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Akshara Bharadwaj

The Director

Akshara Bharadwaj is a Filmmaker, Bharatanatya Dancer - Choreographer – Researcher, Academician and a Theatre person. She is the Director and the Bharatanatya faculty of The Structural School of Fine Arts and ‘TarangaRanga’, a monthly concert series organised by the Institute. With the blessings of her Father & Guru, Dr. Ranganath Bharadwaj and mother - Smt. Jaya Bharadwaj, who is also the Managing Trustee of Karnataka Haridasa Scientific Research centre (KHSRC), she serves as the Director of KHSRC and as a Research associate at The Institute for Educational Research and Development. She is a graduate from New York Film Academy with a Master’s degree in Filmmaking, and from Kalai Kaveri College of Tamil University with a Master's degree in Bharatanatyam. She is the centre in-charge for The Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahamandali Examinations at The Structural School of Fine Arts centre in Vijayanagar.

With over 100 students pursuing the art form in different capacities and batches, they perform solo recitals and group productions at prestigious platforms and festivals in and outside the state, assist in teaching, choreographing, learn music, yoga and allied theory & treatises as part of their curriculum. The students are exposed to monthly dance recitals and talks by Professional dancers not just in Bharatanatyam, but other forms of dance as well. They are meritorious in Karnataka Secondary Board Examinations, as well as in Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahamandali exams.

Dance

Akshara has pursued her Bharatanatya training under the discipleship of Smt. Shubha Dhananjay, Smt. Yogita Kulkarni and Karnataka Kalashree - Smt. Minal Prabhu, an Alumnus of the Kalakshetra Dance Academy in Chennai. She has undergone training in Karanas under the tutelage of Smt. Nirupama Rajendra and is pursuing the study of Indian Aesthetics in the guidance of Dr. Karuna Vijayendra & Dr. Vidya Rao.


Some of her performances include Indian Econometric society conference valedictory at Jammu University, Kittur Utsava, Alva & Nudisiri festival, Dharmasthala Lakshadeepotsava, Karavali utsava, Immigrant & day organised by the Mayor & office of Immigrants & affairs in New York, Vasantotsava by Brindavana Kannada koota in New Jersey, Kaathirutal by Udalveli in Coimbatore, Nritya nirantara by Sadhana Samāgama trust, Shantala Nritya vaibhava by Shantala arts trust, International institute for social and economic reforms, Siddaganga mutt in Tumkur, Sripadaraja mutt in Srirangam, Saibaba temple trust, Adoni-AP, Natya Tantra for Sri Shankara channel, ladies club for Suvarna channel to mention a few. She choreographed and performed for poet, Sri. G.S. Shivarudrappa’s compositions for MES Kalāvedi, on the occasion of his reception of the Rajyotsava award. 
 

Her choreography of a short dance narrative of Sri Purandara dasa’s ‘Gajendra Moksha’ has been presented at festivals such as Mysore Dasara, Navika’s Amerikannadotsava, ‘Udayaraaga’ at Bandsand, Cubbon Park by the Department of Horticulture (Govt. of Karnataka), Raghavendra swamy Aradhana, Vijnana Vyjayanti, Rangayana- Dharwad, Mukula Nrityotsava at Sadhana Sangama Trust, Chinnara Kalarava and so on. She recently choreographed a dance narrative ‘Vrishabhavati’ on the plight of the river, at the invitation by a Young Choreographer’s showcase ‘Prasanga Prastuti’.


As a teacher, she tutors over 100 students at The Structural School of Fine Arts; where along with dance training, students also undergo training in Yoga, Music, Nattuvangam, Theory, Theatre and other allied arts, to make them into consummate artists. Her senior students perform solo and group recitals regularly and are currently pursuing their Master’s degree programs in dance, are state scholarship holders and distinction holders in Junior, Senior and Vidwat examinations held by the Karnataka State board (KSEEB) and at the ‘Alankar’ level of the Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Board. With exposure to various art forms under one roof, the students are also actively involved in the organisation and back-stage activities of Art festival and the various events of
the Institute.

Cinema

Her short film, ‘The Hostage" Produced, Written & Directed by her, was screened at the Warner Brothers' studios in 2013. She has Produced and Directed ‘Shiva Sutra Jala’, Dr. S. R. Leela’s Dance - drama about the Science of Indian Linguistics into an educational film. She was a screenwriter for ‘Mahaan Hutaatma’, a Kannada language short film by Puranik Productions that won the Special mention award at the National Film Awards. She has worked as a Freelance Director, Associate Director and writer for companies such as Viacom 18, Green Apple Media, Boiled Beans Pictures and HDFC digital shorts.

She has recently produced a feature film as a first-time producer; the project is currently goingthrough its Post Production. With her brief experience in screenplay writing for feature films, she iscurrently developing her directorial debut feature film. She serves as the Visiting Faculty inFilmmaking for Bachelor and Masters Students at St. Joseph’s college and PES University, Bangalore.

Theater

Akshara is trained in Carnatic Classical vocal music for a decade and has dabbled in Kathak, Odissi and various Indian folk, contemporary and Freestyle dance forms through different workshops and programs. This lets her blend and integrate them in her choreography and theatre work. One such work, is her performance and choreography of the intricate war scenes in Dr. Prof. Ranganath Bharadwaj's musical theatre production ‘Vrokodara vruttanta’. She also co-producer of ‘The Shakespeare Comedy Theatre Festival’ in Bangalore which featured actors such as Kalki Koechlin, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Jim Sarbh and Cyrus Broacha in Shakespearean Clown adaptations by Rajat Kapoor. Some of her other Theatre work include, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Billingsley theatre in South Carolina, USA and ‘Conversations With Her’ - an anthology play she co-produced, directed and performed in.

Academia

Akshara has contributed a research dissertation on ‘Exploring Sringara in Haridasa Literature’ as part of her Masters’ thesis and has rendered this work on stage as a Bharatanatya mārgam (repertoire) titled ‘Sringāra Tarangini’ - a thematic recital with composition from the Haridasa literature exclusive in Sringāra rasa, depicting sringāra nāyikās. Akshara has multiple published research papers to her credit, including ‘Cinematic storytelling techniques and its parallels with Indian visual arts’, which was presented at the Dhaatu International Puppet Festival 2018, for a conference on storytelling.


She was recently awarded the National Award for Vocational Excellence by the International Institute for Social and Economic Reforms, by veteran filmmaker Sri. T.N Seetharam, Actor Bhavani Prakash; in the presence of former Chief Minister Sri. Sadananda Gowda. She is currently pursuing her doctoral thesis.

Curator & Festival 
Organizer

Akshara was the director of ‘The Indian Classical Arts Festival’ in 2016, which hosted eminent dancers from across the city in the presence of eminent Gurus, scholars and exponents. The three day festival saw seminars, workshops, presentations and recitals in the eight Indian classical dance forms and the two classical music forms. In 2017, she organised the ‘Children’s Classical Dance Festival’, where over 150 students performed different classical dance forms. In 2018 and 2019, she organised 2 editions of ‘TarangaRanga’, a monthly concert series, which hosted both budding artists and exponents. In 2021, she organised ‘Sankranti Sadagara’, a Free Art Bazaar for nine days as CoViD relief for Artists.

 

The bazaar hosted Art exhibitions, workshops, performances, stalls, play-readings, film-screenings and work-in-progress showcases. In 2022, she re-started ‘Vijnana Vyjayanti’, the annual three-day festival of Art & Literature after the CoViD hiatus.

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