STAFF & TEACHERS AT NRITYA CREATIONS
At Nritya Creations we respect diverse, ethnic dance styles and strive to keep the authenticity and proper grammar of each dance form whether it is Bharata Natyam, Indian Folk, or other Indian Classical form and Western techniques such as Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip-Hop. We believe each form of dance requires specific skills, expertise, and proper respect and thus no one teacher can be an expert to teach all diverse dance forms. Therefore members of our highly qualified teaching staff have specialized focus areas of dance expertise and certification to teach our students the correct grammar and authenticity of each unique and different style. We have teachers who are experts in teaching Bharata Natyam, Creative Classical, Manipuri, Folk, and Uday Shankar Style and also teachers with their Bachelor’s Degree in Dance teaching Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Modern. Our teachers collaborate with each other in creating award-winning Bollywood and contemporary choreographies that blend the various styles. We also continuously offer specialized workshops to our students in various global dance styles which are taught by world-renowned dance experts.
Meena Basu Nag
President and Founder
Meena Basu Nag is the founder and Artistic Director of Nritya Creations. She has been teaching classical dance, choreographing, and directing dance productions for Nritya Creations since 1994. Meena has received her formal training in various styles of Indian Dance including Bharatanatyam and Manipuri/Tagore/Uday Shankar styles of Dance from several Gurus. She received her formal training in Bharatanatyam from a world-renowned Bharatanatyam exponent and late Actress Padmini in the USA. Meena has choreographed and presented dance programs and dance dramas for numerous cultural events in USA and Canada including AT&T, Lucent and IBM Asian Heritage Programs, North American Bengali Conferences, Rabindranath Tagore Festivals, Indian and International Dance Cultural Programs, Dance Competitions, and Charity Fundraisers. In addition to leading Nritya Creations, Meena pursues a career as a Business Development Director in the Telecommunications and IT sector and holds a BSEE and MSEE in Electrical Engineering.
Operations Manager (Billing/Administration)
Originally from Old Bridge, New Jersey, Nirali is currently situated in Bettendorf, Iowa. Nirali took her first step towards dance at the age of 6 in India through inter-school competitions. In addition, she has Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Rowan University and an Associate degree in Criminal Justice- Correction Administration from Middlesex County College. To continue her passion for classical dances, she joined Nritya Creations in 2017 as a Bharatnatyam student. She is currently pursuing Arangetram in Bharatnatyam under the tutelage of Guruji Tatyana Popova.
Melanie has been dancing for 22 years. She started competitively dancing at age seven. Melanie has performed in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Contemporary/Lyrical, Hip-hop, Musical Theater, and Modern dance. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Sports Management at Rutgers University. Melanie teaches Indo-contemporary, Bollywood Fusion, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. She also works with Nritya Creations to fuse the styles of ballet, jazz, and contemporary with Bharatanatyam, to create award-winning competition dances for Nritya Creations Performing Company.
Dr. Pallavi Ardey (DPT)
West Windsor & East Windsor Branch
Pallavi Ardey is a Doctor of Physical Therapy by education from India and the USA. She is an avid dance enthusiast to her “local friends community” and teaches Bollywood dance for annual events. Her passion for performing arts and child enrichment grew during her years of stay in the US. Pallavi’s leadership has driven her to become the business development and operations manager for two of the newer centers of Nritya Creations, East Windsor and West Windsor. With her initiative and appreciation for true technique-based learning by Nritya Creations – she hopes to spread this value that we have to offer in her community and beyond. She also is a business development expert and area consultant for a valuable online portal to connect kids’ enrichment providers and parents effortlessly.
Bharatanatyam, Ballet, Fusion
Tatyana Popova comes from the multicultural city Almaty, Kazakhstan, located in the heart of Central Asia. Tatyana has bachelor’s degrees from three different universities of dance. Since taking her first dance steps at age of six, she has continued her trajectory across the world, taking part in different companies and training in prestigious dance academies including the J. Elebekov Music and Dance Academy in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she strove to perfect her interpretations of Russian,Kazakh and World character dances & ballet. Her passion for dance led her to train in Indian classical dance, known as Bharatanatyam at the University of fine arts Rukmini Devi Arundale “Kalakshetra”–the birthplace of Bharatanatyam. When Tatyana completed her studies at the Kalakshetra School of Dance, she next traveled to Sevilla, Spain, to enroll in the Matilde Coral School of Dance to train in Spanish dance and Flamenco; she also studied at the Manuel Betanzo Flamenco Academy. Throughout her career, Tatyana has been invited by numerous dance companies to perform with them and has been a part of national and international productions. Lastly, Tatyana holds a certificate from the “Bolshoi Ballet” for teaching classical ballet. She has experience in teaching different dance disciplines for over 15 years. Tatyana has been a leading dance instructor of Bharatanatyam in Nritya Creations Academy of Dance for the past 8 years.
Since his childhood, Damir has been involved in the art of dance. At the age of 5, he started his first ballet classes. Since that time, he learns different styles of dance, such as Ballet, Kazakh folk dance, Contemporary, etc., and participated in different schools of art and University dance festivals, competitions, where he got first prizes and awards. Damir is a dynamic young aspiring Bharatanatyam dancer who has graduated from Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts KalakshetraFoudation with a 1st class Diploma in Bharatanatyam. He also holds an M.A Degree in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras. He has given scores of solo and group performances at major Dance celebrations, and many prestigious platforms in India and Kazakhstan. In 2017, Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR) has selected him to be Empanelment in the ICCR’s Reference Panel of Artistes. Along with his extensive accomplishments, his biggest achievement is passing the knowledge he has gained to the next generation of dancers at Nritya Creations Academy of Dance.
Kiran Rajagopalan is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, writer, and educator based in the Bronx. Trained extensively in Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) for over 25 years, Kiran has given many acclaimed performances in India, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States. Kiran graduated with a B.A. (magna cum laude) in Behavioral Neuroscience and Spanish from Boston University in 2008, an M.A. (honors) in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras in 2010, and an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University in 2015. Kiran also regularly conducts workshops, lectures, and demonstrations on Indian classical dance and neuroscience. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Daya Arts which aims to bridge disparate communities of color in New York through art. Kiran brings an innovative and nurturing environment into the classroom. His students at Nritya Creations learn a strong foundation of technique in a creative and exciting way.
Ramya Shankaran’s journey in Bharatanatyam commenced at the very young age of four under the tutelage of Guru Sunitha and Guru Marie Stella from Kalaikaveri School of Fine Arts, Trichy, India. At the age of twelve, Ramya came under the guidance of Guru Madhavi Chandra Sekar in Trichy, India. Concurrently, she started to learn the “Mohiniyattam” classical art form of Kerala under the guidance of Kalamandalam Guru Kumari Menon for four years and graduated with a Diploma in Mohiniyattam. Ramya Shankaran also earned a Master of Arts in Bharatanatyam (M.A), Tamil University, Tanjore – India with a distinction. Her gradations in Abhinayam were trained by Acharya. Vijina Vasudenvan, Chennai. She has won first place in district-level competitions and third place in state-level competitions conducted by Tamil Nadu Government. Ramya Shankaran has also had the privilege of learning and interacting with extraordinary Bharatanatyam choreographer, teacher, and legend Prof. C.V. Chandrasekar, who elevated her talent to the next level. As a performer, Ramya’s portfolio has been quite diverse and she has done numerous dance shows both in her home state of Tamil Nadu as well as other locations in India as well as the United States of America. Along with being a performer she has recently published a book on the sequence of mapping space in Bharatanatyam. She devotes time and energy to developing a new generation of dancers who are dedicated to Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam.
Kathak, Kathak Fusion
Ruee Gawarikar is a Kathak and contemporary dancer, choreographer, art and dance instructor, and visual artist based in New Jersey. She started her training in “Kathak”, a classical dance style from northern India, under the tutelage of the renowned dancer Shrimati Prabhatai Marathe, of the “Kala Chaya Institute of Dance”. She continued her education in the US under the guidance of Pandit Satya Narayan Charka. She also holds a B.F.A. in Painting and a Diploma in Art Education. Ruee has been a company artist with ‘Surati’, ‘The East-West School of Dance’ and “Kala Chhaya”. Being a versatile dancer, Ruee has been part of several major productions like the Kathak ballet ‘Shanti Mantra’, ‘Ramayan’, “Tyohaar-Festivals of India” and ‘Krishna Leela’. She has performed extensively in India and the US, in prestigious venues like the Ganesh Festival of Pune, Achchan Maharaj Mahotsav at the Kamani auditorium in Delhi, World Financial Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, and the Indian Consulate in New York. Ruee is also a choreographer, working in both traditional and contemporary dance forms. She likes to experiment with various art styles and media, which is evident in her innovative and inspiring choreography at Nritya Creations.
Kathak, Kathak Fusion
Bhumi is a professional Kathak dancer and examiner accredited by Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, a principal body that conducts exams for Indian classical dance and music. She started her journey in Kathak at the young age of 6 and since then, it has become her passion. She was trained under the tutelage of Gurus Vandana Jadhav and Krishna Sanghani. Having 19 years of training and exposure in Kathak, Bhumi is passionate about blending the tradition along with innovation. Bhumi performed her Manch Pravesh, right after completing her Alankaar in Kathak in 2014. Bhumi also had the chance to attend various workshops by Gurus Rajendra Gangani, Puru Dadheech, and Kumudini Lakhia. She has been awarded the degree of BA and MA in Kathak with distinction and has represented her dance nationally and internationally. She is also a scholarship holder under CCRT for Dance. She has experience teaching Kathak to all age groups and plans to continue spreading the passion she holds for her art form to Nritya Creations students.
Diditi Mitra is trained in Kathak. Diditi began her training in Kathak at a very young age in Mallhar school of dance and music, Calcutta. In the United States, her initial training was with Janaki Patrik, followed by Satyanarayan Charka and subsequently, Pallabi Chakravorty. Diditi also trains with Sanjay Bhattacharya whenever she is in Calcutta. Previously, Diditi was a member of Courtyard Dancers, a Philadelphia-based dance-theater group. As a member of Courtyard Dancers, Diditi has had the privilege of training with Gurus Bandana Sen and Kumudini Lakhia. She has performed widely in the United States. Additionally, Diditi has a doctoral degree in Sociology from Temple University and teaches at Brookdale Community College. She continues to instill the discipline and structure of the art form in her students.
Shayoni “Mimi” Nag
Bharatanatyam, Indian Semi- Classical, Fusion
Shayoni Nag is a serious and accomplished dancer with 18 years of formal dance training in both Indian Classical Dance and Western Dance. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance at Bayshore Academy of Dance. Her Indian Classical Dance training in Bharatanatyam began at the age of 5 at Nritya Creations and she continued her in-depth study of this Indian classical artform through her high school years and has completed her BharataNatyamArangetram (graduation) with Guru Renuka Srinivasan in 2012. She continues to compete, teach and choreograph for the Nritya Creations Performing Company specializing in fusion choreography, blending the Western dance forms with Indian classical dance forms. She has taken numerous workshops in modern dance, creative classical Indian dance, Uday Shankar Technique, Rabindranath Tagore’s Dance Dramas, Indian Folk Dance, and Bollywood. Shayoni has led Nritya Creations in winning numerous trophies at NayaAndaz dance competitions held at the NJ State Theatre and has led and organized several charity benefit dance programs including the American Cancer Society Cancer Ball’s India Night. Shayoni has performed to full houses as a lead dancer for the opening dance act for Amitabh Bachchan’s Unforgettable Tour at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Arena Hall and has performed at the South Asian Theatre Festival at the prestigious NJPAC venue. She has performed at the United Nations in New York City and received recognition from UN Ambassador Puri. In addition to teaching and choreographing for Nritya Creations.
Semi-Classical, Bollywood Fusion, Bollywood
Serita has been dancing since she was four years old. In addition to taking recreational ballet and Bollywood classes, she was taught classical dance by her mother which she performed at family and religious functions. In 2006, Serita joined the Nritya Creations Academy of Dance where she learned Bharatnatyam and Western dance styles from gurus Meena Basu Nag, Amanda Daley, and Tatyana Popova. She performed and competed with Nritya Creations at various award-winning dance competitions throughout middle and high school. Serita also assisted the school during competitions with costumes and props as well as marketing at events. In college, Serita joined the Rutgers/NJIT Ehsaas South Asian fusion dance team and the NJIT dance team where she continued to perform and compete in various styles of dance from Bollywood and Indian Classical dance styles to Contemporary and Hip Hop dance styles. Currently, Serita teaches Bollywood Fusion dance classes at Nritya Creations and manages the NCPC Alumni Professional dance team that performs at paid gigs and events.
Indo-Contemporary, Bharatanatyam, Semi-Classical Fusion
Meghana has been dancing since she was a toddler. She has trained in ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, fusion indo-contemporary, Bharatanatyam, musical theatre, and hip-hop. She is a graduate of The Dance Carousel after which she came to Nritya Creations Academy of Dance. Meghana has trained with their top teachers and only broadened her appreciation and mastery of dance since. She is the dance captain of the MTHS Footlights and choreographs many of their performances. Meghana was trained to teach under Ms. Melanie Conlon and uses her training to inspire the dancers in her classes.
Indo-Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz Fusion, Hip-Hop, Bollywood Fusion
Melanie has been dancing for 20 years. She started competitively dancing at age seven. Melanie has performed in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Contemporary/Lyrical, Hip-hop, Musical Theater, and Modern dance. She completed her degree for her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Science in Sports Management at Rutgers University. During her time at Mason Gross School of the Arts she has been professionally trained in Ballet, Improvisation, Pilates, Afro-American Fusion, Yoga, and different Modern techniques, including Horton, Gaga, and Graham. She also has completed studies in Laban Movement Analysis, kinesiology, and dance composition to enhance her teaching abilities for her students. Melanie has performed work from professional choreographers during her time at Rutgers as well as student work, including dancing with the Rutgers Performing Dance Company. Melanie teaches Ballet/Contemporary and Bollywood Fusion. She also works with Nritya Creations to fuse the styles of ballet, jazz, and contemporary with Bharatanatyam, to create award-winning competition dances for Nritya Creations Performing Company.
Hip-Hop to Bollywood, Bollywood Fusion, Jazz Fusion
Angelina Barbosa a native New Yorker, raised in Central Jersey, began dancing at the age of three. At only thirteen years old, she was accepted into Joffrey Ballet School and pursued training in New York City. She found her place in the Jazz & Contemporary program after being accepted into both Jazz and Ballet programs, at 14 under the direction of Angelica Stiskin, and graduated from the program at 17 years old. After being in the student choreography show every year, performing and choreographing contemporary and hip-hop numbers multiple times as well, she debuted her final contemporary piece, one live and one concept video at her senior show. She has performed in various theaters all over New York, including FIFA, Martha Graham, Peridance Capezio Theatre, and Ailey Citi Group Theatre. She has worked with MOVEDIPR as their junior apprentice under Dionna Pridgeon. She has also spent a year touring all over the country as an advanced Artists Simply Human(ASH) assistant, training under Lisette Bustamonte, Tovaris Wilson, JoJo Gomez, Rudy Abreu, Sabrina Phillips, Dusty Button, and Gregg Russell, to name a few. She also trained under Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson at Complexions summer intensive on full scholarships. Within the last 2 years, she can be seen in an iHeart Media, NY Knicks, and T-mobile commercial, and she was in the Ensemble for the world-renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular in the 2019-2020 season! She just finished filming her first movie which will be coming out next summer, and recently has been teaching/choreographing at studios all over the tri-state area. She loves extending her knowledge and love of dance to students all over who are eager to learn and come into the world of professional dance.
Ruhi has been dancing for over 15 years and has built a strong foundation in Indian classical dance – Bharatanatyam and completed her Arangetram in 2015. Besides Bharatanatyam, she has trained in many different dance styles including Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Bollywood, and Ballet. Ruhi has also taught many Bollywood classes and performed award-winning dances at various competitions as well as at prestigious venues such as NJPAC. While completing her undergraduate in genetics Ruhi was a dancer and an executive board member for JhoomDynamix, the Bollywood dance team at Rutgers University. She hopes to continue teaching, training as a dancer, and sharing her passion for this art form with others.
Bollywood, Bollywood Fusion
Kena Patel, a Bollywood fusion choreographer, was born in Ahmedabad, India where she started her dance training at the young age of 10. She is a very high-energy dancer & teacher with in-depth knowledge of dance theory and a knack for inspiring students. She pursued training in various dance forms such as Bollywood hip hop, fusion, contemporary, and belly fusion. She has taken an advanced technical training program from ShiamakDavar’s Institute of Dance in the USA and has performed with the team as well. Kena is very fond of Garba and has always been an active member of her Garba group during the days of Navratri. Whilst she imparts her knowledge of dance to master the skill of students, she also continues to take advanced training programs and workshops that focus more on techniques of dance forms like Bollywood hip hop and contemporary fusion Kena has executed & showcased various dance styles such as urban hip hop, ballroom dance, salsa basics, jazz & tap dance into her choreography. Kena has been working with Nritya Creations since November 2016.
Bollywood, Hip-Hop to Bollywood
Christina Morse born and raised in Bahrain developed her passion for dancing at the age of 5. She is a trained classical, Bollywood, and Bollywood Hip-Hop dancer. She completed her arangetram in Bharatnatyam at the age of 13 through the help of her mentor Mrs. Babita Chetiar after 7 years of training. Being a choreographer and a lead performer, she achieved various awards in Bollywood, Folk, Arabic, and Hip-Hop dances. She is one of the main performers of the Hypnotics dance crew in Bahrain and has performed at various corporate/family events, stage shows, award shows, and musical dramas with numerous celebrities. She continues to use her diverse dance training and performance background to share her passion for dancing with her students.