Pampa Dance Academy blends both traditional and modern stage design techniques to enthrall its audiences, without diluting the purity of the art form. Founded by Dr. Purna Prasad in 1992, it is run by Nirmala Madhava, chief choreographer and instructor.
Proficient in both, bharatanatyam and kathak, she started learning dance at the age of eight from (late) Guru Lalitha Dorai, and continued her study with (late) Guru Narmada. She then went to Guru Udupi Lakshminarayanachar for advanced training. In parallel, she started learning kathak from Dr. Maya Rao. Using the knowledge acquired from her gurus, she has added her own personality to create a unique and beautiful style all her own.
She has choreographed performances annually over the last twenty years including “Payal ki Jhankaar” (a tribute to her kathak background), Navya (dance evolution from Vedic ages to the present), and Nritya Milana (fusion between Indian classical, jazz and tap dance).
Nirmala has completed nearly 30 years of teaching and still seeks to enhance and enrich her knowledge by continuing to train with Dr. Maya Rao and Guru Lakshminarayanachar. Pampa is in its twentieth year and to mark this occasion, Nirmala and her students will be performing in “Utsava,” a production marked by Nirmala’s creativity. There are several unique items being performed in this production, including a variation of the basic Alarippu, which will take the audience back to the Vedic times by combining the traditional item with verses from the Upanishads.
The organization is committed to the promotion of Indian classical dance and delivering key messages to the audience in a unique way. They also help the local community by partnering with other non-profit organizations to raise funds.n
April 7, 7 p.m. Woodside Performing Arts Center, 199 Churchill Ave, Woodside. Tickets, $15, $50 donors. (408) 243-2623. www.pampans.com.