Pada Varnam: Learning Aspects of Bharatanatyam through a Beautiful Musical Form | by Sheejith Krishna

5 Days Bharathanatyam Workshop

Navaneetham organizes an interactive session and workshop for the second time with Sheejith Krishna, Director of Sahrdaya Foundation. The workshop focuses on learning aspects of Bharathanatyam through a beautiful musical form. Starting from 29th of March, the unwonted artist and savant devotes himself for five days till the 2nd of April.

About the artiste

Sheejith Krishna studied, then taught, at Kalakshetra Foundation, the world-renowned institution for the classical arts in Chennai, India, for 21 years (1989-2010). Now an independent artiste and choreographer, he has learnt Bharatanatyam, percussion, and vocal music from such stalwarts as Sarada Hoffman, Vikku Vinayakaram, and S Rajaram.

A lead performer in the Kalakshetra Repertory, Sheejith Krishna has played the roles of both Rama and Ravana in Rukmini Devi’s legendary six-part Ramayana series. While at Kalakshetra, he also choreographed and directed Masquerade (2007), an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s Man in the Iron Mask in the idiom of Bharatanatyam. His other internationally recognized ensemble works include Krishna Bharatam (2009), Parinaamam (2010), and Pravaaha (2013). Most recently, he has directed and choreographed Sahrdaya Foundation’s music-dance-theatre adaptation of Miguel Cervantes’s early seventeenth-century classic novel, Don Quixote, which premiered in Chennai and toured fifteen US cities in 2015.  Ram Katha, based primarily on Ramcharitamanas of Tulsidas, is his latest ensemble work.

His choreographies are recognized for their irregular patterns, atypical gist and rhythmic complexities. His awards and honours include Bharat Kalachar’s Yuva Kala Bharati,(2002), Narada Gana Sabha’s Senior Dancer Award (2006), Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2007), Sri Krishna Gana Sabha’s Yagnaraman Award for Excellence in Dance (2010), and the Ram Gopal Award for Best Male Solo Artiste from Attendance (2015).

 In 2011, Sheejith Krishna launched Sahrdaya Foundation in Chennai with a core group of fellow artistes (Manjari, Jyothishmathi, Anjana Anand and Akhila Ramnarayan) with a threefold focus on education, performance, and community outreach.  In its mission and vision, Sahrdaya Foundation emphasizes humility, goodness, and love for humanity as a first step for any artist.  It seeks to create an open-ended creative forum for artistes, students, teachers, and audiences while maintaining classical standards of excellence.

Details of workshop

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Nrithyathi 2016

Navaneetham was established in 1993 and it was registered as a Trust in 2004 back by a band of art loving citizens of Thrissur, with an object to revive, promote and spread among the emerging generation, forms of various Indian Traditional art forms, some of them on the vanishing horizon, and on the larger kaleidoscope, to afford opportunities for art lovers across the country to get to know about the art and culture of other States by arranging exchange programs by performing troupes and conduct of week long workshops. We can modestly claim to have achieved a four degree of success in our ventures, having arranged a number of such immense patronage and participation both locally as well as in other States visited. We, a non-profit cultural organization have already built up a talented circle of amateur artistes, eager to learn more and perform seriously.

Nrithyathi- The Vibes of Youth-2016, The Fourth Edition

Nrithyathi is a one of a kind 3 days event being held at the cultural capital of Kerala- Thrissur for the past 3 years. This festival aims in promoting the rich cultural heritage of India through various performances and workshops by aspiring artists and proving an opportunity for the young generation of artists to watch performances, attend workshop and thus creating awareness about the rich Indian Heritage. Navaneetham Cultural Trust was started by a group of art lovers from Thrissur and has played an important role in promoting rich Indian culture among the younger generation for the past 23 years. Navaneetham also organizes festivals like Yuva Kala Parva, Ranga Harsha, Monsoon Dance Music and Theater Festival to apart from Nrithyathi where the people of Thrissur get to experience watching maestros in different fields of Indian Classical dance music and theater as well as various folk forms. Entry to these festivals is completely free.


This year ‘Nirthathi Dance Fest 2016’ will take place over 3 days from December 3rd to 5th at K. T. Mohammed Smaraka Theater,  Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Acedemi, Thrissur. Mohinyattam, Odissi and Kathak recitals will be staged respectively each day from 6.30 pm on wards.

3rd December 2016 | Mohiniyattam | Smt. Vidya Pradeep

Smt. Vidya is a senior disciple of Mohiniyattam exponent Dr. Neena Prasad. She has undergone extensive and authentic training in the discipline ordained by her Guru and has been performing extensively as a solo artiste and also in group choreographs of her guru for the past 18 years. Apart from Mohiniyattam she has had fastidious training in other Indian classical dance forms under eminent gurus; Bharatanatyam from Dr.Neena Prasad, Kuhcupudi from Shri.Mosalikanti Jai Kishore, and Kathakali from Shri Kalamandalam Krishna Prasad.

4th December | Odissi Duet Performance | Shri Lingaraj Pradhan and Smt Sanjukta Pradhan

Trained since the age of 15 by Guru Shri Bichitrananda Swain, under the direct supervision of Padmashree Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, Lingaraj has had the honor of performing at many Festivals in India and abroad. His sculpturesque poses, incredible body movements, radiant eyes and ever-smiling face light up the environment in which he performs. He was awarded the prestigious “Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” for the year 2009 by Sangeet Natak Akademy, New Delhi. He studied Mardala under the tutelage of Guru Sri Banamali Moharana,Guru Sri Gangadhar Pradhan and is continuing training with Guru Shree Dhaneswar Swain. An exponent of his art, his goal is to empower and inspire people of all ages with the transformative power of dance.


A promising dancer of her generation, Sanjukta has proved her talents from her childhood. She started her initial training at the age of 9 under the discerning guidance of Guru Sri Yudhisthir Nayak. She was under the direct supervision of  Padmashree Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, at Orissa Dance Academy. She has been awarded the Senior National Scholarship from Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and awarded “Sringaramani” by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai. She has traveled all over India and abroad and participated in major festivals as a senior performer of Rudraksh Foundation. Sanjukta has been most noted for her range and depth of expression and fluid body movements. Within each movement she conveys subtle emotions with perfect clarity. Presently she is continuing her training with Guru Sri Yudhisthir Nayak and she is a senior dancer at “Rudraksh Foundation” which is led by Guru Sri Bichitrananda Swain.

5th December 2016 | Kathak Duet Performance |  Shri Tushar Bhatt and Smt Pooja Bhatt

Tushar Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt are well known Kathaakars from Bengaluru. They balance traditional arts with contemporary designs. They aim to reach out to Teaching, Choreographing and Dancing Kathak, worldwide.

Tushar Bhatt, disciple of Guru Shri Dharamshi bhai Shah – Bhavnagar, Gujarat, is Graduate in Kathak from the University AkhilBharatiyaGandharvaMahavidyalaya Mandal – Mumbai and he is an auditioned artist for Doordarshan.

Pooja Bhatt, disciple of renowned Kathak Guru Shri Abhimanyu Lal, holds a Degree and Diploma from National Institute of Kathak Dance, Kathak Kendra – Delhi.

The Kathak Dance Duo is well known for their creative, energetic choreographs and spectacular performances, to train generation of today and mould them into tomorrow’s promising dancers in the field of Kathak. They have performed in many prestigious festivals held in India and abroad

You are cordially invited to be present and enjoy the truly uplifting events of cultural extravaganza 

Belraj Soni
Founder Director

Navaneetham Cultural Trust, a non-profit organization, founded and headed by Shi Belraj Soni, a Kalaripayattu Maestro based in Mumbai, organizes Monsoon Dance Music and Theater Fest every year. This album showcases a few excerpts from the  five days festival staged in Thrissur during the magical Monsoons in Kerala. The Festival showcased Theater, Sufiana, Odissi, Bharathnatyam, Odissi and Kathak recitals performed by the veterans in their respective fields.

Day 2 features “Sufiana” – a combination of Sufi, Ghazhal & Qawwali by Anitha Shaiq & Group


© navaneethamculturaltrust