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New England Dance Community Unites Again For Vision-Aid

Revathy Ramakrishna
07/06/2017

New England Dance Community Unites again for Vision-Aid

This year, marks the 10th year when the dance community of New England unites to perform in Vision-Aid’s signature annual event. This year’s event is Charmer, Warrior, Guide – The endearing Story of Krishan, set to mesmerize New England on Sunday July 16th at 4PM - For tickets see  www.VisionAid.org/event

What makes Vision-Aid’s show so unique is it pulls together so many dance teachers, schools and students, all uniting on a common platform, for a wonderful cause, to dazzle audiences, while brining light into the lives of the visually impaired that Vision-Aid is serving, and working under the expert guidance of Madurai R. Muralidharan, renowned Choreographer from India who has earned a reputation for his stellar, Broadway style productions.  

The star studded cast for this year’s show includes:

Choreography & Production: Madurai R. Muralidharan

Madurai R. Muralidharan is a well known performing dancer, dance-guru, composer, and musician, who has composed over 120 varnams, produced several dance dramas, composed Pushpanjalis, Alarippus, Jathiswarams, Mallaris, Varnams and Thillanas in all the 35 thalams and Jathiswarams in all 72 Melakartha raghas is unprecedented in the field of Bharatha Natyam. His musical compositions, over the years have travelled the length and the breadth of the world.


Kavyalakshmi Muralidaran is a child prodigy and completed her arangetram when she was 8 under the guidance of her parents, Gurus Madurai R Muralidaran & Smt.Chitra Muralidaran. She has toured all over the world and given solo and group performances apart from performing at premiere dance festivals and prominent sabhas in India. She majored in Visual Communications in Chennai and feels honored to participate in Vision-Aid’s Production.


The Co-Producers


Jeyanthi Ghatraju, a Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer with a mission to perform for charity, has been a Co-Producer of Vision-Aid dance productions since 2009. She offers Degree Programs in Performing Arts at Natyanjali dance school through her affiliation with Alagappa Performing Arts Academy. Several of her students from have performed their arangetrams. She was awarded the coveted US Presidential Gold Service Award in 2013 for her community service.


Sujatha Meyyappan, an acclaimed Bharatanatyam Dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Kolam Academy of Dance in Tyngsboro, MA and Andover, MA, has produced shows like Bharathy Natyam, Shivoham, Kavi Nrithyam, Venil Vizha, Omkaram and Velum Veikuzhalum. She has participated and co-produced fundraisers for many charitable causes including Vision-Aid since 2009. She is an active member of Tyngsboro Cultural Council serving the community.


Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, a dancer, teacher and choreographer, has been actively involved in several Vision-Aid productions since 2010, serving as co-producer for the past two years.  In 1999, she co-founded MIT Natya, one of the first collegiate Indian classical dance organizations in the nation. She is in her seventh year as the director of Abhinaya Natya Sala in Framingham, MA.


Ranjani Saigal is the director of the Eastern Rhythms dance school in Burlington,MA. Her students have won National Awards and she herself has received wide acclaim for her productions on DNA, Ramayana and Savitri. She is a co-founder of Lokvani.com, co-chair of TiE-SE, Executive Director of Ekal Vidyalaya and on the board of many organizations.


Senior Dance Teachers


Anandini Chandrasekhar, the daughter and disciple of "Bharata Kala Shreshta" Smt. Sudha Chandrasekhar, has also trained with Sri Rajarajeshwari BharataNatya Kalamandir family. She has taught and performed with Nritya Sudha's Hindu Temple Rhythms and the Vidyanjali Dance Troupe since 1994 and now teaches Bharatanatyam in Burlington & Newton, MA. She is also a singer/keyboardist with popular Bollywood band 'Din Check'.


Neha Parikh, is an acclaimed  Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher, choreographer and the Artistic director at Chidambaram Nritya kala Academy, founded in 2005. She did her Master’s in fine arts from Nalanda institute and performed extensively with them. Listed as a traditional artist in the NH State Counci, she has been an integral part of several fund raisers. She also teaches Mohiniattam and her students have won several awards.


Thenu Raajan is the creative director, choreographer and instructor of Apsaras Academy of Arts in Bellingham, MA. She has received accolades in India, Singapore and USA for her performances. She frequently performs for various charitable dance fundraisers including Vision-Aid. In 2011, Thenu Raajan received the Excellence award from Lokvani e-magazine for being a dedicated dancer in the New England area.


Vaijayanthi Gopalakrishnan, an Ayurveda physician by profession, is passionate about dance and choreography. She honed her Bharatanatyam technique under the able tutelage of Smt.Kala Ramesh Rao (Disciple of Smt.Rukmini Devi) and Smt.Nirmala Sai. She has performed at various cultural events like the prestigious Mamallapuram Dance Festival. An active member of North Andover Cultural Committee, she also teaches Bharatnatyam.


The Performers


Aarohi Darisi is a disciple of Ms. Neha Parikh at the Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy. She has been learning Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music since she was 5 years old. A lover of visual arts, she has performed in many cultural events.


Adhithi Venkatesan, a rising Freshman at Nashua South High, has been learning Bharathanatyam from Guru Sujatha Meyyappan for past 6 years. She has participated in numerous Bharathanatyam & Bollywood performances and won at IANH,NEMA, KANE competitions. She also learns Carnatic music and enjoys playing basketball.


Aadya Gurjar, a 3rd grader at Pine Glen School, is learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Anandini Chandrasekhar. She enjoys dancing, playing piano, reading and performing in cultural events.


Aashna Diddee, a 6th grader at Westborough Mill Pond School, has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past 6 years from Hema Iyengar of Nritya-Anjali School of Dance.  She also learns piano, violin, Hindustani classical vocal, jazz dance and loves to read.


Abbinaya Narayanan, a 9th grader at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, has been learning Bharathanatyam in Apsaras Academy of  Arts, from her mother, Guru Thenu Raajan, for over 8 years. An avid painter and pianist, she has performed in various temples and was part of the SEWA fundraiser in 2014.


Ananya Gurjar, a 10th grader at the Burlington High School, is learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Anandini Chandrasekhar. She participates in various cultural events. An avid painter and photographer, she also loves to read, travel, and volunteer for great causes.


Ananya Venkatesan, a rising senior at Nashua High South, has been learning Bharathanatyam for 10 years from Ms. Neha Parikh and won many competitions at NEMA,IANH,KANE & NETS. She also loves music, teaches Bollywood dance, plays Volleyball does Girl Scout community service, and excited to participate for the  4th year in Vision-Aid productions.


Anjanadevi Govindaraj, a rising 9th grader at Academy For Science and Design, has been learning Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam from Guru Sheethal Dwaraka of Sowparnika School of Dance. She also learns Carnatic music, Violin and is working towards her Arangetram in Dec.2017.


Aparna Shanmugam, a rising 8th grader and disciple of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan at Kolam Academy of Dance, has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past 7 years and has performed in various cultural events. She enjoys science, painting and is passionate about the performing arts.


Arya Gor has been learning Bharatanatyam for 9 years from Ms. Neha Parikh at the Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy. She loves performing in cultural events and group dances. Arya will be a sophomore at Nashua High School South this fall.  


Chitanya Gopu, a recent graduate from Boston University, will be pursuing a Master’s degree in environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She is passionate about classical Indian dance, as well as bhangra and ballroom dancing. She has participated in several Vision-Aid productions and gave her BharathaNatyam arangetram in 2013, under Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy of Abhinaya Natya Sala.  

Damini Singh, a freshman at Nashua High School South is a student of Ms. Neha Parikh of Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy.  She has been learning Bharatanatyam for 8 years and enjoys performing at dance competitions. She has a passion for art and swimming too.


Disha Surajiwale, a rising freshman from Billerica, has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past 9 years from Guru Ranjani Saigal at the Eastern Rhythms dance school. Disha enjoys playing the violin, reading, and is a self-described connoisseur of interesting quotes.


Devika Nair, a rising sophomore in Nashua South, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Sheethal Dwaraka at Sowparnika School of Dance for over 9 years. She also learns Mohiniyattam and Carnatic music. Devika is working towards her arangetram in Dec. 2017.


Divya Iyer, a 9th grader at Bellingham High School, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Thenu Raajan of Apsaras Academy of Arts for over 7 years. She is thrilled to take part in the Vision-Aid performance and believes this will be a very beneficial and rewarding experience. Divya is also a passionate musician and artist.   


Divyashri Prasath, a 6th grader, has been a student of Smt Jeyanthi Ghatraju since the age of 6. She has participated in many cultural & charity events. Divya has won distinctions in her London based Piano exams. She is also learning Carnatic music and Tennis.


Divya Vijayakumar, a 5th grader, has been learning bharatanatyam since 2012 under the guidance of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan of Kolam Academy of Dance, following in her sister Kavya’s footsteps. Her hobbies include reading fiction, swimming and outdoor activities.  


Gopika Nair, a 5th grader at Main Dunstable Elementary school, Nashua, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Sheethal Dwaraka at Sowparnika School of Dance for over 4 years and performed at a number of competitions. She also learns Carnatic music.


Hamsika Vedavinayagam, a 5th grader at Luther Conant elementary school, has been learning Bharathanatyam from Smt. Jeyanthi Ghataraju since age 6. She has participated in many cultural & charity events. She learns Carnatic music, violin, flute and plays basketball.


Jaswanthi Dogiparthi, a rising senior at Bishop Guertin High School, has completed her Arangetram in the summer of 2015 under the tutelage of Smt. Sheethal Dwaraka. Jaswi has participated in Vision-Aid and several cultural events, following her passion for dance.


Janette Jerusal has been learning bharatanatyam for the past 8 years from Guru Sujatha Meyyappan of Kolam Academy of Dance. She has participated in several cultural non-profit charity events and enjoys playing basketball and piano.


Janani Chandran Elumalai, a high honors rising Freshman, has been learning Bharatnatyam for over 5 years from Smt. Veena Teli at Tarangini Creations School of Dance. This is her first year participating in a Vision-Aid production. She enjoys music.


Jeyasakthi Kannan, has been learning bharatanatyam for over 8 years. She is a disciple of Smt. Ranjani Saigal. This is her third year participating in Vision-Aid fundraisers. She has graduated from Marshall Simonds Middle School.


Kaviya Vijayakumar, a rising Freshman,  has been learning bharatanatyam for the past 8 years under the guidance of Guru Sujatha Meyyappan of Kolam Academy of Dance. She likes participating in solo and group dance competitions. Her hobbies include music and art.


Nikita Minocha completed her Arangetram in Aug. 2013, under the tutelage of Guru Ranjani Saigal. She has participated in several Vision-Aid fundraisers and other cultural events to benefit the community. She is a rising junior at Boston University.


Nishi Manikandan, an 8th grader in Hopkinton Middle School, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Thenu Raajan of Apsaras Academy of Arts for over 7 years. She is very excited for her first Vision-Aid performance and believes it will be a fun experience. Nishi also enjoys drawing, cooking, and playing basketball.


Nithya Jonnavithula, a rising freshman, has been learning dance for the past 6 years, and currently learns from Smt. Jasmine Shah. Along with dance, Nithya enjoys competing in speech tournaments, writing, and drawing.


Poojitha Jonnavithula, a recent graduate of Acton Boxborough Regional High School, has been learning for 12 years from Smt. Jeyanthi Ghatraju & completed her Arangetram in 2015. She enjoys writing for her school newspaper, reading books, & cooking and will be attending George Washington University in the fall.


Poorva Bagchee, a rising sophomore at Ashland High School, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy at Abhinaya Natya Sala since 2015. She also trained with Smt. Parvatha Chidambaram for 6 years  and is excited to perform in her 2nd Vision-Aid production.


Priyanka Joshi, a sophomore at Algonquin Regional High School, learns dance from Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy at Abhinaya Natya Sala. She is very excited to be a part of Vision-Aid event and looks forward to growing her potential as a dancer through this production.


Rianna Mukherjee, a sophomore at Algonquin Regional High School, learns dance from Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy at Abhinaya Natya Sala. She is excited to combine her passion for dance and worthy causes by participating in her 2nd Vision-Aid production.


Sangeetha Jayaprakash currently learns dance from Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy at Abhinaya Natya Sala.  She is excited to be a part of her first Vision-Aid production and is looking forward to improving her dancing abilities. She also loves painting and reading.


Shefali Bakre, a 11 year old, is not only fun-loving and kind, but also passionate about dance. She is learning Bharathanatyam under Guru Anandini Chandrasekhar and has performed dance in many cultural and charitable events.


Shreya Nagri, a rising freshman at Nashua South, has been learning Bharatnatyam for over 8 years at the Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy from Ms. Neha Parikh. She is excited about her first Vision-Aid production. She also enjoys singing, playing the piano and flute, science.


Shriyaa Anandakumar has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Sujatha Meyyappan for over 5 years. She has also been learning Carnatic Music and Violin. A creative person, she loves to draw, read, swim, outdoor sports and gardening.


Shweta Srivastava, a Software Engineer at Microsoft, is currently learning dance from Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy at Abhinaya Natya Sala. By participating in Vision-Aid event, she is fulfilling her passion for dance as well as stage performance.


Shrija Kumar is a budding 10 year old, has been learning Bharthanatyam from Smt. SriPriya Natarajan Moorty for past 4 years. She has been learning Carnatic music from Guru Annapoorna for past 5 years. She is also an avid badminton player.


Srishti Srinath, a 4th grader, has been learning Bharatnatyam and Carnatic music since the age of 5. She loves to swim, play with her sister and do outdoor activities. She is excited to be a part of  the Vision-Aid production.


Smrithi Srinath, a 2nd grader, has been learning Bharatnatyam and Carnatic music just like her sister Srishti from the age of 5. She loves to play outdoor, swim and paint. She is also happy to be a part of the Vision-Aid production along with her sister.


Sneha Prakash, has been learning dance since age 7 as disciple under her guru, Smt. Anu Surendran at the Layaa School of Performing Arts. She enjoys dancing, painting, reading, practicing karate, and spending time with her family. She will be a freshman at Nashua South this fall.  


Tarika Sridhar is passionate about dance and has been learning Bharatanatyam under the guidance of her mother/guru Hema Iyengar since the age of 3. She learns Carnatic music and also loves gymnastics. She loves helping children in need. She has been performing for many charitable organizations since the age of 5.


Vaidehi Moorthy, a rising 6th grader, has been pursuing Bharatha Natyam since the age of 4 under the guidance of Smt. Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy.  This is her 4th time in a Vision-Aid dance production- practice sessions are always her favorite time of the year.


Varshini Arumugam performed her Bharathanatyam Arangetram at the age of 12 in 2015 under the tutelage of Smt. Veena Teli from Sharon, MA. She has passed her level 4 pre diploma in dance & performed at many events. In April 2017, she became a finalist in the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival. She also learns Carnatic music.


Viha Patel, a rising sophomore, has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Thenu Raajan of Apsaras Academy of Arts over the past 7 years. She is very excited to take part in the Vision-Aid performance. She also enjoys playing sports, reading and baking.


Yuvika Akkineni, a rising freshman at Nashua South, has been learning from Ms. Neha Parikh at the Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy for over 7 years. She enjoys performing in various competitions and is excited to perform in the Vision-Aid production.



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