the Shishya or Disciple
Shriya is a student of Bharatanatyam and has been training in this ancient South Indian classical dance form since she was 6 years old. She began her training under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Smt. Ramya Ramnarayan, artistic director of the Nrityanjali Institute of Dance, NJ.
During her high school years, Shriya played the violin in her school orchestra as well as in community events. As a cultivated vocal student, she was part of the school choir and has performed at both the county and regional levels, as well as at musical recitals within the community. Complementing her dance, she is also a student of Carnatic music. She has been elected Chief Editor of her school magazine, Echoes, for 2 consecutive years. She has a passion for reading, writing and film photography. She’s also been an avid Girl Scout since Kindergarten.
Shriya enjoys volunteering her hours whenever possible and is deeply committed to local community causes. At school, she enjoys working with kids and volunteers at her local library to mentor and tutor little kids.
Shriya graduated from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School in 2021 and is entering her sophomore year at American University in DC, majoring in Psychology / Pre-Law.
Given her artistic passion, she would like to bring attention to her favorite causes supported by organizations like The Sankara Eye Foundation, Mercer Street Friends and CARE, via classical dance.
Pandemic restrictions challenged her ability to present this debut recital over the last two summers. But she, along with her classmates, persevered and kept up with training and commitments through these times, to be ready
Guru Ramya Ramnarayan
Ramya Ramnarayan is a commendable Bharatanatyam performer, choreographer, educator and a torch bearer of this art, who blends tradition with innovation. Ms. Ramnarayan belongs to the vintage style of Vazhuvoor. She has been trained for number of years with doyens in the field of Bharatanatyam, Guru Kalaimamani Rajarathnam Pillai and Padmabushan Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan.
Through the Production Company and school – Nrithyanjali, Ms. Ramnarayan has carved her own niche as one of the leading Bharatanatyam exponents in the world. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts recognized Ramya as a leading crafter of the art form through grants under the Master-Apprenticeship program.
Ms. Ramnarayan has extended the outreach of Bharatanatyam by presenting educational and enriching dance showcases & full length performances at various universities, colleges, museums, libraries and under the auspicious of the Young Audiences NJ/PA reaching out to over 10,000 audience members per year. She was a visiting faculty appointee in the Dance Department at Mason Gross School of Arts, affiliated to Rutgers University.
Ms. Ramnarayan has been featured at prestigious venues such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, at the Alvin Ailey Citi Group Theater NYC, at The International Fringe Festival, NY, at number of universities like the Rutgers University, Drew University, Wesleyan University, Lehigh University, Stockton College of NJ, etc and at various museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, Allentown Museum to name a few.
Some prominent awards and recognition conferred on her include:
“Kalaimamani”(Tamil Nadu State), “Nadanamamani”(Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai), Nrithya Seva Mani” (Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana), and the Artist Fellowship Award for Choreography (New Jersey State Council on the Arts). The Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey have passed a joint resolution recognizing her for her commitment, dedication and achievement in the art. Ramya is a NJ Governor appointee and is on the Board of Trustees for the Asian American Study Foundation. She is also an Indian Council for Cultural Relations Empanelled artist.
” … Ms. Ramnarayan moves between characterful storytelling and nonrepresentational dance. She does this with remarkable fluency” – The NY Times
Benefit shows organized and performed by Ms. Ramnarayan are numerous. Over the years she has organized fundraisers and has donated over $200,000 to various charities such as Tsunami Relief Fund, Haiti Relief Fund, The American Red Cross, Wellness Community Center, Easton Hospital, Kids Peace America, Free the Children, North Brunswick Public Library, Sankara Eye Foundation, Guruvayoor Appan Sannidhi, and Ranganatha Seva Samithi.
Nrithyanjali Institute of Dance
Nrithyanjali Institute of Dance, is a premier dance company in the United States of America, dedicated to preserving, promoting and propagating classical Indian dance forms. Established in 1993, the institute has to its credit several successful and unique productions spanning the last two decades. Many of the productions have been supported by reputed Arts organizations such as the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Plainsboro Arts Partnership, the Middlesex County Culture and Heritage Commission, Wheaton, Monroe, Piscataway, Essex Arts Councils, as well universities and museums, such as Rutgers University, Drew University, Wesleyan College, Stockton College of New Jersey, Cumberland & Middlesex County Colleges, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Newark Museum, Philadelphia Museum, Allentown Museum of art etc. Nrithyanjali, under the leadership of its artistic direction, Ramya Ramnarayan, has presented traditional themes and innovative collaborations. The Institute strives to educate varied audiences about this dance style by using innovative teaching methods and conducting interactive workshops throughout the year.
Nrithyanjali, under the leadership of its artistic director, Guru Ramya Ramnarayan, has presented traditional themes and stories from Hindu mythology through its dance productions. The Institute strives to educate varied audiences about this dance style by using innovative teaching methods and conducting interactive workshops throughout the year.
Help thousands of people get their vision. Donate to one of Shriya’s favorite causes, Sankara Eye Foundation, USA, (giftofvision.org). Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) is a non-profit organization working towards eradicating curable blindness in India and enabling SEF, India and other SEF, USA partners to scale their operations to accomplish this goal to eradicate curable blindness.
Thus, under the program Vision 2030, SEF USA has a goal of performing 1 million free eye surgeries per year by the year 2030 through its SEF India hospitals and other partner hospitals.
SEF, USA was founded in 1998 as registered non-profit under sec 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is mostly a volunteer run organization, with chapters across North America. SEF is fortunate to have a dedicated volunteer base as well as committed patrons and donors; and with all their support, SEF has been able to grow significantly and address the issue of curable blindness.
SEF, USA continuously excels and has won the highest rating of 4 stars from Charity Navigator, multiple years.
"Indian classical dance and music are not just for entertainment - they are designed to elevate your consciousness "