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New Dimensions to the Margam Performance

Updated: Sep 12, 2023




Leela Foundation and SIFAA are proud to present New Dimensions to the Margam Performance on Sunday, October 29th! This performance created and performed by Rama Vaidyanathan and her dance troupe is sure to be an event to remember.


New Dimensions to the Margam

on October 29, 5:30 PM at Alston Ridge Middle School, Cary, NC




The Margam in the Bharatanatyam classical dance tradition is a basic set of compositions that a student learns from the Guru. The term Margam which means path in Sanskrit, is the journey that a practitioner embarks upon once the training begins. It begins with simple and direct composition describing the Gods and Goddesses, followed by more complex compositions exploring various emotions and movement dynamics. The path culminates to a crescendo of heightened fast paced movements that is symbolic of a final burst of joy and vibrancy when a journey ends. The Margam provides the bedrock for a dancer to grasp and imbibe the Bharatanatyam’s grammar and core principles.


In “New Dimensions to Margam,” Rama Vaidyanathan the choreographer and the chief dancer, explores a fresh perspective to the collection of dance compositions that comprise the Margam. She explores new themes in different languages, which have never been seen in a Bharatanatyam performance. She uses time, space, music and movement with a contemporary approach, to add a fresh impetus to the traditional Margam.

"New Dimensions to The Margam" showcases what Bharatanatyam should be in the 21st century, and it indicates what is a possible course of the journey ahead in the next decade. This work hopes to inspire dancers and dance lovers to balance tradition and modernity in their own work.



Join us for this special performance

October 29th, 5:30 PM

Location: Alston Ridge Middle School, Cary, NC 27519






Meet the Performers


Rama Vaidyanathan Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the fore most Bharatanatyam dancers of her generation. She trained intensively under the legendry dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy and the celebrated Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan. Rama has developed her own individual style without forsaking the core principles of her dance form. Her technique is grounded and yet there is a fresh approach to the innumerable dance compositions that she has added to the Bharatanatyam repertoire. Critics and audiences have lauded Rama’s extraordinary choreographic skills that have earned her the reputation of being a dancer who goes beyond her form.

In a performance career spanning 40 years Rama has had the distinction of having performed before three former Presidents of India at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. She is an Agrade artiste with Doordarshan and is in the outstanding category of artistes with the ICCR. She has represented India in several festivals abroad, most recently being the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” in Spain, organised by the ICCR. Rama has traveled extensively to Indian rural areas through SPICMACAY to introduce classical dance to rural children.

Having performed at every major dance venue of the world, she has been awarded with many awards and titles, including the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar. She has received the “Kalaimamani” from Govt of Tamil Nadu, “Kalashree” from Govt of Kerala, and the Kumar Gandharv Puraskar from the Govt of Madhya Pradesh. Other titles received in Chennai are Nadanamamani from Kartik Fine arts, Vani Kala Sudhakara from Tyagabrahma Gana Sabha, Nritya Choodamani from Krishna Gana Sabha, and Nritya Kalanidhi from the Music Academy. As the Vice President of Ganesa Natyalaya New Delhi, she has been actively engaged in teaching, balancing a hectic performance schedule while conducting workshops and master classes all over the world, inspiring a whole generation of dancers. As a dedicated teacher she has produced a number of accomplished and well-trained students who are full time professional dancers.






Kavya Ganesh Kavya Ganesh is a talented Bharatanatyam dancer and a disciple of Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan. Extremely dedicated to her craft from a very young age, she brings a tremendous sense of rhythm and effortless grace to her dance. She has performed across India, USA and Europe doing both solo performances as well as group works with her teacher’s ensemble. Some of her notable performances include Konark festival, NCPA Mumbai’s Mudra festival, Natyanjali festival, Esplanade Singapore, SWEAT festival Hong Kong, Erasing Borders NYC and many more.

She has completed her bachelor’s degree in Literature and Performing Arts at Ashoka University and was selected for the ‘Conservatory for Actors’ drama program at Yale University in the summer of 2022. She has always dreamed big and eventually hopes to create a global artistic style that is an amalgamation of dance, theatre and literature as well as expand Bharatanatyam’s reach among audiences by exploring different themes while rooted in the form.






Reshika Sivakumar Reshika Sivakumar is a Bharatanatyam dancer who is training under the tutelage of Sangeet Natak Academy awardee, Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan. She did her schooling at Isha Samskriti, a unique school with an alternate education system envisioned by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Having taken up Bharatanatyam professionally at the age of 18, Reshika has performed at various prestigious platforms in India and abroad over the last few years. Apart from her dance, she also has a decade of experience in the field of Carnatic music and is proficient on the Nattuvangam.

In2017, Reshika received the prestigious CCRT scholarship from the Government of India. Further, in 2019 she was a member of the group that toured Cambodia and South Korea as part of the outgoing cultural delegations of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Recently, she was chosen as one of the top 10 contestants to perform at the “Spirit of Youth” festival (2022) conducted by the Madras Music Academy. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to perform alongside Smt. Rama Vaidyanathanas a dancer, vocalist and nattuvanaar at various esteemed platforms such as Krishna Gana Sabha, National Center of Performing Arts (NCPA) and Konark Dance Festival, to name a few. Apart from pursuing Bharatanatyam as a performer, Reshika also runs “Dwija Performing Arts” a platform through which she teaches Bharatanatyam and Carnatic vocal to students across India.






Shubhamani Chandrashekar Shubhamani Chandrashekar was born in a family of distinguished dancers and musicians and started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 5 under her famous mother Sharadhamani Shekar, who runs a very famous dance school called "Sanathana Natyalaya"in Mangalore.

At the tender age of 10, she moved to Chennai to continue her journey of Bharatanatyam at KALAKSHETRA FOUNDATION. In 2013, she began her training with Guru Kalashree Rama Vaidyanathan, the awardee of Sangeet Natak Akademi, in Delhi. She became an integral part of her Guru Rama Vaidyanathan's dance productions, performances, workshops, and residencies and accompanied her Guruon Nattuvangam.

In India, she has performed at prestigious festivals such as the Spirit of youth festival of music and dance at madras music academy in Chennai, NCPA in Mumbai, and Alva's Nudisiri, and has travelled and performed in countries such as the US, South Korea, and Cambodia, to name a few.






Vaishnavi Dhore Vaishnavi Dhore, is a performing artist and trainer of Bharatanatyam, based in Pune and New Delhi. She is a disciple of Nritya Kalanidhi Smt.Rama Vaidyanathan (Senior Sangeet Natak Awardee), with her initial training being from Dr.Swati Daithankar in Pune. Vaishnavi has completed her Nritya Visharad and Masters in Bharatnatyam from Delhi. She has performed in several festivals and concerts in India and abroad as solo artist and along with her Guru Smt Rama Vaidyanathan. The performances have been at Konark Festival, Patiala Heritage Festival, Kumbh Mela, Brahma Gana Sabha Chennaiand at international venues in Singapore, Cambodia, ICCR Tour in South Korea. Vaishnavialso performed in the online Vibrant Brampton classical festival in Canada and for the best foot forward series for Aalaap. Vaishnavi is herself a Bharatnatyam trainer, giving awareness lecture demonstrations for slum area children in Pune, and Bharatnatyam training classes at Aravindam India Gurukuls for Indian Heritage Performing Arts at Gurugram.







Anugrah Lakshmanan Anugrah Lakshmanan is a Carnatic musician, and is a disciple of Smt Jayashree Aravind, learning both Carnatic vocal and Veena music under her tutelage. He had his education at Isha Samskriti, an alternate education system envisioned by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in Coimbatore, India, where he has spent a number of years training in disciplines like Yoga, Kalaripayattu, Bharatanatyam, and Sanskrit language, apart from music. He has also had the opportunity to attend specialized music workshops with other eminent artists like Vid. Savita Narasimhan, Sri Malladi Suri Babu, and is now also training with Sri. TM Krishna. Anugrah is the recipient of the prestigious CCRT scholarship from the Govt of India in 2017. He was recently adjudged as the ‘best male vocalist’ at the Spirit of Youth festival 2022 at the renowned Music Academy,Madras. He has also accompanied his Guru Smt Jayashree Aravind on a performance tour to the United States of America in 2016. He is a regular performer at various Sabhas in the Chennai December music festival and has also participated in the Tyagaraja Aradhana held at Thiruvaiyaru and Thiruvarur. Anugrah is the founder of Minna Minni, an initiative that works with various artists to creatively present classical compositions.






Ashwin Subramanian Ashwin Subramanian is an alumnus of Isha Samskriti, an alternative education system envisioned by Sadhguru. He has undergone basic training in Yoga, Carnatic music, Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu (an ancient martial art form from Kerala) at Isha Samskriti. Having an affinity for rhythm from a very young age, Ashwin beganlearning Mridangam and Konakkol from Trivandrum RV Prasad in 2011. He is also trained in the art of doing Nattuvangam.

In the year 2014, Ashwin won the Vellore Ramabhadran endowment prize in the annual music competition conducted by the prestigious Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai. He has been an integral part of various productions by Isha Samskriti such as Kumarasambhavam, Kashi– the city of light, Leela, Bhakthiand the first International Day of Yoga celebrations at Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi.

He is a full-time musician teaching both basics of Mridangam and Konnakol through online classes and performing as an accompany artist for both Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music. Currently he is in Chennai continuing his learning under the tutelage of Vidwan Trichur C Narendran.






Sannidhi Vaidyanathan Sannidhi Vaidyanathan belongs to a family of eminent artistes. Her grandmother is Padma Bhushan Awardee Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan, and her mother is the well-known dancer, Rama Vaidyanathan. Sannidhi started learning Mridangam from the age of 10 from the rhythm wizard late Sri Karaikudi Sivakumar who taught her extremely patiently and is responsible for having created a love for rhythm in her. After his demise in 2018, she came under the tutelage of the well-known percussionist Sri Ramamoorthy Sriganesh, who is now her present Guru and has painstakingly prepared Sannidhi for her debut performance today. Her training in Bharatanatyam at Ganesa Natyalaya from her grandmother and her mother and her training in Kathak from eminent Gurus Smt Vidha Lal and Guru Geetanjali Lal, have helped her get an immense grasp over complicated rhythmic patterns. Apart from the intensive and traditional training that a mridangam student goes through, Sannidhi has also been specifically trained in playing for dance, because having learnt dance, she enjoys playing for it too.

Sannidhi has accompanied her grandmother Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan for dance performances in India and abroad. She has travelled with her mother extensively playing the mridangam for her dance productions, for workshops and for lecture demonstrations. She has already performed on professional stages in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kerala, and Mumbai in India -and also in USA, Canada, France, UK, and Singapore.







Vishwesh Swaminadhan Palakkad Vishwesh Swaminadhan, a full-fledged violinist and vocalist, hailing from a family of strong musical lineage, has been learning Carnatic vocal and violin for the past 20 years and has been an active performer since a very young age. He actively accompanies established vocalists like his own Guru Sri Kunnakudi M. Balamuralikrishna, Sri O.S. Thyagarajan, Dr. G.Baby Sriram, to name a few and other budding young vocalists on the violin. Vishwesh is also a sought out violinst in the dance field accompanying Gurus like Sri Binesh Mahadevan, Sri Muralidharan, Smt. AnithaGuha, to name a few, for arangetrams and solo recitals. A direct B high graded Vocal and Violin artiste of the AIR, Vishwesh is a recipient of many awards and titles like M S Subbulakshmi Endowment award from Shanmukhananda Fine Arts, Mumbai, Augustine Joseph Memorial Tanpura award for Best Vocalist by Poornthrayeesha Sangeetha Sabha, Thripunithura, Guruvayurappan Gananjali Trust Award from Nadopasana, Irinjalakkuda, CCRT Junior Scholarship for Carnatic Vocal by Ministry of Cultural affairs, Government of India.





Performance Credits: Choreography and performance by Rama Vaidyanathan accompanied by her disciples: Kavya Ganesh, Reshika Sivakumar, Shubhamani Chandrashekar, Vaishnavi Dhore

Live Orchestra: Nattuvangam and Kanjira by Ashwin Subramaniyan Vocal by Anugrah Lakshmanan Mridangam by Sannidhi Vaidyanathan Violin by Vishwesh Swaminathan

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