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In Conversation With Sangita Raghunathan And Suman Adisesh

Ranjani Saigal

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“Dance has been an important part of our lives for a long time. As Padmini Ravi’s students we have taken part in many of her productions. Since so many of Padmini aunty’s students are in the US, we thought we should create a performing arts group. This is how Srishti was born” says Suman Adisesh who is the inspiration behind the creation of this unique group that has had several production to its credit. Adisesh is a network engineer by profession but dance is her passion. She runs a dance school named Spanda in Acton, Ma.

For Sangita Raghunathan, her parents hoped she would have a career in dance and music “Being the daughter of a dance teacher and the granddaughter of Professor Sambamoorthy, there was a family expectation that I would take up dance and music as a career” says Raghunathan who moved to New Hampshire nearly 2 years ago. She taught Bharatanatyam in Texas for many years and has conducted a few Arangetrams.   She has a degree in Journalism and Communication and later trained to be an analyst. She teaches Bharatanatyam in New Hampshire through her dance school Sanskruthi.

Srishti held its first performing tour in 2006 when they performed in Canada and the US. “We get together as a group about once or twice a year. Most of our choreography happens via conference calls. Since we are all Padmini’s aunty’s students it is easy to communicate our ideas. We use a lot of her creations while bringing our unique touch to the productions” says Adisesh.

How did Krishna Bhakti Mala come about? “Srishti received a grant from the Acton Council for the Arts. That helped propel the production and the tour. We have used songs from all languages to tell the story of Krishna. We have six extremely talented dancers from all over the US who will be performing with us. Srishti will be performing in other cities as well” says Raghunathan.

How did the partnership with Encore come about?” At the grant awards ceremony we also met another recipient, the Encore group which is a Contemporary Dance group. We saw their presentation and were moved by their approach to dance.  We decided to work together to create a predominantly Bharatanatyam show but with a touch of contemporary dance” says Adisesh

“Working with the Encore group has really helped us push the boundaries of our dance. Padmini Aunty always encouraged us to be creative and experiment and we feel we are doing justice to her by creating this production” says Raghunathan.

How difficult is it to manage a family life, career and a dance production? “It can be challenging at times.  After receiving the grant I found out that I was pregnant. I continued to practice until about the sixth month. Now that the baby is born I am back to a full practice schedule. I am so blessed to have the support of my parents and my husband which is the only way I can manage this” says Adisesh

“I am really blessed that my husband is a very well trained Mridangam artist and pursues it as a serious hobby. He understands the need of artists and has provided me with great support” says Raghunathan. Both have two young sons.  

“We are so pleased that CRY decided to partner with us. CRY is a great cause and we are pleased to be able to help raise funds for their cause. “

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