Bharathanatyam Arangetram of Aishwarya Sriraman

Singer: Smt. Ramya S. Kapadia (

Ramya Kapadia (née Sundaresan), was initiated into Carnatic music at the age of 3 by her mother, Smt. Gayathri Sundaresan. She was fortunate to be able to study under Smt Lalitha of Kalakshetra, Smt. Devaki Iyer and Smt. Kamala Krishnamurthy for seven years after which she received advanced training from Sri V. Vamanan in Mumbai. During her college years in Mumbai, Ramya was a lead singer in a number of fusion bands, singing both Indian classical and Western styles with equal flair. She has several commercial jingles and classical concerts to her credit. Ramya has scored the music for the dance productions Abhijnyāna Shākuntalam, Ponnolir Bhāratam & Chandālikā directed by Dr. Jayashree Rajagopalan and has toured all over India with her troupe for over ten years. She leads the orchestral team for the Natyarpana Dance Company and also scores music for its productions. Ramya was an instructor for Indian Classical Music in the Division of Continuing Studies, UW-Madison and has been actively involved in promoting Indian Classical music and dance in the United States. She recently completed a tour of Europe and India, singing for the renowned Bharatanatyam dancer, Rama Vaidyanathan. 
     Besides being a Carnatic vocalist, Ramya is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer in her own right. She was initiated into Bharatanatyam by Smt. Shantha Gopinath from Kalakshetra at the age of 12. Later, she received training from Dr. Jayashree Rajagopalan, Nrityodaya, Mumbai, who taught the finer aspects of movement, choreography and theater. Since 2003, she has been studying under Guru Kripa Baskaran of the Natyarpana Dance Company, Milwaukee, USA. Ramya has toured all over the USA as part of Natyarpana’s Performing Troupe to present solo and group productions, workshops and lecture demonstrations in universities and high schools. She continues to train in Bharatanatyam and Nattuvangam under Kripa Baskaran and tours with the Natyarpana Dance Company. 
     Ramya has had five years of theater experience and has been featured in The Secret Garden, a University Theater musical, Bhopal and Madison Repertory Theater’s Our Town. She was free- lance journalist for the Capital City Hues and was on the editorial board for two years. She recently wrote and directed Sitayana, the Ramayana told through Sita’s eyes for UNC-Chapel Hill. Ramya heads the music department of the Natyarpana Dance Company and has been training students in Carnatic vocal music since 2002. The students are given intensive training in both music theory and rendition. 
     Currently, she runs the Natyarpana School of Dance and Music in Durham, NC and trains students both in Carnatic voice and Bharatanatyam. She recently formed the Spand Dance Company along with Smt. Hasita Oza (Kathak) in order to explore modern dance, yoga and various Indian Classical dance forms. Ramya was the recipient of the Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council in 2009. A biomedical engineer from Mumbai, Ramya has received her Master’s degrees in Medical Physics and Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nattuvangam & Choreography: Smt. Meena Rajagopal (

Meena Rajagopal is the prime disciple of Guru Alarmel Valli, the foremost exponent of the Pandanallur style of Bharatnatyam. Internationally renowned, Guru Alarmel Valli is the recipient of prestigious Indian national awards Padmashree, and Padmabhushan. In her unique teaching style, Meena emphasizes dedication and inherent desire to learn this complex and aesthetic art form. 

“Full of grace and promise, the recital was proof of a solid foundation on the grammar and idiom of Bharatnatyam, a feature which both Alarmel Valli as an arduous teacher and Meenakshi as a dedicated learner could be proud of. Crisply correct in adavus and rhythm, the dancer never faltered in the jathis. Her perfect leg and hand stretches are a delight to watch.”  -   The Hindu. (premier newspaper in Southern India)

For more details, go to About the Guru

Mridangist: Shri. Balaji Chandran

Balaji Chandran started his Carnatic percussion studies in Mridhangam under Sri.Kovai Mani and Sri. Kadayanallur Narayana Iyer. He is a disciple of Sri.Ghatam V.Suresh from whom he learns Ghatam. He brings with him an energetic style of playing the Ghatam bestowed upon him by his guru. He has provided his percussive support to many artists in America and in India. He has performed in prestigious venues like Music Academy - Chennai, Naradha Ghana Sabha and Sri Ranjani Sabha. He considers himself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lend support to stalwarts like Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri.R.K Srikantan, Prof. Ramakanth, Isai Peroli Sri. Neyveli Santhanagopalan and stars of current generation like Smt. Nirmala Rajasekar, Smt. Sikkil Mala Chandrashekar, Smt. Pantularama, Sri. Doreswami Iyengar Bala Krishna, Sri Suryaprakash, Sri. Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna, Carnatica Brothers, Sri. Mullaivasal Chandramauli, Sri. Mysore Chandan Kumar, Sri A.S. Murali, Sri Shankaran Mahadhevan and Smt. Shankari Krishnan. He has been part of the Aradhana celebrations in Minnesota, USA for the past 10 years and has performed in many venues across America. He also features in the first Carnatic Audio album released Innova Records called “Song of the Veena”.  He was part of an ensemble that won the top honors in the recently conducted carnatic music competition held by “International society of Laya awareness” in Chennai. He has collaborated with St.Olaf Collage Jazz band and “Brass Kings” an American Blue Grass Jazz band. He is also adept in playing the Kanjira and has lent his support in both Mridhangam and Ghatam for  Bharathanatyam Arengetrams.

Violinist: Shri. Vikram Ragukumar (

Vikram Ragukumar is a disciple of All India Radio A grade Violinist Vidwan B. Raghuram. He has been learning Carnatic Classical music for about 15 years now. He has accompanied several artistes at performances in India and the US  on the violin through his years of learning. He has also performed several solo and duet violin concerts. Vikram has been giving violin lessons since 2008. He currently pursues a career as a Software Engineer in Raleigh, NC.

Flautist: Shri. Partha Aji

Partha is an upcoming artist from Raleigh, NC. He has been undertaking advanced flute lessons under Sri V.K. Raman for the past 6 years. He has accompanied numerous dance arangetrams on flute in the US. In addition to flute Partha also plays mridangam, ghatam, khanjira and morsing and as a percussionist he has performed in several concerts in India and US. Partha currently works as a Software Engineer in Raleigh, NC.