Dr. SHEELA UNNIKRISHNAN
A perfect example of a successful Acharya, Sheela Unnikrishnan is one who makes learning Bharatanatyam blissful. She is a perfect teacher who brilliantly discovers the ability of each of her students and brings out the best in them. She founded Sridevi Nrithyalaya in 1987 in Villivakkam with a handful of students and today, the institute has grown with over 250 students learning the Melattur style of Bharatanatyam. An untiring hard worker, talented choreographer, dedicated teacher and energetic performer, Sheela adapts to all her aforesaid roles naturally and excels in each of them. Having done her research on the topic “Dance Aspects in Sitrilakkiyam”, she was conferred Doctorate by Tamizh University, Tanjavur in 2017. Sheela stands a unique role model for all her students who are now making a mark in national and international arenas. Four of her students have been honoured with the prestigious ‘Bal Shree’ award and Sheela has been accredited for completing forty five Arangetrams so far.
Smt. SHOBHA KORAMBIL
Smt. Shobha Korambil was initiated into the learning of dance at the age of 10 by her parents. Having learnt the Melattur style of Bharatanatym for 8 years under Guru M. Sundaram and completing her Arangetram in the year 1982, Shobha has done several Bharatanatyam performances in and around Chennai. Shobha joined Kuchipudi Art Academy under Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam in 1991. Her journey of discovering herself began then. She was conferred with “Natya Visharadha” by her Guru during her Rangapravesam in 1997. As part of Dr. Vempati’s troupe, she has actively participated in many prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad.
Shobha joined Sri Jaikishore Mosalikanti in 2005 to learn the intricacies of Vempati’s style of Kuchipudi. Besides performing in her Mentors’ troupes, Shobha has also performed several solo presentations and conducted workshops and lectures demonstrations in Kuchipudi. A post graduate in Kuchipudi, Shobha is also an empaneled artiste of ICCR, Govt. of India.
Harinie Jeevitha has been learning Bharathanatyam in Sridevi Nrithyalaya from Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan from the age of six. She completed her Arangetram in August, 2006 and has been performing solo as well as with her Teacher’s troupe in prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad. Harinie has also accompanied Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan in conducting Bharatanatyam workshops in Norway and Canada. She is a recipient of the ‘BAL SHREE’ honour (2009) conferred by the Govt. of India. Harinie is an A grade artiste of Doordarshan and holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and masters in Bharathanatyam.
Bhairavi Venkatesan began learning the divine art of Bharathanatyam at the age of 4 from Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan. She was also initiated into Kuchipudi at a young age by Dr. Vempati Chinna Sathyam and has also performed in some of Sri Kishore Mosalikanti’s productions. Bhairavi did her Arangetram in October, 2013 and was also awarded the prestigious “BAL SHREE” honour by Govt. of India for excellence in the field of Creative Performance in the same year. She has participated in many dance competitions in the state and national level and won prizes. She has presented solo and group performances in prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad and has also accompanied Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan in conducting a Bharathanatyam workshop in Canada. Bhairavi is a B grade artiste of Doordarshan and currently pursues her bachelor’s in Sociology.
Kameshweri Ganesan joined Sridevi Nrithyalaya in 2011. With hard work and commitment, she became a regular performer in all of SDN’s productions and thematic presentations. She has participated in many prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad along with SDN. Kameshweri was conferred “Best Performer” by Sri Parthasarthy Swami Sabha, Chennai, in 2016. She has participated in the Talent Promotion Scheme conducted by Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai. Kameshweri is a B grade artiste of Doordarshan and has completed her bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
Rajadarshini began her training in the Melattur style of Bharathanatyam under the guidance of Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan in the year 2003. Since then she has been regularly performing with her Teacher’s troupe in prestigious dance festivals. Rajadarshini presented her Arangetram in June 2013. She has participated in national level competitions held in Hyderabad, Pune etc and bagged prizes. She has been actively taking part in all of Sridevi Nrithyalaya’s dance dramas and thematic presentations. Rajadarshini is a B grade artiste of Doordarshan and is currently pursuing bachelor’s degree in Architecture from SRM University, Chennai.
Sanjena Ramesh has been learning the Melattur style of Bharathanatyam since the age of 5 from Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan. She performed her Arangetram in July, 2017 and has been an active part of SDN’s productions and performances. She has participated in several state, national and international level dance competitions and won many prizes and awards. Sanjena was awarded the title, “PODHIGAI ILA MAYIL” by DD, Podhigai and she was also a finalist in the selections for Bal Shree award. Sanjena is pursuing her high school studies in the Arts stream.
Sri GURU BHARADWAAJ (TALAM)
Guru Bharadwaaj, a much sought after Mridanga Vidwan, was initiated into the art of percussion at the age of 7. Trained under Mridangam maestro Guru Karaikudi R. Mani, Guru Bharadwaaj is a fine performer and composer with a deep interest to innovate and explore the art form. He has accompanied many top musicians and dancers in India and abroad and is an “A grade” ranking artiste of All India Radio. Guru Bharadwaaj has completed M.A. Rhythmology and M.Phil in Mridangam and is currently pursuing his PhD from Bharatidasan University. He has worked as a lecturer in Kalakshetra for a period of 5 years. Guru Bharadwaaj was awarded the title “LAYA TAPASVI” by Sridevi Nrithyalaya for his outstanding contribution and commitment to the art and he has been teaching the nuances of Rhythm to the performers of SDN for the past 6 years.