Chitra Kalyandurg is a performer and choreographer based in Maryland. Her artistic inspiration comes from sharing Kuchipudi through a multi-disciplinary, collaborative lens; creating ensemble work that helps connect diverse audiences to the themes present in classical Indian dance.
Trained under Anuradha Nehru, Chitra performs both as a solo artist and with Kalanidhi Dance. Notable performances with Kalanidhi Dance include Rasa at the Ananya Festival, Yaatra at Joyce SoHo, and Lallah Roukh at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.
Chitra has performed at festivals around the country, among them the Source Theater Festival in Washington D.C., and the first ever Drive East Festival New York City. Her original work includes The Nayika Project, a dance-theater piece that premiered at Atlas INTERSECTIONS, and Leela: Play of the Divine. Chitra contributed choreography to Adventure Theater MTC’s Helen Hayes-nominated production of The Jungle Book.
Chitra has been awarded multiple grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and in 2009 received the prestigious Princess Grace Dance Honoraria for her artistic excellence in Kuchipudi. For two years, Chitra was an artist with the Maryland chapter of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning, a national organization for arts in education. From 2009 to 2011, Chitra served as the Secretary for the Indian Dance Educators Association (IDEA), a non-profit umbrella organization of dance professionals established to serve Indian classical dancers and dance lovers.
Founder/Artistic Director, Kalanidhi Dance
As a performer, teacher and choreographer, Anuradha Nehru strives for new and effective ways to communicate the beauty of Kuchipudi todiverse audiences through original, vibrant and creative projects. She has taught for over twenty years in the United States and produced outstanding young classical dancers who are now dancing professionally.
As a performer, Anuradha has been critically acclaimed around the world. Her stage presence and sophisticated aesthetics, whether in movement, costumes, or light design, sets her performances apart from others. While her training is firmly rooted in the Kuchipudi style of her guru, Vempati Chinna Satyam, she relishes dialogue with other artists of different genres, constantly nourishing her desire to seek new horizons for Kuchipudi. creative projects. She has taught for over twenty years in the United States and produced outstanding young classical dancers who are now dancing professionally. As a choreographer, her work draws on her Kuchipudi training, but goes beyond traditional boundaries.
Anuradha’s work in Kuchipudi has had a particularly deep impact on the Indian Diaspora in the United States. She has trained several professional dancers who have gone on to distinguish themselves as soloists. She has been recognized by the Governor of Maryland for her “dedicated efforts to promote and preserve the classical dance form ‘Kuchipudi’ for future generations,” and is a recipient of the ‘Teacher Recognition Certificate’ from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for encouraging and supporting students who have been recognized for exceptional artistic achievements.
Since 2003, Chitra has had the privilege to train with Jaikishore Mosalikanti during summer camps hosted by Kuchipudi Kalanidhi. Kishore has been a regular guest teacher during summer camps at the school, and continues to collaborate with Anuradha Nehru and the Kalanidhi Dance Company to create new work. In 2008, Chitra trained with Kishore for three months in Chennai, India.
Jaikishore hails from an artist’s family, the son of Chennai violinist Sri M.S. Rao. He began his dance career under the late Padmabhushan Guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam of the Kuchipudi Art Academy, Chennai. In the 18 years he trained under his guru, he became an accomplished dancer with an uncanny understanding of the nuances of the art. Mastering the intricacies of the Kuchipudi style, Jaikishore excelled in important roles in his guru’s ballets and solo performances. In recognition as an excellent performer and an understanding teacher, Jaikishore was awarded the title Natya Vishaarada, by Kuchipudi Art Academy in March 1999, and the title of Yuva Kala Vipanchee by the Vipanchee Trust headed by PadmaVibhushan Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna in December 2004.
Jaikishore is highly regarded by students and teachers alike for his inspiring teaching methods. He served as a teacher at the Kuchipudi Art Academy from 1996 and 2000. Since 1996, he has traveled to the United States every year to conduct workshops at established Kuchipudi schools in St. Louis, Dallas and Washington, D.C. On his own since 2000, he primarily teaches in the Chennai area, training young upcoming artists as well as prominent dancers well established in the field. The thoughtfulness and depth that Jaikishore brings to his teaching is also a marked aspect of his highly acclaimed choreography. In his own compositions, he has honored the precedents set by his guru while seeking to establish his own unique style with the innovative use of rhythm and rhythmic variations. His critically acclaimed body of choreography includes over thirty solo pieces, several thematic presentations, and dance dramas. Jaikishore has presented group and duet performances at various prestigious festivals, which have all received rave reviews. Jaikishore is also an accomplished nattuvanar, and regularly leads orchestras for Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam performances. As a Kuchipudi exponent, he has traveled all over India, the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Jaikishore is based in Chennai, India.