About the Experiential Session
In this session, team Sunaad will be describing their experiences of three different Indian classical dance forms (Bharathanatyam, Kathak and Odissi) and how their practice of these dance forms has affected their wellness. To demonstrate in further detail, they will each take an important aspect or ang from each of our dance forms and explain how that particular ang connects with wellness of the body and mind. In addition, they will explain a few important shlokas and how they epitomize the relationship between music, dance and wellness.
Members of the Team
Parul Sastri, Bharatanatyam Dancer & Teacher, Dhrupad Vocalist & Member of Sunaad
At a very young age, Parul began to study Bharatanatyam under Guru Parvatikumar (Tanjavur Nrityashala-Mumbai). After many years of rigorous training, she performed her Guru's research work all over India. This research work comprises the Marathi items written by Serfoji Maharaj the second (1777-1832) of Tanjavur. The 3rd Nirupana, of 18 items, was choreographed by Guru Parvatikumar and was presented by Parul in a three and a half hour programme. The collection of items includes rare pieces like Geeta, Prabandha and Triputa. Parul has to her credit the Amruta Award and has received a scholarship from the Bhulabhai Memorial Trust Mumbai,for research work.
She has been teaching Bharatanatyam in Bangalore for the last 35 years. Parul is a student of Hindustani classical music. She has a degree of Sangeet Visharad. At present she is learning Dhrupad gayaki from Padmashree Gundecha Brothers. Parul has been performing with Sunaad, a Bangalore based music group since 2003.
Nandini Kamath, Bharatanatyam Dancer, Hindustani Singer & Member of Sunaad
Nandini Kamath is a homemaker and hobbyist in both the disciplines of Bharatanatyam and Hindustani Classical Music. Having trained briefly in both as a child, she took them up later in life and has been involved with the arts ever since. She trains in the Khayal style of Hindustani classical music from Guru Smt. Geetha Hegde and in Bharatanatyam from Guru Smt. Parul Sastri. She has been performing with Sunaad, a Bengaluru based music collective since it’s inception in 2002. Here she was introduced to the Dhrupad style of music as Sunaad’s thematic productions are an amalgam of ancient Indian philosophy, Dhrupad, theatre and dance. She has taught music to young children in two schools in Bengaluru.
Nishant Panicker, Kathak Dancer & Member of Sunaad
Nishant Panicker was initiated into Kathak at the age of nine. After initial training under Shri Murari Sharan Gupt of the Lucknow gharana, he received early inspiration from the dance duo Hari and Chethna. With his initial training and grooming by these gurus until the age of fifteen, he gained grounding in the foundations of Kathak. Due to his academics, Nishant’s dance took a backseat and he later picked up and started to learn from his current guru Smt. Vibha Ramaswami. Under her caring and astute guidance over the past six years, Nishant has blossomed into a delightful performer with confidence and skill in layakari, tukdas and bhaav in line with the Lucknow tradition. With several solo and group dance performances under his belt, he has taken part in several workshops conducted by Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharajji as well as senior disciples Smt. Mamta Maharaj and Smt. Durga Arya. He has also taken guidance from Smt. Parvati Dutta, Shri Anuj Mishra and Smt. Sohini Debnath amongst other stalwarts. Nishant is a regular performer of the group Art of Living Academy for Performing Arts (ALAP) Kathak Ensemble. He is a third year student at Azim Premji University. Nishant is also a superb Khayal singer with Taleem from Vidushi Lalith J.Rao. He has performed over thirty shows with Sunaad, and has always been the star performer in every show.
Sharada Pai, Bharathanatyam Dancer & Member of Sunaad
Sharada has been learning Bharatanatyam since 2013 from Guru Smt. Shama Krishna. As a child she always was passionate about dance, in any form. She joined Shraddha Dance Academy and since then there is no looking back. She has passed the Junior exam, held by the Karnataka Board, in dance. In 2014, she started learning Carnatic Music from Ms. Sreevalli. This greatly helped her understand the dance form better and to her pleasant surprise she found out that she loved music too, and continues to appreciate and enjoy all kinds of music. She passed the Junior Music exam in 2017 and is currently preparing for her Senior Music exams too.
She performed on stage, for her Dance School in their various Annual Anniversary programmes. She has also performed in her Nrityadeepika, where she was given a chance to perform solo also, for eight minutes. She is a student of Yoga in her school Vidyashilp Academy, and has in fact taken it up as a Special Activity. She took part in various Yoga events and competitions. Under the guidance of Smt.Tara Kini, she joined Sunaad in 2017 and has a sizeable role as a dancer in “Mandukya Sant Vani”.
Elizabeth Mathews, Odissi Dancer
Elizabeth Mathews has learnt Odissi since she was six years old. Under the nurturing tutelage of Guru Smt Madhulita Mohapatra she has grown into a graceful and confident dancer in the Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts. Elizabeth has completed Sangeet Visharad with distinction at the Pracheen Kala Kendra. She has performed in many dance festivals in Bangalore and Orissa as both a soloist and part of the Nrityantar Dance Ensemble. In 2015 she won the top ten talent award among the Odissi Prativa title winners at the Odissi International. In 2017 she was awarded 1st place in Nrityapanam. Currently along with Odissi she is pursuing her BSc Biology at Azim Premji University.