Silambam Houston

Faculty

 

Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan is a dancer, guru, and scientist who has resided in the Houston area for over a decade, and is a prominent figure in the Houston arts and culture scene. Her cultural and artistic activities within and outside the Houston community are well known and have a wide reach.

 

Dr. Rajagopalan learnt Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of the renowned dancer and Padmashree awardee Smt. Sudharani Raghupathy. She has performed extensively and to critical acclaim, both individually and in collaboration with other artistes, in India and the US. She is an accomplished vocalist, having trained in classical music under Shri Seetharama Sharma, and later with Shri. Srinivasa Iyengar and Padmabhushan Vidwan Madurai Shri. N. Krishnan. She is a proficient nattuvanar as well.

 

One of Dr. Rajagopalan’s significant contributions to the field of dance is the development of a library of mobile apps – the B-Natyam series – that lay out the entire vocabulary of Bharatanatyam in a fun and interactive format for students as well as laypeople.

 

In addition to her artistic pursuits, she holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and freelances as a science writer and editor. She currently resides in League City, TX with her husband and two young children.

Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan

 

Founder, Executive/Artistic Director

 

Dr. Rajalaxmi  Natarajan

 

Music

 

Mrs. Krithika Mohankumar

 

Dance (Bharatanatyam)

 

Dr. Rajalaxmi Natarajan trained in vocal and instrumental music for several years at the Bhaktha Rasika Ranjani Sabha in Mumbai. She received music training from the late Shri P.N. Krishnamoorthy and Mrs. Jaya Subramaniam in Carnatic vocal music. She also learnt to play violin under the tutelage of Shri. Kannan at the BRR Sabha. She is passionate about passing along the basics of this cultural tradition to the younger generation. She is a neuroscientist by profession, and pursues a full-time career as a science communicator in the Texas Medical Center.

Ms. Anusha Venkatramani

 

Dance (Bharatanatyam)

 

Anusha Venkatramani is a disciple of Professor Sudharani Raghupathy, a Padmashri recipient and founder of Shree Bharatalaya, Chennai.  Anusha has performed all over India with her guru in several popular productions like Silapadikaram, Mamudha and Shankara Loka Shankara. As a solo artist, Anusha has also performed in some of the leading sabhas during the music and dance festival in Chennai. 

 

Anusha has also trained with Nalini Prakash, a senior disciple of Sudharani Raghupathy, and has collaborated with the Spilling Ink Project in DC, and participated in their productions like Godavari and Lalitha. She moved to the Texas area last year and continues her dance and faculty training under Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan at Silambam Houston.

 

Anusha holds a Masters degree in Healthcare policy and Management from Carnegie Melon University, Pittsburgh, and now works as a Business Analyst at a large Health Analytics company based in Austin. Her goal is to continue performing, teach young children and spread her love for the arts. 

Mrs. Kalpana Subbarao

 

Dance (Kathak)

 

Kalpana Subbarao is proficient in two styles of Indian Classical Dance - Bharatanatyam and Kathak. She began her dance training in Bharatanatyam with Guru Rema Shrikant at the age of 9, and later with Guru Nandini Easwer, under whom she completed her Arangetram. She was the 2nd rank holder in the Junior, and 1st rank holder in the Senior and Vidhwat exams of the Karnataka State Board. She was also the recipient of a 3-year scholarship from the Karnataka Sangeet Natak Academy. Kalpana later took up Kathak and currently continues advanced training under Guru Pandit Sontosh Kumar. She performs extensively in the Houston area and around the world.

 

Kalpana recently moved back to Houston, where she had previously lived for several years before moving east for a while. She joined the Silambam faculty in October 2016. Kalpana is passionate about classical dance and brings an exciting new dimension to Silambam in the form of the unique Indian classical dance form Kathak.

 

Kalpana holds an Engineering degree, as well as a Masters in Computer Science from UH. She has two grown daughters and lives with her husband in the Energy Corridor area.

Mrs. Krithika Mohankumar had her initial training and performed her Arangetram (solo dance debut) under Guru Balameera Chandra Grimes at Nataraja Natya Niketan, Chennai, India. Thereafter, she continued her dance training under Guru Saraswati Sundaresan, in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam, and performed extensively both in solo performances and group productions. She has been associated with Silambam since 2005, and has taught on the Silambam faculty since 2009. She is extremely involved in all of Silambam’s activities, as a parent, faculty member, and creative consultant.

Lekha Surapaneni

Lekha Surapaneni is a sophomore at Shadow Creek High School. She began learning Bharatanatyam at Silambam at the age of 5, and has been at Silambam for close to 10 years. Lekha is also a part of Silambam Houston Dance Company, and teaches the Prenatyam and Beginner classes at Silambam. She also plays the veena, and enjoys reading, tennis, and art. She volunteers her time at the Children’s Museum. Lekha aspires to a career in the medical profession. She assists with the PreNatyam and Beginner classes at Silambam.

Gayathri Sampathkumar

Gayathri Sampathkumar is a freshman at Shadow Creek High School. She had been learning bharatanatyam since 3rd grade and is also apart of SHDC. Apart from dance, Gayathri enjoys singing and reading. At school, her favorite classes are mathematics and art. She aspires to be an engineer like her father. She assists with the PreNatyam and Beginner classes at Silambam.

Tejaswini Mohankumar

Tejaswini Mohankumar is a junior at Glenda Dawson High School. She began learning Bharatanatyam at age 6 at Silambam. In 2011, she relocated to India, where she trained with guru Lakshman and completed her Arangetram in 2014. She is happy to be back at Silambam and is a member of the Silambam Houston Dance Company. Tejaswini is passionate about learning new languages and different world cultures. She aims to pursue a career in medicine. She assists with the PreNatyam, Beginner, and Intermediate classes at Silambam.

    Shikha Lakhi

Shikha Lakhi, a junior at Glenda Dawson High School, is a zealous dancer, and has been at Silambam since 2006. She is a member of the Silambam Houston Dance Company.Shikha has a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, loves to swim, and enjoys reading. She volunteers at local daycares and libraries, educating kids on healthy lifestyle choices. She enjoys mathematics and behavioral science, and hopes to pursue a career in one of those areas.

 

Board of Directors

 

Chair                      Vice-chair                    Secretary           Treasurer

Veer Surapaneni         Anusha Murali                    Sen Lakhi                Rao Garuda

 

 

Directors     

Ranjana Narasimhan

Arundathi Kadur

 

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