Natyalaya 30th Anniversary Brochure

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March 17, 2012 Akins High School Austin, TX

Acknowledgements Program Auditorium: Akins High School and AISD Lighting: Kanaka Sathasivan & Samyu Rao Award Presentation: Vani Rao & Vinu Ilakkuvan Backstage: Sarita Warrier, Vidya Mani, & Nalini Rao Quiz show: Gayathri & Ganesh Iyer Plaques: B&C trophies Scenery: Yogesh Patel & Dharini Chandrasekar Props: Usha Akella & Vinitha Subramanian Costume Design: Dr. Sanjay Shantaram; Shahzia; Kaysaf Costumes: Dr. Rajam Ramamurthi, Arathi School of Dance, San Antonio, TX; Shahzia; Kaysaf Photography: Ravi Pothukuchy Videography: Scott Hathaway

Brochure Brochure Design, Editing: Kanaka Sathasivan Brochure Content: Natyalaya Family Brochure Production: Ram Dokka and Sudhakar Karumuri

Video Production Video Production: Vinitha Subramanian, Jagannath Vedula, & Naras Iyengar Video Narration: Usha Akella Video Content: Natyalaya Family

Food Food: Madras Pavilion & Natyalaya Food Committee Cake: Adelina Srinivasan

We would like to personally recognize Drs. Prasana and Shyamala Nair Dr. A. Nagarajan and Janaki Nagarajan

Thank you to all our advertisers, sponsors, and supporters! Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported us over the past 30 years! Special thanks to Dr. Mani Subramanian. Sponsored by Hari Om Satsang

Director’s Note Thirty years can be an eternity or the blink of an eye depending on what you do. I have been blessed in doing what I love for thirty years, so it seems like it was only yesterday that I performed in Texas Power and Light in Temple, TX and Anjali Rao came up to me and asked if I would teach her daughter. As with any journey there were triumphs and failures; accolades and brickbats; laughter and tears; joy and heartaches. But as one friend described me, I want to slip slide my way with great abandon to the end. If we are the company we keep, I am on average 14 years going on 50+. Into Harry Potter and Sudha Raghunathan; Facebook and phone calls; texting and emails; Pandora and Humma; Hunger Games and Upanishads all at the same time. What a way to live! Hope you will walk down memory lane with me and relive those moments one more time!

Vinitha Subramanian

Director , 1982-2012 Natyalaya School of Dance

Vinitha Subramanian Vinitha Subramanian began her dancing career at the tender age of four under the tutelage of Thirukoshtiyur Nagarathna Ammal. She then went on to be trained in the Thirukoshtiyur and Pandanainallur styles under Shri Radhakrishnan of Bangalore and Madurai S. Jayaraman, as well as under her sister Sujatha Krishna. She also received a year of Kathakali training under Shri Manoharan. She has given performances in diverse cities as Ahmedabad, Calcutta, and Tirupati, as well as all over Tamil Nadu. After moving to the United States, she gave her first American performance at the Pittsburg Temple in 1980. It was here that she got her first students, a young group of two girls. In 1981, she moved to Temple, TX and performed at Texas Power and Light. In 1982, she found Natyalaya with four students, expanding to Austin, TX in the same year. In 1983, she took a break from teaching in Austin due to the birth of her son. She returned in 1987 and has been a constant presence in the Austin Classical Art scene ever since. In the years since founding Natyalaya, she has overseen 11 productions, ranging from traditional classical shows to contemporary Bharathanatyam dramas; 31 Arangetrams (and a few combined Kuchipudi Rangapravesams and Odissi Manchapravesams); along with a yearly annual show starring all the members of the school and featuring a traditional cake with the names of all her students.

Natyalaya Faculty Kanaka Sathasivan (Student 1992-2004; Faculty 2000-2012; Assistant Director 2007-2009; Austin, TX) Bharathanatyam often seems like a timeless language that can take you across different worlds, eras, dimensions, and philosophies. Sometimes contradictory, it can take abstract concepts and make them concrete; channel physical movements to convey spiritual thoughts. I, for one, never intended to be a dancer. As a child, I was often dragged to class against my will. But somehow dance captured me and gave me the opportunity to not only practice an athletic art form, but to stretch my creativity through teaching, lighting, direction, choreography, and even art design. All credit goes to my guru Vinitha Aunty, who knew and believed in what I may someday accomplish. Of all she has taught me over the years, dance was just the beginning.

Gayathri Iyer (Faculty 2009-2011; Austin, TX) The art of Bharatanatyam is known for its beauty, aesthetics, and spiritual experience. It helps me to keep my mind and body alert. The art form has taught me to practice patience and endurance in normal life. I like to work under Guru Vinitha Akka at Natyalaya for her leadership and knowledge in the art. I enjoy teaching the art form to next generation of kids which is a great experience in itself. When I see those young faces in classes it rejuvenates me. I continue to keep in touch with dance by performing, choreographing, and teaching.

Sandhya Sudhir (Faculty 2009-2012; Austin, TX) I fell in love with dance when I saw my cousin’s Arangetram. Like any 6 year old it was all about costume, jewelry and applause at that time. But now it is my passion. It has given me great confidence and good attitude. I owe all these to my gurus (Vivekandan master, Muriyad Muraleedharan, Kalamandalam Prasheeja, and Kalamandalam Radhika ). I feel it is a great stress reliever and fun exercise. Thanks to Vinitha Aunty for giving me the confidence and support to be a dance teacher.

Pavithra Ramadoss (Faculty 2006-2007, 2010-2012; Austin, TX) When I first got married and moved to Austin, I could not find an outlet for dancing for several months. I first met Vinitha Akka at the Hindu Temple of Central Texas in Temple, TX. Seeing her kids perform Alarippu, I was overwhelmed and immediately asked her if I could join them. She agreed, and let me join in with her students. This was my first welcome into Natyalaya and I have been dancing with them every since. I enjoy learning and teaching dance and I hope to pursue a career in dance with a focus on performances and group choreography.

Neha Atyam (Student 1998-2012; Faculty 2010-2012; Austin,TX) To me, Bharathanatyam is not only a form of dance, but also part of who I am. I greatly enjoy expressing myself in different forms and going in depth in my exploration of expression and meaning. As a student of Natyalaya, I enjoy working with other dancers as well as learning their technique. In the end Natyalaya has not only taught me discipline, but also has also increased my passion for dance. I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I hope to keep in touch with the roots of Bharathanatyam as long as I live and pass on as much of my knowledge to others as I can.

Natyalaya Faculty Dharini ChandraseKar (Student 2005-2012; Faculty 2010-2012; Austin, TX) Bharathanatyam is a beautiful art form that is rich in tradition and teaches one about culture. As the most popular and ancient art form of South India, it transcends the barrier of language and captivates audiences through expressions and body language. A variety of moods and emotions are incorporated into each dance to tell a different story. These are a few reasons for which I admire the art form. Although my mom initially cajoled me into learning Bharathanatyam at the age of five, the art form grew on me and became a passion. I feel that through immersing myself in dance I have grown as a person, spiritually and mentally. Dance continues to be a major part of my life after my Arangetram as I now teach and choreograph dances for Natyalaya and continue to perform.

Arati Warrier (Student 2002-2011; Faculty 2009-2012; Austin, TX) Bharathanatyam is the single greatest form of expression I know. It is both a medium and an outlet for me to express my feelings, and I appreciate that I can combine art with athleticism. Natyalaya paved the way for my dancing career and gave me opportunities to grow as both a dancer and a teacher. Both the dance form and the dance school have shaped the person I am. I continue to incorporate dance into my life by teaching classes, learning dances from Vinitha Aunty, and helping to coordinate and dance in productions.

Sandhya Velu (Student 2003-2010; Faculty 2011-2012; Pflugerville, TX) I remember years ago, my mother had to bargain with me to get me to dance class. I don’t know when those times slowly changed into a happiness at the slightest mention of dance, but I credit Bharathanatyam with opening the doors to my true passion. Vinitha Aunty and Natyalaya were the avenues that led to my love of dance and my heritage. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thanks to Vinitha Aunty for showing me the beauty and grace it seems only she possess, and for teaching me how to love this amazing art form. I hope that I can one day touch others with my passion the way she has.

Meera Gopal (Student 2004-2012; Faculty 2010-2012; Temple, TX) I love dancing Bharathanatyam because it gives me a chance to express myself while having fun. It is a deep passion that I want to pursue for the rest of my life, through performing and teaching. I’m very thankful to Vinitha Aunty for helping me and guiding me along this journey through dance.

Nikita Prasad (Student 2000-2012; Faculty 2011-2012; Austin, TX) Learning Bharathanatyam taught me much about my heritage and culture, and exposed me to several classical Indian art forms. Natyalaya gave me many opportunities to perform, helping me grow as a dancer, a performer, and a person. In addition, Natyalaya allowed me to work with world-renowned artists (Jayalakshmi Eshwer, Narendra, Anusha Kumar, and Suma Krishnamurthy) and participate in numerous productions (Ganga and Ek). Now, I continue to study dance at Natyalaya and other dance studios. I also teach at Natyalaya; perform at programs and dance competitions; and choreograph and perform contemporary dances.

Natyalaya Students Vinitha Subramanian Spoorthi Dasari Sujana Kumar Mahitha Kovvuri Rachna Jadala Rachitha Jadala Madeleine Nagle Diksha Verma Lahiri Gaddigopula Surya Rangineni Shruthi Nampoothiri Padmashri Shetty Kriti Swami Amruta Sreedharane Neeti Swami Tanvi Wattal Swati Mallempatti Sriharini Vedula Pavia Muringathuperambil Sahiti Karumuri Anushka Noubad Sameera Aradhyula Mallika Tyagi Shaili Mehta Nandika Tyagi Shruti Krish Sonia Shah Shragvi Balaji Simran Shah Varsha Puliyadi Sejal Jain Varshini Karthikeyan Anouka Saha Meghana Venkat Amulya Gobburu Nisha Rajasekhar Marilyn Matthew Krishna Vaidyanathan Disha Patel Hamsini Vaidyanathan Nitya Rayapati Radhika Rajalal Kasmira Madina Sindhura Sridhar Manasa Datta Divya Sreedharane Malavika Perinchery Kripa George Manjula Dokka

Meera Gopal Sri Ramanathan Krithika Rajesh Maheswari Rajesh Praneetha Koneru Gayathri Devi Thirumavukkarasu su

Kanaka Sathasivan Anuradha Rangarajan Prabha Gupta Latha Gobburu Prerna Jain

Pavithra Ramadoss Nehal Bhansali Neena Pisharody Architha Sivakumar Aditi Lavani Sree Maram Anjali Pravardhan Tiffany Loudraj Aashna Bhansali

Dharini Chandrasekar Sandhya Velu Yashiwitha Reddy Thindi Trisha Govind Soumya Patil Malavika Vishwanathan Avinav Saini Anushka Saini Divya Nair Shreya Kolli Risha Ghosh Anya Ruttala Krupali Kumar Ramitha Reddy

Sarika Venkat Krithika Gilari Madhuri Neralla Nithila Ganesh Anna Ranabijuli Aishwarya Kompella Sudiksha Pradhan Madhu Manikutty Adrita Roy

Sandhya Sudhir Geethanjali Akkihal Anya Gowda Aakansha Chawla Tanvi Siruvuri Navya Janga Shruthi Bala Akshitha Boddapu

Neha Atyam Ne Sonia Ballada Neha Vetsa Teja Kulkarni Roshini Beddhannan Sruthi Ramachandran Anusha Razdan A Anjana Mittal Am Amani Reddy


ong ago, in ancient India, rules the handsome but arrogant Prince Ravi Varma Pratap. As a devotee of the Goddess Durga, he offers her flowers and worship, but his heart remains full of pride. One day, the Goddess decides to test him, appearing in front of him as an ugly old crane. Disgusted, the Prince orders her to leave. Angered by his vanity, she transforms back into her beautiful form, and curses him with the body of a Beast, turning his kingdom into a tribal jungle. His only chance at redemption is for someone to love him for who he is, despite his terrifying form.


n a nearby village, the beautiful Vasundara plays with her friends, carefree. However, her father has decided it is time for her to grow up and marry. Having heard of a handsome prince with a kingdom nearby, her father sets out to find her future groom. For fun, Vasundara and her friends consult with a fortune teller, who informs her she will marry a prince.


tanding in her way, however, is a love-struck young man from her village, who tries to convince Vasundara to marry him by insisting her father must have died in his travels. Worried, the maiden goes after her father into the dark jungle, arriving just in the nick of time to save him from the wild tribal people. She makes a deal with the Beast that she will stay as his slave if he lets her father go.


oon, Vasundara becomes convinced she made a mistake. Determined to leave, she attempts to run away but is attacked by wolves. The Beast, though angry, saves her, and slowly they begin to fall in love. But the young man from the village is still determined to make Vasundara his bride. He attacks the Beast and after a violent fight, both of them fall dead. Devastated, Vasundara cries over the Beast’s body. Her love ultimately breaks the curse, turning the Beast back into the handsome Prince and the jungle back into his kingdom.

Choreography: Dr. Sanjay Shantaram Direction: Samyu Rao, Arati Warrier, & Vinitha Subramanian Music: Sri Gurumurthy & Dwaraki Krishnaswamy Lighting: Samyu Rao

Pre-show Presentation Nritya Sangam/Natyalaya Alumnae: Seema Pandya, Anu Nelliparambil, Swetha Nulu, Shamoyita Dasgupta, Rucha Bhatt, & Meghana Menon

Dashavataram: Juhi Amodhwala, Nikita Prasad, Manasa Dutta, Kripa George, Kasmira Madina, Malavika Perinchery, Robina Ghosh , Abhilasha Gokulan

Roopa Viroopa Cast (in alphabetical order)

Manjula Andukuri - Prince Ravi Varma Pratap, Tribal person Sameera Aradhyula - Dancer, Tribal person Neha Atyam - Vasundara’s friend Manasa Datta - Narrator, Tribal person Meera Gopal - Subject, Beast Sahiti Karumuri - Narrator Sujana Kumar - Subject, Tribal person Kasmira Madina - Subject, Villian’s aide, Voice Swati Mallempati - Dancer Priya Mehta - Prince’s aide, Voice Shaili Mehta - Dancer, Father’s friend Kavina Patel - Vasundara Malavika Perinchery - Vasundara’s friend Hamsini Vaidhanathan - Subject, Narrator Krishna Vaidyanathan - Dancer Arati Warrier - Narrator, Villain, Wolf Archana Warrier - Palm reader, Wolf, Father

Natyalaya Timeline 1982


Natyalaya is founded in Temple, TX Natyalaya expands to Austin, TX


Hiatus from Austin branch

Aran getra m: S

unip a Bh atta char





Prahalada Bhakthi Vijayam

1998 Aarupadai Veedu


n siva a h t a Sa nak athan a K un ms : etra pa Rag g n a u Ar Nir





Basmasura Mohini

Return to Austin, TX

1987 Aran getra m: V

Seetha Kalyanam

Aran getra m: S

abin a

ani Rao

Bha ttath ir y


Expanded to College Station, TX




2 on 4 Men a r h 200 vit n a a v P ku m: Ilak getra a n u a n r ndy A Vi a : P m ema getra s: Se odali Aran m a Founded studio at getr ti K att Aran Shan h B Tilghman Trail ha Anu Aranget Ruc ra Nell ipar ms: Dee amb p il & a Iyeng Meg a han r Aran a M getra enon m: M eena Sub 200 ram ania 2007 6 n Anthariksha


Aran getra ms:

T Pree thi Mrisha Pa tel eno n







200 R v ika l a s: M tram u Rao e g n y Ara Sam ha Raj Med


2009 Jungle Book


Two Faces of Shiva


Aran get Sh rams:

G amo yita eeta Pe m D a y asG rsad a At upta h e l :N a s h s m G ho getra al Aran rianka Datta Gop asad a P a n a r r r h Apa ya Mis sekar Mee ikita Pr ms: a r n a r r a t d & N Warrie ge An Chan n a l a r a l A ana odw Pate rini Am & Arch Patel Dha Reema i h Ju a an ti Ara Kavin Gokul a ilash Abh




Roopa Viroopa




Natyalaya Alumnae Aparna Raman (Student 2000-2010; Faculty 2000-2010; Singapore) Bharathanatyam is a spiritual experience, one where the mind, body and spirit are in total harmony. On one hand, it lets me embrace my heritage and stay connected to traditions, while on the other, it offers a platform to explore contemporary and innovative styles of creative expression. Being a lifelong student of dance shaped my sense of rhythm and musicality and installed a deep appreciation for complex choreography. Vinitha Aunty and Natyalaya parents are the highest order of inspiration: a testament to what can be accomplished through tireless enthusiasm, commitment, and unwavering support. Suffice it to say Natyalaya is my family, my home away from home. I miss you all very much! Y. Vani Rao (Student 1981-1988; Houston, TX) I will always be a Natyalaya student! Vinitha Auntie taught me life lessons, not just dance. Dedication, perseverance, humility, self-expression, poise, posture, spirituality, traditions, culture, and an extended family. Dance has given me so much and I cherish it every day. Dance is Priya Bala how I express myself whether on stage or in a boardroom. Dance (Student 1983-1987; Los Angeles, CA) provides a platform for me to express my joy, channel my grief, and experience the divine. Priya is a criminal defense attorney

Sapna Jain Palrecha

(Student 1987-1992; San Francisco, CA)

and she has an eighteen month old son named Jake.

I consider myself a life long student. Bharathanatyam allows a balance between culture, rhythm, beat, and movement of the body. It is a powerful form of expression. I think that art, including dance, is a key ingredient to achieving a balanced way of life. I’m not only a participator but an avid fan of all forms/ethnicities of dance.

Roma Shah (Student 1991-1996; San Francisco, CA) Learning Bharathanatyam influenced my personal growth in many ways. At the surface, it gave me a better sense of rhythm, grace, and poise. More deeply, when the Indian side of my identity felt inaccessible to me, it allowed me to understand and connect with my culture through its uniquely physical, emotional, and poetic form. The aforementioned rhythm and grace helped me participate in a competitive Garba/Raas team at Stanford. Since then, I haven’t danced much, but I will always appreciate the skill and poetry needed to perform any Classical Indian Dance.

Iswarya Srinivasan (Student 1992-2008; Oklahoma City, OK) I really love the artistic expressions and visual portrayal of Bharathanatyam that I was introduced to by Vinitha Aunty. In addition, Bharathanatyam was one of my stress relievers, and it gave me an opportunity to explore and better understand the many stories of the Hindu religion. I definitely could not have traded in my experience and opportunity with Natyalaya School of Dance for anything else! I would love to still continue learning new dances and performing once in a while during my spare time.

Pavithra Menon (Student 1993-2004; Faculty 2003; Los Angeles, CA) I love how expressive Bharathanatyam is. My favorite part is how you tell a story through your moves and emotive gestures. In addition, I love performing on stage, and being a part of Natyalaya gave me so many opportunities to dance in front of the community in Austin and even other cities in Texas! Finally, I met some of my closest friends at Natyalaya. I hope to become more involved in the dance community once I’m done with school!

Shilpa Kasukurthi (Student 1995-1997; Seattle, WA)

Natyalaya was my first experience with Bharathanatyam, and I enjoyed every minute of it. To me it was the perfect form of expression, combining athleticism and storytelling of important Indian mythologies and gods. I felt most at home on the stage and truly enjoyed learning about this ancient art form. Although my life has become much more busy, I still try to participate in the annual Indian cultural performances that happen on campus. In this small way I can still incorporate Bharathanatyam into my

Natyalaya Alumnae Meena Subramanian (Student 1993-2007; Kansas City, MO) I love everything about Bharathanatyam: the expression through dance and form; the interplay of meaning in the gestures and expressions; the contrast between pure dance and storytelling. It all brings out an art form that has evolved for many thousands of years. I love connecting to my culture and the rich history our Indian ancestry has to offer. I love Natyalaya because I have seen the pure and simple joy that it brings my mom. Everyday she gets to do her dream job: teaching dance! She has been a true inspiration to me to go after my dreams and achieve all that I set out to do. Living many states away and continuously going to school has limited my involvement in Natyalaya. But I do what I can by supporting my mom. Anytime she’s stressed or has a problem, I try to be supportive and caring, so that she can continue doing what she loves.

Seema Pandya (Student 1994-2004; Dallas, TX)

I fell in love with Bharathanatyam from my very first class. It quickly went from a hobby to a passion. I love the athleticism, discipline, and acting. Not only did I become more in touch with my ethnicity and religion, Bharathanatyam became a part of who I am. The dance form engaged my creativity, especially in choreography. After my Arangetram, I performed in productions (Antariksha, Two Faces of Shiva, Ganga) and continued dancing in college in the Nritya Sangam Indian Classical Dance Troupe for four years, becoming co-president my senior year. I also cofounded a Bollywood/Bharathanatyam fusion dance team called Mohini. These experiences furthered my dance training, giving me opportunities to choreograph contemporary pieces. Currently, I try to find opportunities to continue performing, such as friends’ weddings and multicultural shows at my graduate school.

Shamoyita DasGupta

(Student 1996-2007; Faculty 2006-2008; Austin, TX) I have learned more about Hinduism and its mythology from Bharathanatyam and from being a student at Natyalaya, and I appreciate that it has allowed me to maintain a connection with my heritage. Without Natyalaya, I also would not have met Vinitha Aunty or have forged friendships with my closest group of friends. Throughout college I continued to perform with Nritya Sangam and sometimes helped choreograph dances with them. Now I still participate periodically in other shows and also practice old dances now and then just to make sure I don’t forget everything I’ve learned over the last 15 years.

Deepa Iyengar (Student 1996-2011; Faculty 2006-2007; New York City, NY) Bharathanatyam has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember: tying me to my cultural roots, motivating me to strive to new heights physically and emotionally, and keeping me engaged in the community. Natyalaya is the family of support behind these efforts. The school has introduced me to my closest, lifelong friends and given me countless opportunities to learn and perform, making my dance career a unique and memorable one. In continuing to seek out workshops and performance opportunities, I hope to meet a group of like-minded Bharathanatyam dancers in my new city with whom I can begin to make dance a more regular presence in my life again.

Malvika Raj (Student 1996-2009; IIthaca, New York) My initial fascination with the sights and sounds of Bharathanatyam grew into long-lasting passion quickly. Bharathanatyam keeps me in touch with my cultural roots and enriches me in my day-to-day life. The valuable lessons I learned over the years (time management, commitment, hard work, and passion) all came from watching my Guru Vinitha Aunty and listening to her. She laid a strong foundation which was molded and shaped beautifully by my present Guru Chandrika Aunty. I feel privileged to be a torch bearer for Natyalaya and will always cherish my special bond with Vinitha Aunty and my dance buddies. I am always exploring opportunities to dance, dance, dance, through Cornell Big Red Raas and Cornell Bhangra. I have choreographed and performed many classical and nonclassical pieces at Cornell, and last summer I won the Chance Pe Dance TV Asia competition and taught my first student.

Natyalaya Alumnae Trisha Patel (Student 1997-2008; Faculty 2010-2011) I love that Bharathanatyam is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion all at the same time. Being a part Natyalaya has given me a chance to experience the different dance forms of India and has helped me become a better dancer. I still learn and perform Bharathanatyam whenever I get the opportunity.

Meghana Menon (Student 1997-2007; Austin, TX)

I loved how much I learned about Indian culture and Hinduism through Bharathanatyam. The stories Vinitha Aunty told us about the Gods and Goddesses allowed every dancer to express themselves as well as convey the emotions in the story. As the years progressed, I was constantly challenged, increasing my stamina and flexibility, and bettering my form. Through dance camps, Arangetram training, and weekly classes, I found a home in Natayalaya. It was where I got in touch with my Indian roots, met my best friends, and did a lot of growing up. Once I started college, I immediately joined Nritya Sangam Indian Classical Dance Troupe (NS) and performed all around campus and the Central Texas area. Through NS I got the opportunity to choreograph and teach pieces and perform in front of audiences who had never seen Indian classical dance before.

Ananya Mishra (Student 1998-2010; Atlanta, GA) What I love most about Bharathanatyam is the mixture of pure athleticism and lyrical expression. I am constantly amazed I can find something to relate to on a deeper level in such an ancient dance form, even though many of the stories belong to a very different time and a place. Natyalaya is far more to me than a dance school: it’s a loving community, where everyone is tied together by their love for Bharathanatyam and Indian culture. Through Natyalaya, I had the opportunity to learn from venerable teachers (the Dhananjayans, Jayalakshmi Eashwar, and Anusha and Narendra Kumar) and perform their choreography. Most importantly, being a part of Natyalaya has led me to identify myself as a dancer and to teach others about Indian dance and culture. I continue to practice as often as I can and perform at Emory and in Ohio.

Preethi Menon (Student 1999-2009; Faculty 2008-2009; Austin, TX) Bharathanatyam is incorporated in every aspect of my life, the mudras, the steps, the expressions. I couldn’t imagine dancing without an aspect of Bharathanatyam in it. Natyalaya, especially Vinitha Aunty helped me discover that passion and incorporate my creativity and grow as a dancer as well as a person. Dance continues to play a huge role in my life. It’s difficult for me to stay still when music is playing. I’m thankful that I’m going to UT where I can still continue Bharathanatyam through the Nritya Sangam dance troupe.

Divya Rayapati

(Student 2001-2010; St. Louis, MI) I really enjoy the depiction of historical stories with both graceful and sharp movements in Bharathanatyam. Moreover, I love becoming a part of the character and feeling the emotions as I express them through the subtle movements of every part of my face. As a Natyalaya student, I have become a part of a community that has enabled me to grow from practicing this dance form and applying what I have learned in performances at temples, cultural shows, and schools. I am currently on the Wash U Indian Classical Dance team and continue performing and attending Bharathanatyam shows.

Reema Yogesh Patel

(Student 2001-2012; Faculty 2010-2011; Dallas, TX) There are so many things I love about Natyalaya. I learned so much about my culture, my heritage, and myself. My love for dance only grew as it was cultivated. I have learned how to be both an individual and apart of a team. I have made great friends whom I still remain close to. The Arangetram process taught me to work hard to achieve my goals. I think one of the main things I gained from Natyalaya was a lesson in perseverance. If you don’t do something right the first time, keep trying until it is something you can be proud of. Natyalaya taught me that nothing worth having comes easily. Currently I am co-founding a multi-style dance team at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Natyalaya Alumnae Samyu Rao (Student 2002-2009; Faculty 2008-2011, Special Events Coordinator; Austin, TX) Training in this dance form has led me to form stronger connections with my cultural roots and cultivate my love for the arts. Over the years, I enjoyed learning about the history and culture of India through dance while testing my own endurance and discipline. Most importantly, I love the sense of family that Natyalaya has given me. In addition to teaching, I help produce the many productions and Arangetrams we host every year. My love for dance has not diminished, and I take every opportunity I can to perform and share my art.

Aparna Datta (Student 2002-2010; College Station, TX) I love Bharathanatyam because it is a connection to my faith and my mother country. I love being part of the Natyalaya family as it is full of people who love dancing as much as I do. I keep Bharathanatyam in my life by continuing to dance, and I Abhilasha Gokulan teach as well. (Student 2002-2012; Little Rock, AK) A dancer can showcase her poise, strength, and creativity with hand gestures, facial expressions, foot steps, and body movements. The best part of Bharathanatyam is performing dance dramas; through this dance style I was able to learn and perform many mythological stories. Bharathanatyam also brings me closer to my heritage. For me, performing dance is an uplifting activity that articulates and reinforces my inner strength and joy. I have performed at various Indian cultural functions in Little Rock, and dancing will always be a vital part of my life. Kavina Patel (Student 2002-2012; Austin, TX) I think Bharathanatyam is the most evolved and classical of all our dance forms. The sheer variety in it is astounding. And there is so much to choose from, even for traditional pieces. As a dancer I am able to experience all the forms. It helps me connect to my Indian culture and has taught me the lesson of endurance. Also, I enjoy the vital energy that Bharathanatyam sparks. Dance has become an integral part of my life and I continue to participate in productions and attend shows. Using what I have learned, I perform at various events to share my knowledge of this dance form for good causes Juhi Amodwala and cultural awareness. (Student 2003-2011; Austin, TX) I love the beauty, grace, and story in each dance. Bharathanatyam is an art form that allows me to express myself and learn more about my rich Indian heritage. I continue to practice Bharathanatyam through performing, dancing, and attending dance shows regularly. Dance is something that I can never really leave, and hopefully Robina Ghosh it will always be a part of my life. (Student 2003-2012; Austin, TX) I love learning more about my culture and religion through dance, and being able to mix movement, emotion, and meaning. Natyalaya has allowed me to explore my roots and take my own spin on my heritage. I enjoy both performing Bharathanatyam and bringing elements of it into other dance forms. I also wish to attend as many programs as I can and see different interpretations of the art and the stories that it tells.

Ambika Venkat

(Student 2004-2010; College Station, TX) I really love the fact that learning Bharathanatyam and being part of Natyalaya has infused so much grace and beauty into my life. In addition, the people I met there have become friends for life! I really enjoy attending performances, and it’s always a thrill to get on stage and perform.

Archana Warrier (Student 2005-2011; Dallas, TX) I like that Bharathanatyam is both an art form and a way to exercise. I’m really glad I joined Natyalaya and had the chance to learn and grow as a dancer. Although I have left Austin, I try to keep learning dances whenever I have the chance.

2012 Arangetrams

Priya Mehta

Uma Vaidyanathan

Neha Sukumar

Born in Austin, TX into an Indian family, Priya has experienced diverse cultures in a multi-national atmosphere. Priya began her Nritya Kala journey at the tender age of three years. Over the years, she explored various dance styles including Ballet, Indian folk, Jazz, and Bharathanatyam. Priya has flowered into an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer. Priya is currently in tenth grade at Westwood High School. She is an active member of the varsity dance team and the school orchestra.

Uma began learning Bharathanatyam at the age of 6 and has been training under the guidance of Mrs. Vinitha Subramanian. She considers herself very fortunate to have a great Guru like Vinitha Aunty. She would like to express her sincere gratitude towards Vinitha Aunty’s dedication, hard work and love for dance. She has truly enjoyed learning dance at Natyalaya and is amazed at Vinitha Aunty’s knowledge, talents and creativity.

Neha is a 10th grader in Westwood High School and is currently 15 years old. She has learned Bharathanatyam from Smt. Aler Krishnan, Smt. Anu Naimpally, and Smt. Vinitha Subramanian since she was 6. She is also a jazz and hiphop dancer on her high school dance team. She learns Carnatic music with Smt. Vani Arvind here in Austin and Hindustani music with Sri Devareddy in Bangalore. She loves to play the classical acoustic guitar and is an active participant in her school’s theater and fine arts program.

Dear Vinitha, Hats off to your passion! You have made an indelible difference in the lives of innumerable young people…. May God bless you and your family. Shantha Balakrishnan & Family Prof Chalapathi & Lakshmi Vankamamidi Ravi & Sandhya Vankamamidi

DearVini, Congratulations on your terrific achievement -30 years of Natyalaya. Wishing you another 30 years at Natyalaya-assuming of course you can still dance when you are 85!!!! Following the footsteps of many of the great dancers in India! Natesan Ramesh

Wish you all the best and many more years of service to the Art you excel in so that the children of Austin and around the world benefit from it. Shaku and Krish Krishnamurthi

What a great achievement, shaping so many young lives for 30 years! Hope you will continue teaching for many years to come! Congratulations and Best Wishes, Drs. K. and Kanthimathi Sathasivan

Dear Vinitha Aunty, Congratulations and Best Wishes! Ravi, Lakshmy, Uma, and Krishna Vaidyanathan

Dear Vini, Hearty congrats on the 30th anniversary of Natyalaya. May Goddess Meenakshi give you strength to continue teaching dance in Natyalaya for many more decades. May Natyalaya grow evermore. Thanks also goes to your family’s support through the years. With all best wishes and lots of love, Yours affectionately, Shantha, Karthik, and Usha Balakrishnan Medha Raj (Student 2001-2009; Hanover, NH) “I consider my experience as a dance student of Vinitha Aunty a highlight of my life!”

Congratulations and Best Wishes! Karumuri Family Congratulations from the Raj Family!

Congratulations to Vinitha and Mani! Drs. Mani & Padma Bala

Congratulations and Best Wishes! South Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

Aradhyula Family

We cater for all occasions, all types of parties, and we provide on-site service for any size orders. 9025 Research Blvd, #100, Austin, TX 78758 Tel: 512-719-5575

Congratulations and Best Wishes! Naresh & Anita Sundaram and Family

Congratulations and Best Wishes! Vandana, Harish, Chanda, and Pavan Agrawal

best wishes to natyalaya school of dance on its 30th anniversary

9801 Decker Lake Rd., Austin Texas, 78724 Ph. (512) 927-0000

Congratulations Smt. Vinitha Subramanian on the 30th Anniversary of Natyalaya Dedicated to the memory of Smt. Sujatha Krishna (1946-2010)

“For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.� - Christina G. Rossetti R. Krishna Suresh Krishna and Bhuvana Nandakumar Mahesh Krishna and Puneeta Kalra Sujatha Krishna (1946-2010), was an accomplished practitioner and teacher of Bharathanatyam for over 50 years, first in Madurai and later in the industrial city of Jamshedpur in Eastern India. When she started her school, the Madhavi School of Dance, it was one of a kind in this city of over 300,000 people. Sujatha started to learn Bharathanatyam when she was four years old. She was schooled in the Tanjavur guru-sishya style by guru Thirukoshtiyur Nagarathna Ammal. Later, when she attended college in Madurai, South India, she frequently choreographed and performed on stage to great critical acclaim. She loved Bharathanatyam, and the Madhavi School of Dance was her tribute to the dance form. She was meticulous and demanded high standards from her students. She tutored more than 250 students over 20 years. She embraced other Indian classical dance forms too. She learned to dance Kathak, a classical dance style from North India. As a choreographer of numerous dance dramas, she valued the influence of other dance forms in her art. As a performer and teacher, Sujatha won several awards including a commendation from the state for her contribution to arts in the city of Jamshedpur.

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