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
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.
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.
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.