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Guru ‘Kalashree’ Sukanya Mahadevan – Founder and Artistic Director

Guru ‘Kalashree’ Sukanya Mahadevan, a prominent performer, teacher and choreographer has been involved in this art form since the age of 6. She performed her Arangetram in New Delhi at the age of 14. She has performed at leading theatres in Delhi and received scholarships in the field too. She remained a leading performer with rave critic reviews despite stiff competition. Her performances include the Doordarshan and sabhas in cities like New Delhi, Chennai and Lucknow. She was a proud performer at the prestigious fourth Yuva Mahotsava conducted by Sahitya Kala Parishad, an organization supporting art in India which culminated in meeting with Shri Rajiv Gandhi. She has also performed in the major sabhas in Chennai both during and after the December festivals. These include places like Mylapore fine Arts and Narada Gana Sabha. She had the privilege of being taught by maestros such as Shri Bhaskar, Smt. Indira Krishnamurthy, Padmabhushan Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan (her own aunt) and late Kalaimamani Dr. Saraswati Sundaresan. She was given the title ‘Kalashree’ by Ganesa Natyalaya for propogating the art form to the next generation. Voorhees Township also awarded her a commendation for propogating this ancient art in the local communities here in the US. Sukanya is the Founder and Artistic Director of Shishya School Of Fine Arts and has almost 85 students currently under her tutelage.

Trained to teach and choreograph this dance form, she has been teaching Bharatanatyam since 1997 in various places such as the Voorhees middle school CER program, the West Windsor Plainsboro dance company, Rider University, Princeton Ballet School, TCNJ, local libraries and schools and the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival.  Sukanya also published an article for on the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ – the teacher-student relationship. Guru Sukanya loves to choreograph both traditional items and fusion items which include ‘Kathak-Bharathanatyam’ Jugalbandhis’ and Bharathanatyam-Ballet duets for several productions. Mrs. Mahadevan works with leading artists from the other respective dance fields to pull together these items. In her many years of being in this art, she has had the good fortune of interacting with maestros like Dr, Balamurali Krishna, Guru Rama Vaidyanthan, Shri Narendra Kumar and the famous singer O.S. Arun. Besides being an accomplished dancer and performer, she is  a passionate teacher. She likes to push herself and her students to achieve more and caters choreographies to bring forth the strengths in them as a dancer.

In the US, she has performed all over the tri-state area and is a sought after performer and choreographer. She has recently created and choreographed productions for Bharathanatyam called ‘Krishnarpanam’, ‘Ram charitham’ and this year put together a unique dance drama with costumes and multimedia projections based on ‘The Jungle Book’ , a unique dance drama performance perspective on a modern day classic. She is not only a well-known teacher, but also an author and software engineer with a Masters in Computer Science. However dance will always continue to be her primary passion. She is currently a visiting faculty at Rider University’s world dance program.

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