The celebrated artist, Suganda Sreenath, is synonymous with bharatanatyam in the Bay Area. Sreenath started learning natya under her guru and older sister Ananda Shankar Jayant and then from Shantha and V.P. Dhananjayan. Today, Sreenath is a renowned artist who has combined the knowledge she received from her gurus to imprint bharatanatyam with her personal vision.

She has given numerous dance demonstrations in India and the United States at various educational institutions, with the aim of popularizing this ancient art. Sreenath has choreographed several classical dance ballets including “Dasavataram,” “Ezhum Malare Ezhil Malare,” “Dances of India,” “Bharatanatyam Then and Now,” “Four Seasons,” “Guru Vandana,” “Prakriti,” and various other classical, folk, and semi-classical pieces. Driven by her passion for this art and her enthusiasm for imparting her knowledge in children, she has completed 28 years of teaching and continues to train under Katherine and Kunhiraman of Kalanjali Dances of India. In addition, she studies the various aspects of natya choreography with the Dhananjayans.

Sreenath’s dance school, Jayendra Kalakendra, is committed to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of India, by nurturing young talent. The school was founded in Secunderbad, India, in 1989 and continued in the United States when Sreenath moved to the Bay Area. Jayendra Kalekendra provides intensive training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of natya, as Sreenath encourages her senior students to choreograph their own dances. Jayendra Kalakendra students have performed extensively at various Bay Area programs and in original natya productions, generating thousands of dollars for various local charities. The school holds weekly classes in San Jose, Santa Clara, and Fremont.

Jayendra Kalakendra has completed its 20th year in the Bay Area, and to commemorate this occasion 40 students will be performing in “Kalinga Nartanam,” a thematic performance on Lord Krishna. Students and company artists will be showcasing items choreographed by the Dhananjayans and Anita Shanmuganathan, senior student of the Dhananjayans.

Every year a few students are selected to learn under the Dhananjayans and senior choreographer of Bharata Kalanjali. Sreenath says, “Most established bharatanatyam institutions give opportunities only to their senior dancers to work with great artists like the Dhananjayans and choreographer Dr. Anita Shanmuganathan, but we at Jayendra Kalakendra encourage students of all levels to work with these eminent dancers.”
Saturday, Jan. 7, 4 p.m. Cubberly Theater, Palo Alto. Tickets: (408) 270-9295, (510) 252-1254.

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...