NATyA Dance Collective
We are a group of rigorously trained dancers with extensive performance experience who meet to co-produce new work together. Originating in Open Studio sessions that have been ongoing since 2015, NATyA Dance Collective now works over the course of a full year to produce a Spring show that inspires our heart and bodies, and takes conceptual and choreographic risks. In 2018, we premiered Trishul: Dancing Trident in Cambridge and Natick, and were featured at the Cambridge River Festival's Interactive Dance Stage. In 2019, we premiered Samsara: Dancing the Everyday in Cambridge. Our ensemble is currently full, but do get in touch if you think this might be a ensemble you would be interested in being a part of in the future.
Dr. Smitha Radhakrishnan
(Artistic Director) founded NATyA in 2015 after three decades of training and performance. Born and raised in the U.S., she has trained continuously with prominent Bharatanatyam teachers in the U.S. and India since age 5, including Asha Gopal (Phoenix), Katherine Kunhiraman (Berkeley), Padmini Ravi (Bangalore), Girija Chandran (Thiruvananthapuram), Prakriti Bhaskar (Mumbai) and Chitra Chandrasekar Dasarathy (Bangalore). She has performed in professional solo and group productions all over the United States. In South Africa, she has performed and taught with the Surialanga Dance Company of Durban. In 2003, she co-founded NATyA Dance Company with fellow dancer Vallari Shah. Over the next four years, they performed over 80 shows all over the California Bay Area, including four original productions. Since 2008, Smitha has been training in Bharatanatyam, contemporary dance forms, and Indian martial arts while performing with Navarasa Dance Theater. She currently serves on the Navarasa board and continue to train in Mysore style Bharatanatyam with Dr. Sindhoor.
reconnected with dance 3 years ago after learning from Sridevi Thirumalai and Jothi Raghavan as a young a girl for many years. She lives in Natick, MA with her two boys and husband Allan. In her professional life, she is Head of Checking & Fees at Citizens Bank. Usha has danced with NATyA Dance Collective since 2015.
began her dance training under Rekha Chowdary in both Bharatanatyam and Indian folk dance at the age of four. She continued classical training under Chitra Chandrashekar and Manjari Chandrashekar, daughters of Guru C.V. Chandrashekar before joining Leela Samson. She has performed with ‘Spanda’, Leela Samson’s performance troupe, throughout India and in the USA.
has been learning and performing Bharatnatyam for the last 17 years—with some breaks in between. She is a student of Smt. Sridevi Ajai Thirumalai and the Natyamani School of Dance, and joined the NATyA Dance Collective in 2017.
Dr. Gowri Vijayakumar
started learning Bharatanatyam as a child in Andover from Purnima Gururaja. She pursued further training under Guru Narmada (Bangalore, India); the Dhananjayans, and Katherine Kunhiraman. As an adult, she continued training with Gururaja in Bangalore, India. She has performed in the productions “Belaku Kanda Balakaru” and “Shivotsavam,” with the Dhananjayans in “Satyam Sivam Sundaram,” and in community performances with Katherine Kunhiraman’s Kalanjali Dance School.
started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 7 under the tutelage of Smt. Kamakshi Jayaraman at Shivanjali School of Dance and later under the guidance of Smt. Lavanya Sankar at Abhayasa Academy, Coimbatore. She has performed in various distinguished forums such as the Namami Gange Anthem, a Government of India Project. She continues to actively perform in India.