSanthosh Radhakrishnan hails from Bharathachoodamani academy of fine arts, where he was trained under the legendary Guru Padmashree Adayar K. Lakshman and Smt. Deepa Babaprasad. He is trained in the expressive art technique of abhinaya by guru Smt. Bragha Bessell. Sai has strived to strike a balance between his academic and artistic pursuits from a very young age. His experience as an Instructor at BharathaChoodamani enabled him to develop a keen sense of rhythm and help him find a flair for teaching. SaiSanthosh has worked with several doyens in the field such as PadmaBushan Shri C.V. Chandrashekar, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Kalaimamani Smt. Radha, Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, Padmashri Ms. Leela Samson, Padmashri Smt. ChitraVisveshwaran and Kalaimamani Smt, Jeyanthi Subramnium.As a soloist, SaiSanthosh was chosen to perform at the inauguration of Sydney Dance Festival in the year 2014. He has performed in over 12 countries and his performances have received critical acclaim for dynamism and soulfulness.
SaiSanthosh is the recipient of the ‘Yuva Kala Bharathi’award from Bharath Kalachar (2012) and the title “NatyaYuva Bhushan” from Sumuki Rajashekaran Memorial Foundation (2009). Santhosh was selected as one among top five best talents in Chennai, in the 2010 Fresh Face Contest held by ‘Times of India’. He won the Best dancer award in classical dance competition at (SAARANG) IIT MADRAS, (NOOPURAM) ANNA UNIVERSITY, and the prestigious CLEVELAND THYAGARAJA ARADHANA International Competition (USA) 2012. He continues to perform and to teach in the US, where he resides. A graduate of Columbia University, New York, he currently works at Amazon, Kentucky, USA as Pathways Operations Manager.
Tharini Nagarkar is a rising senior from American High School in Fremont. She started learning music under Dr. Sumita Chakravorty when she was 4 years old. Upon moving to India in late 2010 for the primary purpose of advancing her training in Hindustani classical music, Tharini came under the tutelage of Vidushi Amrutha Deshpande, the senior-most disciple of renowned Hindustani vocalist,Pt. Vinayak Torvi and received additional guidance from Panditji himself. Sincemoving back to California in 2016, she continues to train under Vidushi Amrutha Deshpande and Pt. Vinayak Torvi-ji over Skype and in-person during her summer visits to India. Upon her guruji’s suggestion, she has also started to teach classical music to young kids in the Bay Area.
Tharini is training in Kirana and Gwalior Gharanas. She has given several performances in India at various temples, music festivals, baithaks and venuessuch as Nadabrahma Sangeet Sabha and Gaanabharathi in Mysore. In the US, she has performed at various events such as India Community Center’s‘Surmaala’, Priya Living for Indian Seniors and Maharashtra Mandal’s Diwalifestival. She also recorded for a television series produced by Swaralahari, a non-profit organization that promotes classical Indian music in the main stream media, including television in the US. Tharini has also won several classical music competitions in India and the Bay Area, including “Pratibha Puraskara” an annual event hosted by BSNL in India and “Chaitradhun”, a classical music competition held by Maharashtra Mandal of the Bay Area.
Pushing the boundaries of traditional Indian classical dance, Melvin Varghese is an emerging dancer, instructor, and choreographer hailing from New York City. He started training in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam at the tender age of six and completed his formal graduation in 2004 under Smt. Chandrakala Raghavan. Since then, Melvin has trained under several renowned gurus in India including Leela Samson, RLV Anand, and Parshwanath Upadhye, to name a few.
Melvin is the founding father of Rutgers University Natya, the award winning collegiate dance team which was featured in the New York Times in 2012. In 2009, he joined one of the leading Indian dance companies in New York and New Jersey, AATMA Performing Arts. His choreography has also been featured in numerous stage shows across the nation and globe, most notably, Mystic India: The World Tour. With the intent of growing Indian classical dance overseas, Melvin’s passion for technical excellence is the driving force behind his success as an instructor, and he hopes to impart this philosophy in all of his students.
Melvin graduated with his doctorate in physical therapy from Mercy College in 2016. Currently, Melvin is the on-site physical therapist for the First National tour of Disney’s Aladdin the musical.
The duo, fondly known as RoSha, have been practicing Carnatic music for more than 16 years and are distinctly known for their outstanding collaborative work as music composers since 2004. Establishing themselves as professional musicians both in the classical arts field as well as playback singers for Indian cinema, Rohith and Sharat also train the next generation of students in the classical arts under their able wings.
Rohit Bhat heads the music division at the Bimba Theatre Institute, Bangalore, India. Apart from being a class-apart singer, he is also a Karnataka State award winning actor. Rohit gives vocal concerts regularly and he is also one of the leading voices for Bharatantyam concerts across Karnataka.
Sharat R Prabhath is born in the illustrious family of Prabhat – the pioneers in Sound Studio,
Dance Drama, Theatre, and Stage Techniques. He is a trained Carnatic vocalist and a professional Kathak dancer. Sharat is also an exponent in the unique storytelling art form called HariKatha. He has travelled across the world showcasing his multifaceted talents.
Subashinee Krishnamurthy is a creative set designer who besides building sets has also done stage management for over hundred shows 2003. Her experiences includes theater, drama, dance, short films, and feature films. Her innovative sets have received several accolades, including her design for the short film ‘Suthanthira Porattam, a contestant in Naalaya Iyakunar was adjudged the best by Kollywood judges. You can see her most recent work – four distinct and stunning sets built with optimum budget in the short film ‘Sketchu’.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Vishwakarma – the Design Theater, a San Francisco based set design company. Vishwakarma takes pride in having staged shows not only in the Bay Area but also in other cities in the USA and India. facebook.com/vishkarmadesigns