Category: Sumi’s Musings

Madhuram Festival of Dance 2019


MAPA brings the Sydney Dance Festival 2019 this year again with the best upcoming talents from India. Madhuram Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) was established in 2013 with the
aim of promoting the traditional Classical Indian dances in Australia through a
Sydney Dance Festival. India’s rich cultural heritage has been founded on the abiding faith of Indians in the divine power that has found expression through dance.
Performing art is a living entity. It forms an essential element of the cultural identity of a person. The principles underlying a classical dance form are both artistic and scientific
encompassing a total education. Indian classical dance forms comprise a philosophy
of living. India offers a number of classical dance forms each of which can be traced to
different parts of the country. The Indian Sangeet Natak Academy recognises 8
different dance forms as part of the Indian Classical dance repertoire. These include
Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Odissi and
MAPA is aware that in any process of learning the most important aspect is
exposure and training. Whilst there are numerous schools and teachers of the
various Indian classical dance forms in Australia, the opportunity to watch
professional classical dancers is limited. MAPA prides itself in being in the forefront of encouraging participation
by local dancers and dance schools in conjunction with eminent young artistes who
are at the forefront of their respective dance forms from India.
The festival will also encompass workshops and lecture demonstrations. The festival aims to provide a platform for upcoming dancers to participate and promote themselves and the Indian divine art forms of dance.
The festival schedule will incorporate 4 performances on the day. The
performances will be of 75-90 minutes duration with a small interval between each
show. The performances will be presented in a manner appropriate to the thematic
content of the presentation and the style of dancing.

ODISSI : 1:00pm to 2:00pm – 1st September 2019 

Sarita Mishra – Odissi – Student of Bichitra Nanda Swain

Sarita Mishra started learning Odissi from a young age. She has been a dedicated student and devoted practitioner of this art form for the last 34 years. During this journey she has been performing on wide platform at both National & International arena. She has to her credit around 1600 stage shows. In addition to this she has been actively involved in imparting training and has to her credit a large number of students both at National and International level. She has also been instrumental in promoting and creating awareness about Odissi in many rural villages of India actively working with various government schools.

Trained for 20 Years of training under Guru Niranjan Rout in Guru Debaprasad Das Style; Last 14 Years of Training under Guru Bichitrananda Swain and Yudhisthir Nayak in Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Style. She received her advanced training under Smt.Sujata Mohapatra and Shri.Ratikant Mohapatra. She is an empaneled Artist of ICCR & Spicmacay; Founder and Creative Director Of Adyasha Foundation an Odissi institution based in Bengaluru for imparting pure Odissi dance training and host Classical Dance festival twice a year showcasing Eminent  Dancer & Young Talents of all Classical Forms. Has been involved in creating new compositions both in Odiya as well as Kannada language for self and her students. She has performed extensively, in Argentina, Peru, Trujhillo & Bolivia since 2015 the latest being in 2018; Performance at Kischner Cultural Centre Argentina 2016 & 2018; Mukteshwar Festival, Odisha in 2018; Kinkini Festival, Bengaluru, 2018; Mardol Festival, Goa, 2017; Cultural Centre Borges, Argentina & ICCR Cultural Centre, Sao Paulo Brazil 2015 & 2017.Performances at Stockholm (Sangeet Conference, 2016), Croatia and Portugal in 2016. Performances at 25 Cities all over the USA in 2014. She is the recipient of many awards. 

BHARATHANATYAM 2:15pm to 3:30pm – 1st September 2019

Meera Sreenarayanan, a dynamic young aspiring artiste, from Guruvayur (Kerala,
India), is hailed as a child prodigy. Meera was initiated into the world of dance at the
age of three by Sri. Prakash and later she continued under the tutelage of Sri. R.L.V.
Anand. Pursuing her dreams to learn more, she relocated to Chennai which led her to
Acharya Kalakshetra Nirmala Nagaraj, with whom she widened her dance vocabulary.
Now Meera is exploring the art and abhinaya under the able mentorship of Acharya Indira
Kadambi. She has been described as “sensitive dancer”, praised for her subtle
expressions and technical excellence which all together completes a narthaki.
Meera holds a degree of post-graduation (2018) in Bharatanatyam from the University
of Madras along with a diploma in Nritya Shastra from Nalanda Dance Research
Centre (Mumbai University). Many performances and awards are there to her
Meera made her debut as a heroine in a movie, titled “PRIYAMANASAM”, the third
ever Sanskrit movie to be made in India after a gap of 22 years, directed by Sri. Vinod
Mankara. The film won the National Award 2016 and was screened in many film festivals
including Panorama, IFFI.


She has been applauded as being ::

“…a performer totally without a consciousness of self or any feelings of
wanting to be pretty. She was the dance.” -Leela Venkataraman ( 2019)

“…her abhinaya and dance spoke volumes to even persons sitting at the back, creating
magical moments. And that tiny slip of a girl rose to delightful artistic heights. Even if it is
cliché to say ‘A star is born,’ it is true.” -Sunil Kothari ( 2019)

“Meera Sreenarayanan showed a rare mind and body concentration in the stillness of
her focused presence and bearing.” -Leela Venkataraman (Sruti Magazine 2018)

“Meera stood on stage like a singular piece of sculpture and when she started dancing,
the amazing prowess she held over her movements had the audience in thrall. Here
is a dancer who is simply superb!” -Chitra Mahesh (The Hindu 2018)

“Bharatanatyam artiste Meera Sreenarayanan is confidence personified as
she juggles academics, dance and films”. -Shyamhari Chakra (The Hindu 2017)

“Meera enthralled the audience with her terpsichorean talents in her Bharatanatyam
recital. The performance was marked by technical finesse that delineated the
exquisite elegance of the dance form…”. -George Paul (The Hindu 2016)


KUCHIPUDI – 4:00pm to 5:15pm  1st September 2019 

 Avijit Das is a spirited dancer who believes in Indian classical dance as not only a medium of showcasing the rich tradition but also a naturalistic channel of expression that is innate to all cultures. With an immense conviction in the modern interpretations of classical dance, he challenges his audience to rejuvenate their sense of aesthetics.
Like a glimpse in the mirror, Avi’s fire brand style of work both when performing as well as teaching, aim to encourage self-identity in the viewers or students. Avi is also an excellent team player who share his passion for perfection and constantly strives to incorporate new ideas to create exciting choreography. He is eager to collaborate and any artist can easily partake the wealth of his exquisite art history.

Avi was initiated into Bharatanatyam at the age of five under the guidance of Smt. Sanaka Biswas of Shanti Niketan, West Bengal, India. Avi obtained his Diploma in Bharatanatyam from Kalakshetra (Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts), Chennai, India on a meritorious scholarship in 2011. He also developed keen interest in the Kuchipudi style of dance. After initial training in Kuchipudi Art Academy Chennai ( and renowned Kuchipudi exponent Smt. Manju Bharggavee, he is currently training under the guidance of Sri Jaikishore Mosalikanti (

He has been applauded by eminent critics as:

• Stepping into the Future – The Hindu
by Ranee Kumar – January 04, 2019
The lithe Avijit Das has already established himself as a dancer to reckon with in the realm of Kuchipudi. The Narayana Teertha tarangam, a quintessential piece from this genre was replete with varied abhinaya and sanchari along with springing footwork . The dexterous dancer knew how to utilise the entire stage space as well as showcase Kuchipudi at its best. The tarangam which extols Krsna as a child-god explores the Kaliya (vicious serpent in the Yamuna) combat. Avijit’s mime at certain episodes was spectacularly vivid and realistic.
• Traditional Indian Dance, With Room for New Blood – The New York Times
by Alastair Macaulay – August 29, 2017
… Mr. Das has more attack, more hunger. Nobody ate up space so eagerly or in more staggeringly nonstop sequences. I kept thinking, “When’s the abhinaya section coming?” for he kept his nritta on the go for many minutes on end: bounding in jumps, rapidly tapping the soles of his feet on the floor, and rippling torso, head, and arms with unstoppable brio. The alternation of nritta and abhnaya in his work is subtle….

• Moving like a master, Indian Habitat Center – The Hindu by Ranee Kumar – October 27, 2016
Avijit Das, a rising star on the Kuchipudi horizon, gave a commendable performance in the traditional repertoire for most part of his performance at the India Habitat Centre. For this critic it felt like going down memory lane to watch a vibrant execution of a ‘shabdam,’ ‘Dasavataram’ and ‘Tarangam’ devoid of interpolations in the name of sophistry. …… without sacrificing its purity of expression was his stylishly cut out movements and eloquent facial feelings in tune with the connotation of the lyric.

• Erasing Borders Dance Festival, Indo-American Arts Council – DanceViewtimes
by Leigh Witchel – August 21, 2016
Das performed at both concerts as well, but perhaps because he was pinch-hitting Saturday for another artist, we saw him at his best on Monday. “Tarangam” showed off his nature in a way “Dashavatara Shabdam” didn’t. To use ballet terms, Das is a petit allegro dancer: lithe and wiry, with speed, line, and a high center of gravity that seemed to float even when he was heading down into a knee bend. “Dashavatara Shabdam” made him look lightweight instead of like a speed demon. In “Tarangam,” he showed off his musicality and attack, moving from side to side during the tongue-twisting patter, finally stopping in attitude front and passing through a stable grand rond de jambe to the back. •


 KATHAK 5:45PM TO 7:00PM 1st September 2019 

Rupanshi Kashyap is a talented young Kathak dancer. She has trained under the renowned Kathak Guru Padma Bhushan Kumudini Lakhia at the Kadamb Centre for Dance in Ahmedabad, Gujarat since she was a minor. Having grown up into an attractive young solo dancer, Rupanshi is very promising. She has mastered various aspects of the classical Kathak repertoire  which are Laya-Taal , Padhant , Anng Shuddhi and Abhinaya .

Rupanshi  has a pleasant personality and wins the appreciation of her audience. She has performed widely in India and in many countries like Canada, Japan, Singapore, Spain, France, Serbia and Russia being a member of Kadamb’s performing group. She has performed traditional solos at prestigious festivals like The Indian Arts Festival, Delhi, Saptak Music Festival 2017, Raza Foundation Festival and many more. She has a strong stage presence which she has acquired through her experience of a wide number of performances.

Rupanshi is also a theatre artist. She has played leading roles in popular and classic Gujarati and Hindi plays on prestigious platforms like The Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai and The Rangashankara hall, Bangalore. As her forte is Kathak form of classical dance she concentrates more on her dance, which is her first love.

FESTIVAL TICKETING : 1st Sept 2019 at Bryan Brown Theatre Bankstown NSW 

Unreserved $35.00 ; Reserved $60.00 

Kalpana Sriram 0411 015 396 ; Divya Sriram 0414 107 673 


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