Sadhanalaya School of Dance


Sadhana started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of seven under Guru Smt. Saroja Vaidhyanathan of New Delhi, India. Gifted with talent, interest and the drive necessary to excel, she was a brilliant student from the beginning. By the age of thirteen, she had accomplished the incredible feat of winning the All India Classical Dance Competition for three consecutive years.  Subsequently she continued winning first prize at several competitions. To name a few:

- Yuva Taal, Hyderabad, 1985

- South Zone Cultural Center, Behrampur (Orissa), 1990

- South Central Zone, Mysore, 1991

- All-India Inter-University, Madurai, 1991

In 1987, after almost a week of competitive performances, Sadhana was awarded the coveted title of 'Sringara Mani' by Sur Shringar Samsad in Mumbai. Her passion for the art grew further. Besides acquiring her Bachelors & Masters Degrees in Commerce, Sadhana also pursued an academic course of study in dance. She enrolled in the six-year course at the Tyagaraja Government School of Music & Dance in Hyderabad and acquired her Diploma in Bharatanatyam and a Certificate in Carnatic Music. Prizes at the local, state, and national levels continued as well as rave reviews by critics and the press. She also joined the M.A. program in Kuchipudi Dance at the Telugu University & under the guidance of the two veteran gurus & scholars, Prof. Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna & Prof. Dr. Uma Rama Rao, she graduated with a Gold Medal. By then she had also won several government scholarships and was accredited as Grade 'A' artist by the Govt. of India Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. She performed number of times on National Television.

Sadhana migrated to New York in October 1992. A month after her arrival, she conducted a lecture demonstration for CUNY-TV and in December of that year she established Sadhanalaya School of Bharatanatyam & Kuchipudi Dance.

Over the last several years in New York, Sadhana has established herself both as a performer and Guru. Her audiences have cut across all ethnic and national lines. She has performed and held lecture demonstrations at:

- The American Museum of Natural History, New York;

- Danny Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, New York;

- Carnegie Hall, New York;

- Society of New York Consuls General, New York;

- Boston University, Massachusetts;

- Unison Arts Council, New York;

- Mohonk Mountain House, New York;

- Queens Museum of Art, New York;

- Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; 

- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania;

- Queens County Library, New York.

Sadhana has also performed and lectured at public and private schools in the region as part of her endeavor to educate American audiences about Indian Classical Dances.

She has been featured on the two ABC-TV shows 'Good Morning America' & 'Eyewitness News'and also on Public Access Channels. Dance critics have written excellent reviews about her in the 'New York Times' & in 'Back-Stage' (a broadway magazine). She has been awarded Proclamations by the United States Congress, New York State Senate & New York City Council.

In the midst of a hectic
schedule of performances for vastly diverse audiences, Sadhana continues to stay close to her ethnic roots. She has choreographed and performed ballets such as Dasavataram, Mahasakthi, Krishnarpanam, and Om Namah Sivaya for a more targeted South Asian audience. Her magnum opus dance ballet production was Shiva Parvathi Kalyanam staged with over 42 students, where she played the lead role of Parvathi.  Shiva Parvathi Kalyanam was a grand success and was received very favorably by audiences and critics in June 2007.

One final note....

A word about Sadhana, the person. Despite all her achievements, she is very unassuming. This has won her a lot of adulation. She is very popular with her students, be it children or teenagers. In fact some of her teenage students who had earlier suffered from the 'clash of cultures' because of peer pressure at school, have developed a sense of ethnic and national pride under her. She's their emotional anchor and counselor.

Her commitment is not only to continue captivating and educating New Yorkers about Indian Classical Dance, but also to keep youngsters of Indian origin close to the 'Real India' through this divine art.


About Sadhana Paranji