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Still Point Expanding: A Six Part Elaboration

Jiva’s first Dance on Camera Festival

Facebook Live / YouTube Post Festival Panel Discussion on Zoom Event is Free and Open to the Public Zoom Panel discussion will be limited
November 18, 2020 8:00PM EST
Still Point Expanding:A Six Part Elaboration Dance On Camera Festival by Jiva Performing Arts

“At the still point of the turning world...
there the dance is…
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards...
Except for the point, the still point...
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance….”
-TS Eliot, “Burnt Norton, Four Quartets”

Jiva Performing Arts presents its first Dance on Camera Festival, “Still Point Expanding: A Six-Part Elaboration,” on November 18, 2020. The global pandemic has forced us to reshape and explore new horizons of artistic imagination. We took this opportunity to commission new works that fit more comfortably in the emerging ecology of the digital art world.

The Festival will present works, which share a common format – Dancers begin from a still point of thought or a poetic flourish that expands out into imagined space filled with movement and emotions. It is the concept of Bindu, the naval point of a dancer's being, from which flow the rich imagery, the poetic vocabulary, and the emotional expressions, all in the form of dance. Whether these expressions are measured or spontaneous, subtle or intense, they return again and again to that still point, the Bindu, from which they emanated in the first place.

We have invited six superb artists who will choose their own still point to expand into short dance vignettes. Each is an established dancer with impressive accomplishment; each represents a particular tradition of Indian classical dance or its derivatives. The artistic lineup includes Shruti Mohan, a known Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam dancer from Texas; Jin Won, a virtuoso Kathak, and tabla artists from NJ; Parul Shah, a stylistic Kathak and contemporary artist from NJ; Mesma Belsaré, an artist from Boston who represents Shilpa Natyam, a new mode of dance rooted in Bharatanatyam; Sreelakshmy Govardhanan, a Kerala-based dancer steeped in the Kuchipudi technique and dramaturgy; and Sonali Skandan, a Bharatanatyam artist of international repute based in NYC. The Festival is co-directed by Maya Kulkarni, a celebrated and richly accomplished artist of Indian classical dance who will serve as the mentor for all the artists for “Still Point Expanding,” and by Sonali Skandan, the principal dancer and Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts.

The Festival will premiere on Youtube and Facebook Live on November 18, 2020 and will be followed by a panel discussion with the artists moderated by Maya Kulkarni.

Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund

Jiva has been awarded the prestigious Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund for the second consecutive time

This two-year grant will allow us to expand our public performances, administrative capacity and plan for new artistic ventures. We are very excited and grateful to be chosen for this award once again!

Join us on Patreon!

Join Jiva’s journey by becoming a Patron today!

Jiva Performing Arts exist to develop and present new voices in the classical arts of India through creation, performance, and education. Since 2007, Jiva Performing Arts has taken an innovative approach to promote and preserve the classical arts of India in the US. Jiva is comprised of a professional dance company, Jiva Dance and Akshara Music Ensemble which creates innovative works that reimagine traditional pieces, and a School that provides comprehensive training from beginner through professional levels in these dance and music traditions. Through the Company and the School, Jiva not only preserves the artistic legacy as passed down by traditional Gurus and teachers, but creates new works that affirm the relevance, vitality, and freshness of Indian classical arts. Through Jiva's dedication to high-quality education and programming, as well as a close-knit and supportive community, Jiva has become one of the more visible South Asian Arts organizations in the US.

In the past year alone, Jiva has presented at some very major venues including the ART New York Theaters, Dixon Place NYC, Queens College, The Juilliard School, the World Music Festival in Chicago, Gibney Dance and many others throughout the US. Our innovative programming continues to attract an audience base that is a diverse, culturally-aware, urban population.

This year, we are aiming to raise a much–needed $35,000 to support and grow our work in 2020. Your donation to Jiva will help support the creation of new work, our annual Vidyanjali student recital, our very intimate Solo Studio Showcases, our Master Workshops and informal seminars, a growing Jiva Faculty, our valuable Program Assistant, as well as our daily Operational Costs. All this to help Jiva strengthen its mission and goals.

By giving to our cause, you become a lifelong member of Jiva's Patron Circle. Your faith in our work speaks volumes and we are

Inside Jiva Gala 2016

Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024
November 3rd, 2016 at 6pm

The Board and Patrons of Jiva Performing Arts invite you to our fourth annual gala!

Dance - Dinner - Music - Cocktails - Silent Auction

Purchase tickets now!

Jiva's fourth annual gala celebrates another year of excellence in Indian classical dance programming and pedagogy. Join us for exclusive performances, fine Indian cuisine, drinks, and dancing, as we share our plans for the exciting future of Indian classical arts in New York City.


Laveen Naidu, Keynote speaker, former Executive Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem
Sonali Mishra, distinguished Odissi dancer
Jiva Dance, our resident performing company
Bala Skandan, composer and leader of Akshara music ensemble
Hemant Mathur, Michelin-rated chef and restaurateur
MC Pervez and DJ Sunny, top South Asian event and wedding entertainers


6:00pm: Meet & Greet with Cocktails
7:30pm: Program Begins
- Special performance by Jiva's dance students
- Odissi-Bharatanatyam dance duet by Sonali Mishra and Sonali Skandan
- Keynote speech by Laveen Naidu
- Premiere of Jiva Dance's new short film
- Family-style dinner catered by Kurry Qulture
- Musical performance by Akshara
- Silent auction announcements & pledge drive
- Dessert & dancing with DJ Sunny & MC Pervez

Funds raised from this event benefit Jiva's ongoing efforts in dance education, financing new instructional videos, master classes, assistant teacher training and salary, a travel fund for intensive study in India, our beloved Vidyanjali student showcase, and much more!

Featured Bios:

-1Keynote speaker Laveen Naidu began studying ballet in his native Cape Town, South Africa, and went on to earn a scholarship from the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1992. After many years of international touring, he became the executive director of the Dance Theater of Harlem. Under Naidu's leadership, the company flourished and grew after a long hiatus and collaborated with national arts institutions like The Kennedy Center. He is currently Artistic Director of BalletNova in Falls Church, VA.

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Sonali Mishra began her training in the Odissi dance tradition under Smt. Chitralekha, Smt. Ellora, and Sri Devraj Patnaik in Toronto. Since 1995, she has been travelling regularly to Orissa, India for further study and refinement. Sonali has performed as a soloist and has given masterclasses and lecture-demonstrations to dance students and lovers throughout the US, Canada, India, the UK, and Malaysia to widespread acclaim.


Jiva Dance is Jiva's resident performing company. Led by Jiva Artistic Director and choreographer Sonali Skandan, Jiva Dance performs original classical choreography in the Bharatanatyam style and has received widespread acclaim for their efforts in performance and education.

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 4.24.16 PM Akshara is a New York-based ensemble led by composer, mridangist, and educator Bala Skandan. Blending Carnatic, Hindustani, and World music traditions, Akshara collaborates extensively with Jiva Dance, and recently recorded their debut album. The ensemble also features MaxZT, Arun Ramamurthy, Jay Gandhi, and Kabilan Jeganathan.

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Michelin Star chef Hemant Mathur is the prolific restaurateur behind many of New York City's biggest names in fine Indian cuisine like Tulsi, Devi, and Tamarind, as well as many up-and-coming eateries like Kurry Qulture in Astoria, Queens, focused on regional and seasonal Indian cuisines.

DJ Sunny and MC Pervez are sought-after local entertainers and facilitators for events in the South Asian communities of New York City and beyond. Their high energy, charisma, and extravagant light shows make them highly in demand for weddings, corporate events, and more.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

AMC Theatres
City Winery
Core Pilates NYC
The New York Jets
Magnolia Bakery
Paper Culture
Soaring Adventures
SoulCycle NYC
We Make Believe

We hope you will join us for a fantastic evening! Purchase tickets here.

Performance – Jiva at Stages in the Square

Jiva is delighted to announce a free public performance as part of Madison Square Park’s “Kids Fest: Stages in the Square” on October 15. Jiva Dance and students will present their work to live musical accompaniment as part of this family-friendly event, which features a diverse selection of performers from around the city on three stages.

Jiva’s performance will close out The afternoon-long event , which runs from 11am until 3pm.

We hope you will join us for a beautiful outdoor performance!

Madison Square Park - 11 Madison Ave.
FREE and open to the public!
October 15th, 2:30pm - 3pm

Workshop: The Art of Abhinaya

Join us for a weekend-long Abhinaya (art of expression) workshop for kids and adults. The workshop is conducted by Indira Kadambi, a highly talented and much sought after teacher in the art of Abhinaya.

Indira Kadambi is one of the foremost and outstanding exponents of Bharatanatyam today. She is one of the most sought after Abhinaya teacher today. Her works are traditional, yet contemporary, and she has traveled all over the word performing and teaching.

In 1987, Along with her husband T.V. Ramprasadh, a well known Carnatic classical vocalist, Indira Kadambi established Ambalam, Centre for Performing Arts. In 2012, eAmbalam launched the world’s first Online College of Indian Performing Arts offering Diploma and short term certificate courses in Bharathanatyam & Carnatic vocal integrated with Yoga along with SaMaaGaMa, a vibrant, interactive, community portal for artists and art connoisseurs worldwide.

Special Early Bird Pricing until 10/10/16: $225 including music!
limited spots are available for Early Bird.
After 10/10, workshop fee is $250.

Please email and follow this ticketing link to reserve a spot in class! Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received.

This workshop is co-organized by Jiva Performing Arts and Kumari Mayshark Patel.

Cameo Studios - 307 West 43rd Street, between 8th & 9th ave
Friday, October 28th & Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Jiva Gala 2016

An evening of music, dance, cocktails and fine cuisinePlease join us for Jiva’s annual Gala 2016 and and become a patron of Classical Indian dance in NYC

Congregation Rodeph Sholom 7 West 83rd St. NY, NY 10024
November 3, 2016 6:00PM
Jiva Performing Arts is hosting its annual Gala - an exciting evening featuring performances by talented musicians and dancers and featuring cocktails, dinner and dancing. The event will support our growing efforts to create engaging Indian classical music and dance programming in the NYC area. Tickets and event details can be found here:

Frequently Asked Questions About Classes

Do you offer trial classes?
Though classes are run by the session, students are permitted to take 1 paid trial class. The fee will depend on the class level.

Do I have to register for the full session?
Yes, we do not offer walk in classes, as classes are taught in a progressive manner.

I have studied Bharatanatyam before, do I need to start in the Beginner group?
The level for all new students will be determined by the teacher. In some cases, if the style is vastly different, the student will be asked to join the beginner group to refresh adavus and foundational steps. All classes do begin with a warm up with adavu practice regardless of level.

Will I get performance opportunities?
Every Spring, Jiva presents Vidyanjali, which features the talents and achievements of students at all levels. Vidyanjali provides an opportunity for students to experience dancing with live orchestral accompaniment, a very unique and special experience for all students. The show is funded every year through tickets sales by all the students and our patrons. In some cases, students would have to purchase/rent Bharatanatyam costumes and jewelry for the performance.

More experienced students will get opportunities to perform at various events and festivals throughout the year as well.

What is the dress code for class?
Students are asked to wear cotton salwar kameez and dupatta. If students do not have a set, they can wear loose fitting t-shirts and gym pants in the interim. Older students may be asked to wear a dance practice sari.

What materials do I need to bring to class?
Students should bring a notebook, the theory notes and practice log which will be emailed to them and a pen.

Ramya Narayanan – President

Ramya Narayanan is Vice President and General Manager Credit Card Product Management at American Express OPEN. OPEN is American Express’s business unit dedicated exclusively to supporting small business owners and is the leading card issuer to this segment. Ramya assumed this position in April 2012 and is responsible for development and marketing of OPEN’s Proprietary Lending credit cards as well as Co-Brand credit cards (Delta, Starwood, Costco and Lowe’s). Ramya is on the board of Jiva Performing Arts, a NYC-based Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam) and Carnatic music organization. Ramya has an MBA from Cornell University, a MS in Industrial Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BE in Industrial Engineering from Anna University, Chennai, India. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.