Sunday, March 30, 2014

The music of Pravaha

Geetham Vadhyam Thatha Nrityam Thrayam Sangeetha Mucchyathe
Sangeetham comprises of Geetham ( songs), Vadhyam( instruments) and Natyam ( Dance)
Music and dance are incomplete without each other. It is the music which adds lustre to a Bharatanatyam recital. 
Bharatanatyam is danced to Carnatic music. The mathematical precision of Bharatanatyam equals that of Carnatic Music measure for measure.

Jyothishmathi Sheejith Krishna has composed the music for Pravaha. She is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and composer who received her postgraduate diploma in music from the Kalakshetra Foundation in 1997. She has sung in the lead for many classic Kalakshetra Repertory ensemble dance productions. As an independent artist, she has toured with illustrious Bharatanatyam dancers such as CV Chandrasekkar, VP and Shanta Dhananjayan, Leela Samson, and Malavika Sarukkai. Jyothishmathi has composed several musical scores for dance as an individual artist and in partnership with dancer-choreographer husband Sheejith Krishna. Their innovative and critically lauded collaborations include Masquerade (2007), Krishna Bharatham (2009), and Parinaamam (2010).

She speaks to Renuka Vaidyanathan about the process of creating music for Pravaha:

“When we started thinking about the kind of music to have in Pravaha, especially in the beginning when we are portraying the primitive age, we decided not to use a lot of lyrics. We explored what could be done without using lyrics and decided on using a lot of rhythm in the beginning. We have not used any electronic music- all the effects, music and sounds are manually created. When portraying cloud, rain and river, we have created something very original and musical- you will see it for yourself when you see the production! We have used group singing with just musical notes very effectively while portraying some of these scenes.

We have used lyrics while portraying Ganga or while telling the story of Kalidasa’s epic poem Meghadutam.  To reach out to a wider audience, we have used just instrumental music without lyrics in many places.  My roots and grounding are in Carnatic music so the entire premise is Carnatic music based though I have Hindustani ragas where appropriate: for example I have used a Hindustani Raga like Megh to depict cloud.

When Sheejith and I work together, it is a very professional relationship- as you know, he is a very meticulous and demanding choreographer.  The advantage of working with him is that he knows exactly what he wants and as a musician, it becomes easier for me to give him what he wants as music.

When I worked with him on Krishna Bharatham, which was a more traditional production, our challenge was to fit the traditional lyrics into my music.  We worked with a combination of ragas which would portray the mood of the characters. As Pravaha is abstract and not character based, it has been more of a challenge.”

Without giving too much away, we can assure you that Pravaha’s music will be refreshing, dynamic  and will have cross-cultural appeal.  Come, join us to see for yourself what all has gone int o Pravaha to make it much more than a dance production.

Here is a glimpse of the Pravaha musicians:

Nellai Ravindran: Violin


Nellai Ravindran holds a Bachelor’s degree from Madurai Kamaraj University.  He underwent advanced training in Violin under Sri S A Subramania Pillai for 7 years at Tirunelveli. He has accompanied several senior artists in India and is a “B” grade artist in All-India Radio.

Susanta Chowdhury: Sitar


Susanta Chowdhury had his early training from his father Sri Bhupendra Nath Chowdhury and subsequently went under the tutelage of Sri Shyamal Chattopadhya. He then became a disciple of the famed Padmabhushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri under whom he groomed into a fine Sitar Player. Susanta received his MA (Music) from Delhi University with Summa Cum Laude, and is also an A grade artist in All-India Radio and television.

Mihir Kundu: Tabla


Mihir Kundu is a prominent Tabla Artist from India. His initial Tabla training was from Shri Sabyasachi Sengupta and later went on to do his Guru Sishya Parampara under the Tabla maestro Pt. Sankha Chatterjee. He has received several prestigious titles like the Jadubhatta award from Saltl ake Cultural Association (Kolkata) and Talmani award from Sursingar Samsad (Mumbai). Mihir has shared the stage with many stalwarts and has also performed extensively in India, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy and South East Asia.

M B T Sridevi: Veena


 Sridevi holds a Diploma in Veena and has also done a Certificate Course in Vocal. She is a“B” High Grade artist of All India Radio in Classical Veena. Her Veena tutelage comes from Sri. B. Sankar Prakash, an A.I.R “A” Grade Staff Artist. She has done her MA in Veena music with Tirupathi Mahila Padmavathi University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Andhra University. She is a renowned performer since 1978 and has performed all over the world. 

Chettitharaveetil Haridas Sreekanth:  Mridangam


Sreekanth is the disciple of Prof.Sri Cherthala S Dhinesh and Guru Padmabushan T V Gopalakrishnan. Sreekanth completed his Diploma in Mridangam at R.L.V. Music College of Fine Arts, Tripunithura. He also holds a Master Degree with first class from Mahatma Gandhi University,  Kottayam. He has accompanied senior artists such as Guru Padmabushan T V Gopalakrishnan and famous Bharatanatyam dancers Sri C V Chandrasekhar and the Dhananjayans.

V K Sivakumar : Flute


Sivakumar holds a Vadhya Visharadha Diploma in flute from Tamil Nadu Government Music College. He has had the privilege of learning for seven years under Flute maestro Dr. N Ramani and also under Mr. R. Thyagarajan. Sivakumar is a regular solo artist who has performed all over India; he is  an accomplished accompanist for music and dance concerts as well and has worked with stalwarts like violinist Kalaimamani Kanyakumari and Sri Karaikudi Mani Iyer.

Janaki Sadagopan: Vocal


Janaki first learnt music from her mother Rajeswari Sadagopan. Then she joined Gana Kala Vidya Nilayam in Goregaon, Mumbai where she learnt music from Mrs. Sampoorni and later Mrs. Girija Narasimhan. She did her B.A. music at Tamil Nadu Govt. Music College, Thiruvaiyaru and was a disciple of Prof. Dr. P Uma Maheswari. She obtained top rankings after studying at Bharathidasan University as well as her Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Trichy where she finished her post-graduation.

Nanditha Gurunath: Vocal


Nandhitha Gurunath,  is the disciple of Smt. Raji Shekar at the Temple of Fine Arts and went on to learn under Smt. Mangalam Shankar and Smt. Allepey Lakshmi Vinayhak in Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. She finished her diploma in SIFAS in Carnatic music and earned the title Sangeetha Visharadh. She also holds the title of Voice of Singapore given by the Carnatic Careers Academy. She has performed on several stages in Singapore, India and abroad.

Lakshmanan Senthil: Tabla


 Lakshmanan started learning Tabla at the age of 5, under the guidance and tutelage of Guru Ahmad Safraz at the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. Then, he moved on to be the disciple of Guru Mihir Kundu, from whom he has been learning for the past 6 years. He has performed widely in concerts and performances organized by SIFAS, both locally and internationally.

Ganesh Jayabal: Percussion


Ganesh Jayabal is a disciple of Sri T R Sundaresan. He holds a diploma in Mridangam and has also been awarded the Vadhya Visharadh title from SIFAS in 2012. He been playing in classical concerts and orchestra regularly. His latest involvement was in Giri Samkeerthana Sanagama, a SIFAS Alumni orchestra production in 2013.

Sai Vigneshwar:  Vocal


Sai Vigneshwar started learning Carnatic vocal music at the Temple of Fine Arts, Singapore from Smt Rajalakshmi Sekar and performed his Arangetram under the guidance of Smt Gowri Gokul. He was awarded the title Geethanjali by Swami Shantanand Saraswati in 2002, and in 2010, the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society awarded him the Diploma in Carnatic music and the title "Sangeetha Visharadh". Sri Sai Vigneshwar has performed in Singapore, India, Malaysia and Australia as a solo artist and supporting vocalist for dance productions as well. Sai Vignesh is currently undergoing advanced training from Shri Rajkumar Bharathi in Chennai.

The Chorus:

Akshayaa Sivaram


Akshayaa has completed her 8 year Diploma in Carnatic Music from  Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. She was initially under the tutelage of Guru C.Pathmalingam and subsequently under Guru Poorna Pragna Rao. Kumari Akshayaa is currently undergoing advanced Manodharma training from Shri Papanasam Ashok Ramani. She has also performed a number of Carnatic vocal Concerts in Singapore, as part of the Navarathri, Vasantha Utsavam and Mandalabishegam concerts in temples.

Rajalakshmi Nageswaran


Rajalakshmi Nageswaran started learning Carnatic vocal at SIFAS  at the age of 9 from Guru V.K. Sivakumar for 5 yrs. She won the Best Student award in her 5th year exam. She later learnt from Guru Poorna Pragna Rao for 2 yrs. She is presently under the tutelage of Guru T.P. Nishanth. She has performed in SIFAS festival of music and dance and is also part of SIFAS Orchestra. She has performed in various temple programs as well.

Nishanth Thyagarajan


Nishanth started learning Carnatic vocal from Mrs. Sharadha Shankar at the age of six. He joined Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) in 2006 and is now being groomed by Delhi Muthukumar, Chennai. Sri Nishanth completed the 8 year diploma course at SIFAS under the tutelage of Guru S P P Rao, and received the title award of Sangeetha Visharad. He also bagged the ‘Best Student’ award in the 5th and 8th year vocal examinations conducted by SIFAS. He is a frequent performer in the various concerts  organised by SIFAS, and also in the December Music Season.

Sharadh Rajaraman


Sharadh is a disciple of Guru T P Nishanth and completed his 8th year diploma in SIFAS in 2012. He has performed in several events organized by SIFAS and externally. He recently gave a Carnatic vocal recital in Chennai Music Academy in the 2013 Music Festival. He is also learning Carnatic violin under the tutelage of Guru Nellai Ravindran. Under his tutelage, Sharadh earned the title of Vadhya Visharadh from SIFAS for his 8th year diploma.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The story of water is a Universal story, a cross-cultural story...

Akhila Ramnarayan, an independent literary scholar and theatre artist, speaks about working with Sheejith Krishna on Pravaha.

Pravaha- the creative team

Sheejith Krishna
Pravaha has been conceptualised and choreographed by Sheejith Krishna who has worked with SIFAS in the past on Krishna Bharatham (2012). Sheejith Krishna studied, then taught, at the world-renowned institute for the classical arts in Chennai, India, the Kalakshetra Foundation, for 21 years (1989-2010). Now an independent artiste and choreographer, he has learnt Bharatanatyam, percussion, and vocal music from such stalwarts as Sarada Hoffman, Vikku Vinayakaram, and S. Rajaram. Among several full-length ensemble productions, he choreographed and directed for the Kalakshetra Repertory in 2007 the innovative Masquerade, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's Man in the Iron Mask in the idiom of Bharatanatyam, to critical and popular acclaim. Winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi's prestigious Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2007) and the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's Yagnaraman Award for Excellence in Dance (2010), he continues to perform as a lead dancer with the Kalakshetra Repertory's productions while choreographing his own solo and ensemble productions.

Jyothishmathi Sheejith Krishna

Jyothishmathi Sheejith Krishna has composed the music for Pravaha.  She is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and composer who received her postgraduate diploma in music from the Kalakshetra Foundation in 1997. She has sung in the lead for many classic Kalakshetra Repertory ensemble dance productions. As an independent artist, she has toured with illustrious Bharatanatyam dancers such as CV Chandrasekkar, VP and Shanta Dhananjayan, Leela Samson, and Malavika Sarukkai. Jyothishmathi has composed several musical scores for dance as an individual artist and in partnership with dancer-choreographer husband Sheejith Krishna. Their innovative and critically lauded collaborations include Masquerade (2007), Krishna Bharatham (2009), and Parinaamam (2010).

Akhila Ramnarayan
Akhila Ramnarayan has collaborated with Sheejith on Pravaha.  She is involved in the scripting and has composed some of the music as well. Akhila Ramnarayan is an independent literary scholar and theatre artist who served as assistant professor of postcolonial studies at the University of Dayton's Department of English (2005-2011). She has worked extensively with students, researchers, and writers across academic disciplines and genres on curricular development in the humanities and the arts. She completed her PhD on Tamil literature and marumalarcci during the nationalist period, specifically Kalki Ra Krishnamurti's historical romances, at the Ohio State University (2006). Dr. Ramnarayan has performed lead roles with JustUs Theatre Repertory in Chennai since 2008.

Photo credit:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Sound of Harmony

By Sarita Alurkar-Sriram
Rahul Sharma in concert

Fitting into the shoes of his illustrious father, living legend Pandit Shivkumar Sharma  is no easy task. But Rahul Sharma has managed this so well, that his father has  said .” I believe Rahul has a gift from God.”

Rahul’s musical virtuosity and mastery of the santoor, a 100 stringed instrument , has been widely acknowledged. He starting learning this instrument from his father Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, whose name is synonymous with the santoor today.

Indeed, the Sharma family’s association with the santoor goes back a long way. It started in the 1930s when Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, (Rahul Sharma’s grandfather) became fascinated with the santoor, a Kashmiri folk instrument that was used to accompany Sufi music. He introduced it in the classical style, working out a system tuned to the needs of Indian ragas. It was his son Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, who  virtually reinvented this instrument and transformed it into a popular classical instrument.
“The santoor was a little known folk instrument until my father introduced classical music on it and gave it its current stature. My father brought it out from the valleys of Kashmir to the world’,’ says Sharma.

Rahul Sharma’s own journey with the santoor has been equally spectacular. He has expanded the possibilities of this instrument while keeping his foot firmly planted in the soil of the Hindustani classical tradition. “Be it classical music or collaborations, I am always looking to do more”, he says.”To me, music is a way of expressing my ideas and philosophy.”

His first taste of success was in September 2000 with 'Music of the Himalayas', a live performance in Turin which featured Rahul, percussionist Pandit Bhawani Shankar and tabla player Ustad Shafat Ahmed Khan. There was no looking back after that and Rahul Sharma has performed at various music festivals in North America and Europe, including WOMAD, and has also collaborated with international musicians like Richard Clayderman and Kersi Lord. 

But for Sharma, his first love remains pure Indian classical music. He says,” I began learning under my father at the age of 12.Initially I was also interested in composing my own tunes and that skill was complimented by the intracacies of classical music. Today after doing more than 60 albums , half of which are fusion/ collaborations and the other half classical , I still believe that classical music has immense depth and elevates listeners to a spiritual level. The fact that I collaborated with several Grammy winning musicians like Kenny G, Richard Clayderman, Deep Forest, etc is thanks to my classical training.

Being the son of living legend, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma , Rahul Sharma is often asked if the legacy of his father weighs him down. “ Its been an interesting journey , he says “and  I’m indebted to have a guru such as my father who has encouraged me at each step. Whatever I am today is because of him. Comparisons are inevitable but as long as one has passion about his/her work , he/she will succeed.”

Sharma looks forward to his classical concert in Singapore on 30th March at the annual SIFAS Festival of Music and Dance 2014.It has been 17 yrs of performing all over  the globe and each concert , tour  or collaboration is an eye opener and a learning experience. I enjoyed performing at the Esplanade with Richard Clayderman on my last visit there. Singapore is a vibrant city with lots of positive energy and Singapore audiences are great. I look forward to presenting some beautiful evening ragas and different shades of light classical and folk music.

Naadagatha –Sound of Harmony
A Santoor Recital by Rahul Sharma
Accompanied by Yogesh Samsi on the Tabla
Sunday,30th March, 2014, 7.30 pm
Esplanade Concert Hall
Tickets at $40 and $ 25, available at SISTIC
Limited tickets at $ 80

Pravaha practice- some pictures

Photo credit: Lijesh Karunakaran and Renuka Vaidyanathan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pravaha- a moving human experience

By Renuka Vaidyanathan
The girls with their Guru Sheejith Krishna, Photo credit: Lijesh Karunakaran

Pravaha dancers, Photo credit: Lijesh Karunakaran

An original dance theatre production by SIFAS students and alumni, choreographed by Sheejith Krishna,  ‘Pravaha’ will celebrate the dance of water, the journey of cloud, rain and river,  the flow of creative imagination set free, the dance of the human spirit at one with nature…

The production Pravaha will be inspired by the rich lyricism of classical poetry on the iconic Ganga (the river Ganges), Kalidasa’s ‘Meghadutam’ and other traditional and modern stories on cloud, rain and river.  It will trace the journey of water from the origin of life in the Cosmos to the appearance of first humans on the planet. It will then highlight through the story of water, how human response to nature has evolved over millennia, finding expression in mythology and sacred/secular art.  Pravaha will unfold a journey of confluence and birth, connection and balance, division and destruction, rebirth and rejuvenation.  Emphasising the interconnectedness of all living things, the production would showcase, through the lovely medium of Bharatanatyam, human kind’s greatest challenge today- saving our fresh water rivers and lakes and preserving and protecting our environment.

Pravaha is not just a dance production for its dancers but a moving human experience as well.  It has been a very poignant learning process for the dancers involved in the production.  They range in age from 16 to 30: some are students; some are working women; some are mothers even.  They juggle their various responsibilities while being a part of this production.

Working with Sheejith Krishna has been an intensely moving experience for these dancers as he teaches them values, in addition to dance. They learn to be better human beings, in the process.  Sheejith Krishna says, "If you want to be a good dancer, be a good human being first and a good artist next.  Cultivate a good eye for everything around you, in life and in art.  Sharpen your sense of aesthetics: texture, colour, light, shade, sound, smell, taste, your sense of the whole.  Absorb everything around you. If you have that eye, that vision, if you lose yourself in the appreciation of the greater whole, your dance will shine”.  As the dancers practice vigorously and imbibe life lessons, here is a small glimpse of the rehearsal sessions which are so full of energy and infectious enthusiasm that even non-dancers feel like joining the dancers in their practice. The production promises to be much more than just a dance, but a journey through life’s stages! 

Come, feel the flow with us.  On April 11, at 8 pm at the Esplanade theatre.

The Pravaha dancers:

Meera and Jaya
Renisha and Preethi

Charline and Dhriti
Sambhavi and Shivani
Dhanya and Aarthi

Lavanya and Sruti

Photo credit: Renuka Vaidyanathan

Aarthi Devarajan

Aarthi Devarajan is a Bharatanatyam alumnus of SIFAS and has been learning for the past 12 years. In her first few years, she was under the tutelage of Guru V Balagurunathan. During her senior years, she blossomed under the able guidance of Guru Saroopa Das and completed her arangetram in Chennai in 2009. She then went on to learn the intricacies of the art from Guru Roopika Julian and with her able guidance, Aarthi completed her final year in the diploma course in 2011 and was blessed with the title of ‘Natya Visharadh. She has been performing widely since 2008 in both Singapore and India. Aarthi is a student of architecture at SUTD, Singapore.

Charline Marzin

Charline has been practicing Bharatanatyam for the past 10 years, initially falling in love with this art form after watching a performance in Paris, France. She is currently under the tutelage of guru Sanjit Lal in SIFAS, and is also the disciple of Smt Shyamala Surendran from Dharani School of Performing Arts, Cochin, India, and Smt Shakuntala in Exeter, UK, and was also a disciple of Smt Minal Prabhu during her years in Bangalore in 2004-2005. She performed her arangetram in the UK in July 2012, and previously performed multiple solo performances in Cochin, India and Paris, France. Charline, a French national and mother of a 4-year old, works as a climatologist in Singapore.

Dhanya Menon

Dhanya has been learning Bharatanatyam in SIFAS since she was 9 years old. She has performed in various temples and auditoriums for functions island wide and internationally, including the Esplanade in Singapore, Sutra theatre in Malaysia, the Madras University and the Varasiddhi Vinayaga Temple in Chennai. Dhanya has represented her school at the Indian Embassy for the Independence Day gathering; she also performed in the august presence of the erstwhile President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. She completed her diploma in Bharatanatyam at SIFAS in 2013 and had her arangetram at UCC, NUS, Singapore in July 2013.
She has also participated in cultural programs during Indian festivals. Besides dance, she is interested in playing the drums. She is also aiming to attain a higher level in French at Alliance Francaise, Singapore.. Dhanya is currently a 3rd year Advertising student in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Dhriti Vaidyanathan

Dhriti Vaidyanathan, is an emerging Bharatanatyam artiste from Singapore. Dhriti, who has been dancing for over 14 years,  did her training under the Kalakshetra tradition at Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society(SIFAS),  under the tutelage of Guru Minal Merai. Dhriti completed her diploma in Bharatanatyam in June 2008 and was awarded the title of Natya Visharadh by SIFAS.  
Dhriti did her Arangetram in Chennai, India in 2006 and has since performed solo recitals in Singapore, India, Indonesia, USA and UK. She was recently selected by the Music Academy, Chennai to perform in The Spirit of Youth festival in Chennai. She is currently under the tutelage of senior Guru Roja Kannan who is a senior disciple of Guru Padmashri Adyar K Lakshman.   She has performed regularly in the Chennai Marghazhi season as well as in the SIFAS festival in the past. She was a part of the ensemble production Krishna Bharatham choreographed by Guru Sheejith Krishna for the SIFAS festival in 2012.  She is a graduate of the University of the Arts, London and works with Singtel Digital Media in Singapore.


Jayaletchmi began learning Bharatanatyam at the tender age of three. Initially taught by the late Guru Shilpa Chandran, she then learnt from Guru Saroopa Das and Guru Roopika Julian. Having attained her Diploma last year, she is currently under the tutelage of Guru Ramya.
Bharatanatyam has formed a large part of Jaya’s schooling years. She was a member of the Raffles Institution Indian Dance troupe that participated in the Singapore Youth Festival in 2011 in which her team clinched the Gold with Honours award, and was also the leader of the Indian Dance group in Cedar Girls’ Secondary School. Jayaletchmi is studying law at NUS, Singapore.

Lavanya Rengarajan

Lavanya Rengarajan, is currently under the tutelage of Guru Ramya in the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. Lavanya was awarded the best student award in her 5th year dance examinations. She has also received training from Guru Seetharama Sharma, Guru Shilpa Chandran, Guru Saroopa Das , Guru Roopika Julian and now continues her passion under the expertise and guidance of Guru Ramya.

She has performed in numerous dance programmes such as the SIFAS Academy Day, the SIFAS Festival of Music and Dance in 2008, and also in temple Kumbhabhishegams, Navaratri Festivals, Vasantham TV shows, and other community programmes. 
Dance has provided her with the platform to exhibit her talents and expand her potentials, while having taught her the essential life lessons of discipline, resilience and humility. 
Lavanya has completed her Diploma in Computer Engineering in Singapore Polytechnic and her passion for dance is further exhibited through her participation in her school's annual musical, 'Samarpanam', various semi-classical dance performances in school events and many Community Art programmes.
Lavanya is a business student at SIM, Singapore.

Meera Balasubramanian 

Meeera trained in India under Mrs.Ranganayaki Jayaraman and later under Mrs.Prabha Kini in Bangalore. She joined SIFAS in the year 2009 under Guru Roopika Julian and is currently training under Guru Sanjit Lal. She has performed in various temples during Shivarathri and Navarathri festivals and Corporate shows.  She  recently had her Arangetram performance in Chennai Music under the able guidance of Ms. Roopika Julian and Kalakshetra Shri Hari Padman.
She has also trained in Carnatic music for more than 15 years.
She is a  Banking Graduate from the Madras University and also has a diploma in computers and used to work as a software engineer. She is a mother of twin children and teaches dance.

 Preethi Devarajan

Preethi Devarajan holds a diploma in Bharatanatyam from SIFAS. She is currently under the tutelage of Guru Sanjit Lal. Preethi was part of the Cedar Girls Secondary School Indian Dance team which won the Silver Award in the Singapore Youth Festival 2011. She is also a regular performer at the Community Life Arts Programme (CLAP) that is organized by Central CDC. Preethi has also been performing in Singapore at temple Kumbhabhishegams and Navarathri festivals. In 2011, during the December season, Preethi had her maiden performance in India at the Hamsadhwani NRI Festival. In December 2012, Preethi completed her Arangetram in Chennai. Preethi has also performed in the SIFAS Festival 2012 and 2013. Preethi is a secondary school student.

Renisha Paul Mukkam

Renisha completed her 8th year in 2012 under the tutelage of Guru Shyamjith Kiran. She was previously a student of Sri V Balagurunathan. In the 2012 Music and Dance Festival, she performed in Krishna Bharatham, a production by Sri Sheejith Krishna, and staged a solo performance at the SIFAS auditorium. She was also one of 2 guest performers from SIFAS to perform at Sangamam, a Vasantham production, at the Esplanade. She is also a 6th year Veena student of Guru Meenakshi Somasundaram. Renisha was also Chairperson of the Raffles Girls’ School and Raffles Junior College Indian Dance teams. Renisha is interning at PWC while waiting to attend University.

Sambhavi Rajangam

Sambhavi Rajangam commenced her Bharatanatyam training in SIFAS, under the tutelage of Smt Minal Merai at the age of five. Her guru's dedicated guidance enabled Sambhavi to receive the "Best Student Award"  for her performance in her 5th year Bharatanatyam examination. She then went on to complete her diploma in Bharathanatyam through SIFAS, under the able guidance of Guru Roopika Julian and secured the Natya Visharadh title award in recognition of her outstanding performance. She has given solo performances in both the SIFAS and Chennai Festival of Music and Dance and she has had the honour of performing at Afro Asian Philosophical Conferences held in Mumbai and Chidambaram. Sambhavi has performed widely in Singapore during various occasions such as the SIFAS Academy day celebrations and navarathri performances. She was an ambassador of Singapore during International Indian Fine Arts –Nadasangamam, a dance emsemble held in Chennai in the years 2007 and 2008. Sambhavi is a secondary school student.

Shivani Rajaraman

Shivani Rajaraman  has been learning Bharatanatyam since the age of 7. She was first initiated into this art form through Guru Sitaravamma Sandrasegaran. After which, she continued her learning under various teachers, Guru Maalika Girish Panicker, Guru Sunitha Nair and Guru Swarna Iyer. In 2012, under the tutelage of Guru Roopika Julian, Shivani finished her eighth year, graduating with the title award of ‘Natya Visharadh’. She is currently learning under Guru Ramya. Shivani has regularly performed in temples during Navaratri and also in numerous SIFAS Academy Day productions. She has also performed in the 2009 Indian Music and Dance festival in Chennai and in the SIFAS Music and Dance Festival in the years 2010 and 2013. In 2012, she was part of the Salangai Oli winning team, a dance competition on Vasantham. In addition, Shivani was an active member of her alma mater, Raffles Institution's Indian Dance team that won the Gold with Honours award for SYF in 2011. Shivani has also learnt Carnatic Vocal and has completed her 6th year. She is currently a medical student at NUS, Singapore.

Sruti Rao

Sruti Rao has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past 15 years, and is currently under the guidance of Guru Sanjit Lal at SIFAS. She completed her Bharatanatyam arangetram in 2006 under the guidance of Guru Sitaravamma Sandrasegaran and thereafter performed regularly in Singapore and India. Sruti has performed in numerous dance productions, including the recent ‘Glimpses of Angkor’ and Angkor- The Untold Story by Apsaras Arts, as well as the SIFAS Alumni Production 2012 ‘Krishna Bharatham’ choreographed by Sri Sheejith Krishna. Also a trained Carnatic vocalist, she hopes to continuously evolve in her learning journey through the arts. Sruti works as a financial journalist in Singapore.