Guru Smt. Selvi Pragasam
(Founder & Artistic Director)
Smt. Selvi Pragasam founded Kalanityam in October of 2012. Since then the school has grown rapidly.
Selvi learnt Bharathanatyam for over 8 years and graduated from the prestigious Kalaikaviri School of Fine Arts, affiliated with Bharathidasan University in Trichy, India.
Kalaikaviri is based on the Kalashetra style of Bharathanatyam and she was taught by well known gurus from Kalakshetra. Her gurus included Shri V. P. Dhananjayan and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, Sri. Narasimha Chary and Smt. Vijaya Mugundan among others. She learnt Bharathanatyam along with extensive theory. She learnt Mohiniattam, a classical dance from Kerala.
She has had numerous performances in India, Europe and the USA. Her performances have won critical acclaim all over the world. She had played the lead in several of the Kalaikaviri’s productions. The highlight of her dance career was when she was asked to perform in front of His Excellency Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
Smt. Selvi Pragasam also learnt Nattuvangam from Kalaimamani Uma Dandayudhapani Pillai and Smt.Hema Sharma. She enhanced her advanced choreography techniques with guidance from Padmashri Smt.Priyadarshini Govind. Very recently, she had the opportunity to also learn BharathaNrithyam from Smt. Anuradha Vikranth. She dedicates all the choreographies in this recital to her various gurus who have been her guide and inspiration.
Smt.Selvi Pragsaam is also the Founder and Director of Indian-Fusion Dance Academy (IFDA) that teaches fusion and folk dances. Smt.Selvi Pragasam has a Masters in Business Administration from India and an Associate Degree in Multimedia Programming from UCSC. She worked as a Web Developer for Lockheed Martin and NASA for almost 7 years before she founded IFDA.
Last year she founded a non-profit called InFUSE along with Smt. Lavanya Gopal. The non-profit conducts peer interaction dance classes and a full fledged afterschool program for students who are differently abled. InfUSE gives opportunity to middle schoolers and high schoolers to volunteer and thereby integrating the youth through not only art but also through community service and education.
Guru Smt. Lavanya Gopal (Artistic Director)
Lavanya Gopal, Artistic Director of Kalanityam school of Bharathanatyam, is a disciple of Smt Rukmini Srinivasan, Smt Ananthalakshmi Natarajan and Smt Padmini Ravi. She started learning Bharathanatyam from a tender age of seven. She was one of the first disciples of Smt Rukmini Srinivasan and has been trained under her for almost 8 years. She also continued her dance lessons from Smt Padmini Ravi for almost four years. Her bharathanatyam journey continued under the guidance of Smt Ananthalakshmi Natarajan with innumerable stage performances. She gave her solo debut in bharathanatyam at the age of 10 in Thirkovilur.
Some of her performances include "Rasa Leela Tarangini"and Jayadeva Astapadi in which she played the main role. The main highlights of her dance journey include the role of Krishna in the Jayadeva Astapadi and Andal in Tiruppavai which won many accolades. She won the first prize for an intercollegiate Bharathanatyam competition held from all over Karnataka. She has choreographed thematic productions which include Bhaktha Prahalada, Dashavatharam, Srinivasa Kalyanam and Thiruppugazh.
Lavanya hold a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from the most prestigious Mount Carmel College, a Post Graduate in Marketing Management and a Master’s degree in Sanskrit . She has also learnt Carnatic music for eight years under the guidance of her aunt and Guru Smt Vijayavalli Rajagopalan. She started her dance journey in US in 2003. Lavanya believes that, the passion to the art of Bharathanatyam which invokes spirituality and joy is a gift from her gurus. Her goal is to spread the joy of dancing and make this an enjoyable experience to each one of her students. Shri Gurubhyo Namaha.
Smt. Lavanya Gopal joined Smt. Selvi Pragasam in 2008. Lavanya is the Founder Director of Shimmer Indian Fusion Dance Wear and Co-Founder for InFuse Educational Services.
Kalanityam had its first Arangetrams in Sept of 2013. The school continues to have Arangetrams and dance productions. The most recent dance production was in June 2015 called "Satyagraha - The Essence Of Freedom". The students also performed at FETNA a national convention of Tamil Mandrams all over US.. The School has an upcoming production on November 17th, 2018 called "Rahktabeeja Samharam"