Kalashraya presents 
3rd Annual Kalashraya Dance Festival
Kreeger Auditorium, 7pm
April 25, 2015 Rockville, MD

January 19, 2015

The theme of the 3rd Kalashraya Dance Festival is “Uninterrupted Continuity.”  Indian classical dance is not static.  With each generation, dancers push the boundaries of their chosen art forms.  This year, we celebrate soloists in Indian classical dance who create their own spaces within tradition as well as a soloist who takes her foundation in Indian classical dance in dynamic new directions.  The festival aims to provide a platform for these outstanding performers from around the United States to showcase their art.  No labels, just excellence. 

Date: April 25, 2015
Venue: Kreeger Auditorium, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland
Time: 7pm (Seating: 6:30pm)

$20 Adult, $15 Student (with ID), $10 Child (10 years and under)
10% discount for tickets purchased in advance at
Cash or check at the venue - No credit cards

Festival Directors: Dr. Janaki Rangarajan and Aneal Krishnamurthy
(kalashrayafestival@gmail.com / 703-282-6359) 

About the invited artists:

Mesma Belsaré, formerly trained in Bharatanatyam by Guru Shankar Hombal and Geeta Chandran in India, is continuing her studies under Dr. Maya Kulkarni in New York City.  Mesma is a recipient of the Cambridge Arts Council's Artist-Grant and the Government of India scholarship for advanced training in Bharatanatyam and Indian classical music. Her professional dancing career includes solo performances at the Lincoln Center (NYC), Asia Society (NYC), Alvin Ailey Theater (NYC), The Lincoln Theater (Washington D.C.), Siri Fort and Triveni (New Delhi) and the Harbourfront Centre (Toronto) among other venues. She was twice nominated for the Brother Thomas Fellowship by The Boston Foundation and for the Dora Mavor Moore Award by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.  Mesma is the Artistic Director of the non-profit initiative RASA: Re-Presenting Arts of South Asia and curates educational programs based on contemporary art in Boston, Massachusetts.

Shambhavi Dandekar, the Indian classical Kathak dancer par excellence, has dazzled the world with her performances and choreography. Her forte is her solid traditional grounding which stems from her training with her mother and Guru Maneesha Sathe and from tabla virtuoso Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. Her performances and productions have received great appreciation from critics, connoisseurs and audiences all over the world. She has traversed international shores like Japan, China, Middle East, Canada, Australia and Singapore; needless to mention many reputed cities and venues in India and USA. Singaar Mani, Nritya Ratna, Bharatashree are some of the titles awarded to her in India. She is also a recipient of Pu La Deshpande Youth Award in 2012. Being an A grade artist on Indian National Television, her performances and interviews have been telecast on various international TV channels. She guides students all over the world through workshops and master classes. Though originally based in India, Shambhavi now lives in the USA and runs her institute Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak in both countries. 

Kiran Rajagopalan is one of the leading young Bharatanatyam artistes and a budding research scholar and choreographer.  A recipient of several grants, he has given many acclaimed solo performances at various prestigious venues in India, Indonesia, and the United States.  He has a fiscal sponsorship from the New York Foundation for the Arts to choreograph and present a performance art production.  Kiran has collaborated with photographer Ramnath Siva on “In My Backyard I Can See the World,” a multimedia art exhibit headed by Chicago-based Artists Respond Globally in Chicago.  Kiran graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Spanish in 2008.  He has chosen to follow his passion for dance and has graduated from the University of Madras with an M.A. (honors) in Bharatanatyam in 2010.  He is currently pursuing a second M.A. in Performance Studies at New York University.

Kamala Reddy (Rajupet) is one of the seniormost students of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam.   Kamala has performed extensively in India, USA and other countries. She has performed for major organizations in India including the Music Academy and Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai; ICCR and Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi; Konark Festival; Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai. She has played lead roles in many of her guru’s dance dramas and toured with him in the USA, the former U.S.S.R, the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, The Netherlands and France.  Her roles as Rukmini in Rukmini Kalyanam, Parvathi in Hara Vilasam, the Fortune Teller and Parvathi in Srinivasa Kalyanam, and later as Padmavathi in Srinivasa Kalyanam to name a few, have won her accolades amongst critics and connoisseurs of dance. Kamala established the Kala Niketan Academy of Indian classical dance in Pittsburgh in 1991.  Apart from being an accomplished dancer, Kamala is a practicing physician - an Endocrinologist. She is the medical director of one of Pittsburgh area affiliates of the Joslin Center for Diabetes.