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Smitha Madhav is a prominent exponent of the Bharatanatyam dance and Carnatic Vocal traditions. Smitha has received training from the foremost Gurus in both Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam. She has also earned Masters degrees in both disciplines. Rooted in these strong foundations, Smitha’s work explores the many connections between the arts and attempts to realize the role of art as a force for good in society. A committed educator with over 100 students, Smitha’s Varna Arts Academy works to promote collaboration across art forms and practitioners from around the world. Smitha also presents inspirational dance and music performances based on anecdotes from mythological, historical and modern texts for leadership seminars and corporate events

Dancer

Smitha ascended the dance stage in October 1995. Trained in the Pandanallur Bani by Guru Smt. Rajeswari Sainath of Hyderabad, she has since appeared at festivals and competitions at over three hundred venues; collaborated with leading figures such as Late Madurai T Srinivasan, Guru Karaikudi R Mani, Sangeetha Kalanidhi N Ravikiran, Rajkumar Bharati, Carnatica Brothers, Embar S Kannan and earned awards of Yuva Kala Bharati, Natya Bhairavi, Kala Sravanthi, Natya Sharada, Ugadi Puraskar Guru Shishya Parampara award etc. She was honored as the "Distinguished Visitor" of the cities of Charlotte and Dallas. She is a prolific choreographer with several original works to her credit. These have been staged around the world. Smitha frequently lends her own voice, composes the rhythm score and renders nattuvangam for these productions.

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Initially trained by Sri D Raghavachari of the Hyderabad Brothers, Smitha receives advanced training from the Hyderabad Sisters Kum. B. Lalitha and Smt. B. Haripriya. Smitha performs regularly at leading sabhas in India and abroad including at the Chennai December season where she has been accompanied by a number of prominent vidwans. Her repertoire spans the range from the classical works of the Carnatic Music Trinity to works of modern masters. She holds a B-High grade from All India Radio.

Arts Educator

To combine her exploration of the two art forms and to extend the parampara to the next generation, Smitha established Varna Arts Academy in 2011. Varna seeks to expose the young minds to the rich and varied cultural traditions of India in a holistic manner. Sishyas are encouraged to strike a healthy balance between the traditional and the modern. With locations in Hyderabad and Chennai, Varna has over 100 students from around the world. Classes are conducted in both Bharatanatyam and Carnatic vocal and include an intensive on campus summer residency program in Hyderabad. Twelve students have completed their Arangetrams under Smitha’s supervision during the last three years. Over 50 students are pursuing degrees in music or dance at various universities including Annamalai University, Sastra University, PottiSreeramuly Telugu University, Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. Varna provides opportunities to it’s students to participate in various solo and group performances.

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Repertoire

Sri Venkata Gireesham Bhaje
Solo/group dance recital with narration in Tamil or Telugu. Traces the pilgrim’s progress from Tiruchanur to Tirumala. Based on texts from Desika Stotras, Azhwar Divya Prabandham, Hanuman Chalisa, Annamacharya Sankeertanas, Tyagaraja Kritis, Dasara Padagallu. Can be staged with live orchestra or recorded soundtrack.

Running time: 45- 90 min

Repertoire

Naalaayira Divya Prabandham:
Solo/ group recital  based on the works of the Azhwars (Periyaazhwaar,  Andal and KulasekharaAzhwar).  Soundtrack -  pre-recorded Running

Running time: 30 - 90 min

Repertoire

Dikpaala Vandanam:
Solo recital inspired by "NavasandhiKautuvams" performed in the temples of South India and based on the lore of the AshtaDikpaalakas (directional deities). Embellished with rare stories from the Puraanas, it shines a light on the art and science of Vaastu as well as the mythology of lesser-known deities. Soundtrack – pre-recorded.Performed by Smitha Madhav (vocal and nattuvangam).

Running time: 120 min

Repertoire

Raagam Raaghavam:
A fresh perspective on the Ramayana. Using lyrics from the works of the greats poets and vaggeyakaras – Tyagaraja, Muttusvami Dikshitar, Arunachala Kavirayar, Oothukadu Venkata Kavi , Sadasiva Brahmendra, Mysore Sadasiva Rao, Kamban, and Valmiki - this production selects episodes from the great epic that each exemplify universal values such as friendship, benevolence, honesty, and love. Features 8-12 dancers. Live Music .

Running time: 45 - 60 min

Repertoire

Kolaru Padhigam:
Based on lyrics from Thirugnyana Sambanda Peruman's Kolaru Padhigam, this is a presentation in worship of Lord Shiva which also delves into the links between science and astrology. Live Music.

Running time: 20 min

Repertoire

Abhirami Andadi:
A Tamil piece conceived in the " padavarnam " format, with lyrics from the Abhirami Andhaadhi and, Abhirami Ammai Padhigam, this piece is based largely on the sthalapuranam of Thirukkadaiyoor. Pre recorded sound track performed by Smitha Madhav ( vocal and nattuvangam)

Running time: 25 min

Repertoire

Azhagar Kuravanji:
Tamil dance drama based on the Kuravanji tradition of Tamil Nadu this is perhaps the only Kuravanji dance drama on a Vaishnavite deity. Pre-recorded sound track with lyrics Composed by Kavi Kunjara Bharati. Music composed by Embar S Kannan. Vocals and Jati Composition by Smitha Madhav. Features 16-45 dancers.

Running time: 100 min

Repertoire

Almighty Trinity:
A Telugu dance drama with lyrics and music composed by Sangeeta Kalanidhi Chitravina N Ravikiran, this 2 part production features 2 stories : Mahadeva Manoharam and Mohini- Bhasmasura. Features 8- 24 dancers. Sound Track: Pre Recorded. Jati composition and choreography by Smitha Madhav.

Running time: 90 min

Repertoire

Leadership Lore:
This solo/group presentation draws parallels between ancient Indian wisdom and modern principles of management to showcase the values of visionary and inspirational leadership, teamwork, strategic thinking etc. Live orchestra.

Running time: 45 - 60 min

Repertoire

Sphurti – inspirations from the Mahatma:
Visualized as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary, this group work draws inspiration form the life and times of the Mahatma. Pre-recorded music.

Running time: 45 - 60 min

Media

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Glimpses of Bharatanatyam Arangetram of Kum. Aditi A, disciple of Smitha Madhav
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