Smitha Radhakrishnan has trained with prominent Bharatanatyam teachers in the U.S. and India since the age of 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, as well as in India and South Africa. Since 2008, she has been training in Bharatanatyam, Kalari ppayattu, theater, and contemporary dance forms with Navarasa, and has performed with Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda all over the U.S. She is the founder and director of NATyA Dance Studio in Natick MA, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College.
Leah Vincent studies Kalari ppayattu, Bharatanatyam, yoga and contemporary dance with Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda, and has performed with Navarasa since 2012. She completed her Masters in Latin American Studies from Ohio University. She works as an associate manager for Navarasa, and also as a Spanish tutor and translator, and as an interpreter for Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles.
Shivani Thakkar is an internationally recognized choreographer, dancer, master teacher, and actor. Her dance work includes specialties in Bharata Natyam (Indian classical dance), Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, and Bollywood. Some of her notable performance and choreography credits include Hollywood Bowl Summer Sounds, Disney’s Step Up 3-D, Bellydance Superstars’ Bombay Bellywood Japan Tour, Canadian tour of Dvaya: A Confluence of Male Female Spirits, Girish Karnad’s Naga Mandala, and works in numerous dance festivals and at various museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, Skirball Cultural Center and Glenbow. She has been invited to serve on various Juries including the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. She is currently dance faculty at AMDA LA and Degas Dance Studio. Shivani is the Founder and Artistic Director of the MKM BollyStars DanceCompany and Academy. Shivani is thrilled to be working with Navarasa Dance Theater, a company she has long admired and now is blessed to be a part of.
Joanna Marie Collins
Joanna Marie Collins is a California native who has danced in highly acclaimed Contemporary Dance companies, film, television, theatre and commercials. Some of her credits include work with Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, Will Smith, The Hughes Brothers and Architexture Dance Company. Joanna studied Psychology and Dance at Loyola Marymount University and is a devoted Artist and Educator.