Meet Our Faculty
Founder & Artistic Director
Dance Scholar, Performer and Choreographer
Dance & Music Educator
Phd (ABD) in Dance, Texas Womans University
Trained in : Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Ottanthulal and Carnatic Music
Anisha Rajesh is an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, dance scholar, dance and music educator. Anisha was introduced to Indian classical dance and music at the age of six. She started her training in Bharathanatyam with late Sri. Vasudeva Panicker till the age of 15. During the same period she was trained in Carnatic Music under late Sri. Sankara Pillai. She completed her Arangetram in Carnatic Music at the age of 15.
She was further trained in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi by Sri. K Sreevalsan. She completed her Arangetram in Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam at the age of 17.
During the same period she underwent training in Kathakali under the tutelage of Sri Kalamandalam Krishna Prasad. Anisha continued her advanced training in dance with Dr. Neena Prasad, dancer, choreographer and academician, who is now best known as one of India’s leading exponents in Mohiniyattam and the illustrious disciple of Padmasri Adayar K Lakshman (Bharathanatyam) Dr Vempati Chinna Satyam (Kuchipudi), Smt Kalamandalam Sugandhi and Padmasree Kalamandalam Kshemavathy ( Mohiniyattam).
Along with her training in dance and music Anisha’s deep interest in language and literature has led her to pursue BA, MA and MPhil in English Language and Literature. Anisha also holds a Bachelors Degree in Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism. Anisha joined the Ph.D program in Dance at Kerala Kalamandalam under the guidance of Dr. Neena Prasad.
During this time she continued her training in Kathakali with Sri. Kalamandalam Kuttikrishnan and the training in Mohiniyattam in the movement vocabulary of Kalamandalam style with Smt Kalamandalam Pushpalatha. To learn the subtle nuances of the artistic traditions of Kerala, Anisha also underwent training in Ottanthullal under Sri Kalamandalam Gopinathaprabha.
In 2012, Anisha was admitted to the PhD program in Dance at Texas Woman’s University where she is pursuing her research on the movement vocabulary and historiography of Indian classical dance post independence. At Texas Woman’s University, Anisha had the privilege to learn with Dr. Linda Caldwell who is a certified movement analyst in Laban Movement Studies and Dr. Rosemary Candelario who specializes in the Japanese avant- garde movement Butoh, dance and ecology, Asian American performance, site specific performance and art activism. Anisha’s dance courses at Texas Woman’s University includes Movement Analysis, Epistemology of the Body, Choreographies of Writing, Historical Inquiry in Dance, Dance and Culture and Theorizing Performance together with her research into the vocabulary of Indian classical dance post independence. Anisha’s scholarship combines and connects the vigor of theory and practice in the artistic process of teaching and learning dance as a discipline.
Visiting Faculty - Abhinaya classes & Kathakali
Renowned Kathakali Performer and Guru
Trained in Kathakali since age of 12 at Kerala Kalamandalam
Shanmukhadas is perhaps the best among the present generation of Kathakali actors.
He joined for training in Kathakali at the age of 12 at Kerala Kalamandalam, where he underwent rigorous tutelage in Kathakali under a host of top-ranking artists like Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair and Kalamandalam Gopi in the early 1990’s.
Shanmukhadas is an astute dancer and an outstanding actor. Endowed with a graceful figure and expressive face, Shanmukhadas is adept at handling both the male and female characters in Kathakali and has received immense appreciation for his performances.
For advanced training in Kathakali, Shanmukhadas was awarded scholarship by the Department of Culture, Government of India for two years. He is recipient of numerous honors in recognition of his talents including the Ustad Bismillah Khan Puraskar from the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi (2007).
He has traveled widely in India and abroad for performances, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. He has participated in a number of major national and international dance-theater festivals and has won critical acclaim from informed listeners and the audience. Shanmukhadas is the principal teacher at the Sandarshan Kathakali School at Ambalapuzha, his home town. The School is run with the financial support of the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi.