2016 IndianRaga Fellowship Productions

Jafar’s Story : A Dance Drama through Indian classical dance

2016 IndianRaga Fellows across music and dance came together to re-interpret the story of Jafar from Aladdin. Why was he evil, what caused him to do what he did, and what happens after the story that we know? With music by Shankar Iyer, Sushmitha Ravikumar, Vivek Ramanan and Naren Pullela, the 2016 dance fellows Aarthy Sundar, Vivek Ramanan, Sreeragini Ghantasala, Mangala Janahan, Surya Ravi, Swathi Jaisankar, Shivalee Talati, Amrithabala Janahan, Rajalaxmi Srikanth and Romina Jaitley performed this dance drama.

Carnatic A Cappella : Nalinakanthi

Check out this Carnatic A Cappella by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows, arranged by senior fellow Vinod Krishnan, in the ragam Nalinakanthi! It combines lyrics from the popular song Kandukonden Kandukonden, with lyrics from a Ragam Thanam Pallavi rendition by Sanjay Subrahmanyan, and note patterns developed by Vinod.

Performed by Sushmitha Ravikumar, Sindhu Shashikanth, Karthik Ramasubramanian, Vivek Ramanan, Vinod Krishnan, and Kaushik Hariharan

Anubhuti : Tale of a Teacher and Student – Odissi and Bharatanatyam

2016 Senior IndianRaga Fellows Aparupa Chatterjee and Aarthy Sundar present this highly familiar interaction between a Guru and Shishya, to encapsulate the rigorous learning process that goes into creating good students.

The music has been taken from the 2013 IndianRaga production Rhythm Drive.

Neelambari : New-age Carnatic Classical Explorations

Syama Sastri’s classic composition in Ragam Neelambari ‘Brovavamma Bangaru Bomma’ is improvized by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Sindhu Shashikanth, Karthik Ramasubramanian, Vinod Krishnan with guest performer Alex Lee-Clark on Trumpet, with new-age instrumentation and arrangement.

Bheeni Bheeni Bhor Reprise

2016 IndianRaga Fellows present an exploration of the classic Bheeni Bheeni Bhor in raga Miyan Ki Todi. Performers are Karthik Ramasubramanian, Divya Khandekar, Chethan Anant, Rishi Armstrong, Neha Pullela and Santosh Baynes.

Reflection : Bharatanatyam Expressions

2016 IndianRaga Fellow Aarthy Sundar explores the emotional challenges of a transgender woman reflecting on her difficult past in this abhinaya piece. Co-Fellows Sushmitha Ravikumar, Kaushik Hariharan, Naren Pullela and Ananth Kumar provide strong musical support in this reflective piece.

Ragam Thalam Vivaadam : Is melody more important or rhythm?

2016 IndianRaga Fellows come together for a friendly musical debate on whether the ragam (melody) or the thalam (rhythm) is more important in classical music. Lyrics are by Hariharan Krishnaswamy, and the ragams used in this are Saranga, Mohanam, Kanada and Madhyamavathi.

Fellows performing are Vinod Krishnan (vocal), Kaushik Hariharan (vocal), Sindhu Shashikanth (vocal), Vivek Ramanan (mridangam), Ananth Kumar (ghatam and kanjira), and Sushmitha Ravikumar (violin).

A Salute to Soldiers : Bharatanatyam

This piece depicts the shared experiences of two soldiers from opposing sides of a war. Choreographed through Bharatanatyam by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Swathi Jaisankar and Surya Ravi.

EDM Varnam : Carnatic Classical meets EDM

Check out this EDM-ised version of the Jalajakshi Varnam in Hamsadhwani ragam, performed by Sindhu Shashikanth and Karthik Ramasubramaniam. Music arranged by Mahesh Raghvan. Varnam composed by Maanambuchaavadi Venkatasubbaiyer.

Swar Saadhana : Jugalbandi in Raga Jog and Vaagadeeshwari

This is a contemporary Hindustani Carnatic Jugalbandi with a bandish in raga Jog written and composed by Apoorvaa Deshpande, and a krithi ‘Naadaanusandhana’ composed by Koteeshwara Iyer in ragam Vaagadeeshwari.

This piece is performed by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Vinod Krishnan, Apoorvaa Deshpande, Santosh Baynes, Shankar Iyer, Chethan Anant and Karthik Ramasubramanian.

Irish Malhar

The vibrant and upbeat Irish violin music is brought together with the monsoon raga Malhar from Hindustani classical music to create this joyful collaboration from the 2016 IndianRaga Fellowship!

This piece is performed by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Divya Khandekar, Apoorvaa Deshpande, Rishi Armstrong, Chethan Anant, Vivek Ramanan, Santosh Baynes and Sushmitha Ravikumar.

Bolan Bin Raga Marwa : Hindustani Classical Music

Our youngest 2016 IndianRaga Fellow, 8-year old Ishaan Tangirala presents a solo rendition of Raga Marwa! He is accompanied by 2-time IndianRaga Fellow Rishi Armstrong on tabla, and Chethan Anant on flute.

Journey Home : Story of 3 Childhood Friends in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi

Story of 3 childhood friends reuniting, choreographed and performed in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Mangala Janahan, Sreeragini Ghantasala and Amrithabala Janahan. The music of Journey Home was composed by 2015 IndianRaga Fellow Sumhith Veda Aradhyula, and performed by him, Aditya Sriram and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (Music link here :

Madhuvanti Mashup : Hindustani Classical meets Tchaikovsky

The all familiar haunting melody from Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave is mashed up with Madan Mohan’s ghazal Rasm-e-ulfat and Kumar Gandharwa’s bandish Main Aaoon Tore Mandarwa, both in Raga Madhuvanti.

This piece is performed by 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Divya Khandekar, Shankar Iyer, Rishi Armstrong, Chethan Anant and Sushmitha Ravikumar

EDM Alarippu : Next-Gen Bharatanatyam

Alarippu is a purely technical dance, taught to hundreds of thousands of students of Indian classical dance globally each year. IndianRaga Fellows Vivek Ramanan, Mangala Janahan and Surya Ravi decided to give it a new-age spin, with an avant garde track created by Creative Director Mahesh Raghvan and Vivek Ramanan. Here’s the classic Alarippu with a modern twist from the 2016 IndianRaga Fellowship collaborations!

Nandi Chol : Bharatanatyam Jathi

Nandi Chol, composed by Ramesh Babu, performed and choreographed by Aarthy Sundar, Vivek Ramanan, Swathi Jaisankar and Surya Ravi depicting Nandi welcoming Lord Shiva

This interpretation of Nandichol is done with four dancers who come together to form one Nandi as a unit. As the piece builds, the jathi incorporates creative representations of Nandi, his mridangam, and Lord Nataraja. Original music by Sheejith Krishna.

Tum Tana Dance-Off : Kathak meets Bharatanatyam

IndianRaga Kathak Fellow Shivalee Talati and Bharatanatyam Fellow Swathi Jaisankar came together to do a dance-off on this power-packed song, showcasing how movement in the two dance styles can be similar while retaining the aesthetic and flavor of each. Check this out!

Chetti Mandaram

A traditional Mohiniattam piece presented through Bharatanatyam, of the story of three girls who adore the jasmine garlands and sandalwood paste that decorate Lord Krishna.

We are thrilled about the spirit of collaboration between IndianRaga Fellows that this piece represents. 2016 IndianRaga Fellow Mangala Janahan is the Artistic Director of this piece, and under her leadership the Under-12 Dance Fellows at the 2016 IndianRaga Fellowship Amrithabala Janahan, Romina Jately and Rajalaxmi Srikanth came together to present it. The music for this piece has been arranged and conceptualized by IndianRaga Creative Director Mahesh Raghvan, with vocals by 2016 Fellow Karthik Ramasubramanian. For the original piece, the lyrics are by Vayalar Rama Varma and composition by G Devarajan.

We would like to thank Pushpa Raghavan, Prasanth Ramanand and Ranjana Warier for their valuable inputs!

EDM Thillana : Ananda Bhairavi

Check out this EDM-ised version of Thanjavur Shankar Iyer’s thillana in Ananda Bhairavi ragam, performed by Vinod Krishnan, Sushmitha Ravikumar with Vivek Ramanan on mridangam. Music arranged by Mahesh Raghvan.

Padhaaro Mhaare Des

“Kesariya Balam aawo ni padhaaro mhare des”

Presenting a new-age rendition of the legendary Rajasthani folk song ‘Padhaaro Mhare Des’ from the IndianRaga Fellowship! Arranged beautifully by Mahesh Raghvan, and rendered by Apoorvaa Deshpande.

Still I Rise : Maya Angelou’s poetry through Bharatanatyam

Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise, is depicted through the story of a woman who wants more out of life. 2016 IndianRaga Fellows Surya, Aarthy, Vivek and Swathi present Radhika Ganesh’s iconic choreography in this new-age collaboration that tells the story of the many women we know and cherish in our lives.

In this piece we follow the story of a woman who is a busy housewife but has aspirations of being so much more. She starts off doing daily household chores and taking care of her family but when she wishes to follow her dreams, her family and friends reject the idea. This is an allegory of the daily subjugations that women face in society when they try to break their traditional roles.

Bharathiyar Unplugged

Led by our first contemporary vocals Fellow Karthik Ramasubramanian, this is a new-age folk twist to a classic composition by Subramanya Bharathi. Download the MP3 audio track for free at

Ably supported with Gujarati folk vocals by Milap Rane, keys by Santosh Baynes, violin by Sushmitha Ravikumar, djembe and cajon by Vivek Ramanan, mridangam and ghatam by Ananth Kumar and flute by Chethan Anant. Check out this wonderful collaboration by these musicians from different cities in USA and India!

Bharathiyar is a legendary freedom fighter and a famous Tamil poet. This composition Paayum Oli is a romantic piece written and composed by him for his wife Chellamma. This is an attempt to infuse a folk element to the usually classicized style of Bharathiyar, with Tamil and Gujarati folk flavors in this new-age arrangement. The theme is the video is red meaning his favorite line – rowdhiram pazhagu (practise anger) here becomes kadhal pazhagu (practise love)

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