Sridhar Shanmugam's passion has always been to create awareness and a truly appreciative audience of this unique and rich classical tradition; working ceaselessly towards placing Indian Classical dance and music forms on the world pedestal. This idea started from his exacting and intense training at the Kalakshetra school of dance (one of the most prestigious school of dance from India), and his later training in Rangoli painting, modern and post-modern dance, acting, choreography, stage lighting theatre & stage technique have only served to further this goal.
His talent eventually had him touring around the world as the legendary dancer choreographer Chandralekha's primary male artist for many years and afterwards he began working with many of the world's most famous artists such as Pina Bausch, Suzanna Linke, Philip Glass, and countless others. Consequently, he received many awards from many governments bodies including India's, Great Britain's, and Italy's amongst others.
Apart from his performing credentials, Sridhar Shanmugam has taught extensively and conducted workshops at several leading institutions including Columbia University, New York University and the Brooklyn Museum of Arts. He maintains relationships with many of the top arts foundations such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center by serving on their boards and panels.
He is currently serving in the mayor's office as a member of the Asian American advisory board.
Sahasra Sambamoorthi's passion aligns accordingly with Sridhar's; to reignite the fire of the South Asian performing arts within the US. Sahasra's knowledge started from her carnatic violin training at 5 under Smt Ranjini Swamy and Bharatanatyam training at the late age of nine – she debuted with her arangetram only four short years later and performing in India at prestigious venues such as the Krishna Gana Sabha and the Kartik Fine Arts in Madras 2 short years after that under the smart and able guidance of guru Smt. Kalaimamani Ramya Ramnarayan.
Her training continues on with Ramya, and kathak from Prashant Shah while also continuing practice in carnatic vocals. She has experience training in kalaripayattu, odissi, kuchipudi, and mrdangam from maestros such as Bijayini Satpathy, Kishore Mosalikant, and TV Arjun.
From a young age, Sahasra knew she wanted to be a dancer and an arts administrator. Sahasra consequently began Navatman, Inc and joined forces with Sridhar Shanmugam to co-found the organization as it currently stands. She is currently CEO of Navatman and has created well over 50 choreographies, directed a full feature film featuring Indian dance and music, is co-founder of the Navatman Music Collective - one of the world’s first Indian carnatic choirs - and the Navatman Junior Troupe, a one of a kind initiative training children in kathak, bharatanatyam, and vocals. Through Navatman, she has produced 2 albums of music over the years and is co-curator of the global Indian arts festival Drive East. She continues to give time to arts organizations around the city to help further visibility and give perspective of the Indian arts, such as the NEA, Ascend NYC, Dance NYC, and more.
Sahasra is the recipient of various awards, including the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship, and has been called by reporters as a "young trailblazer...on the crest of the wave leading us towards a new understanding of South Asian arts in the United States."
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