Board of Directors
Mr. Nagendra Sanjeeva - PresidentNagendra Sanjeeva works at MasterCard, one of the leading technology companies in payments space, as Senior Vice President within Operations and Technology Division. Prior to MasterCard, Nagendra has served in various senior management capabilities at Citibank and Thomson Reuters.
Nagendra has Acquired Bachelors of Engineering in at SJCE College, Mysore University, India; Master of Science in Engineering at San Jose State University, San Jose; and Master of Business Administration at University of Missouri, St. Louis.
Nagendra has spent good amount of time in living with diverse cultures, USA, India, Japan, Singapore, and of course, India. He and his wife Anitha’s extracurricular interests range from light classical music, Bharatanatyam, Yoga, dramas, website, and technology assistance for not-for-profit causes to having deep understanding of Wall Street..
Mr. Prabhakar Betnag - SecretaryPrabhakar Betnag is an art enthusiast who wants to popularize Indian Art and Culture that is so very diverse but still distinct. He wants to work together with artists and art lovers who believe that Indian Art and Culture has come along way, whose lineage can be traced back to the Vedas and Upanishads., Prabhakar feels "Indian culture is so much deep rooted into every Indian life style, it becomes so inseparable despite being thousands of miles away. It becomes even more important for every Indian away from his mother land to take responsibility of continuing this Parampara." Prabhakar believes that one way of achieving this is by igniting passion for Indian Art and Culture by active participating and by making your sincere efforts in what ever way you can.
Prabhakar’s induction to Soorya Performing Arts brings diverse cultural background having worked in Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, Venezuela, Detroit and of course India before coming to Saint Louis. On the professional front, Prabhakar has earned a MS in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering from Wichita State Univ, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from BIT, Bangalore.
Prabhakar and his wife Kumuda both work in the IT field. They are enthusiastic about becoming part of a Cultural organization that is striving to make Art and Culture an integral part of Indian community in very many ways in this part of Mid-West America.
Ramesh Rajan – Treasurer
Ramesh rajan works as a senior SAP HR Functional Consultant with HP Enterprise Services. He is been working in this company since August 2007– Present (5 years 7 months). His project included a Public sector in Winnipeg, Canada in which he conducted process design workshop, Create Functional specification, Configuration and Testing in following areas : HR Structures, Personnel administration, Concurrent employment, Wage progression and Structural authorization. He actively helps out in the management of finances of Soorya Performing Arts.
Mrs. Nirmala Renganathan - MemberNirmala Renganathan works as a Associate Director at Boehringer Ingelheim from past 8 years. In the past she worked as a consultant, which helped her achieve the public relation skills to deal with businesses. She worked as the Manager in the Business Development of many Protein Sciences Corporations. She worked at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. She holds an Masters in Molecular Biology from University of Hyderabad, India; as well as an MBA from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She works actively with Soorya Performing arts in strategic decisions and managing the volunteers for different tasks.
Mathi Kanaga Sabhai - Member
Mr. Mathi is a software engineer by profession, but his hobbies include photography and organizing. He also actively assists the web design of Soorya Performing Arts. As a leading Software professional he has served in different capacities in leading companies such as Maritz Corporation, KV Pharmaceutical and currently he heads a project in US Bank in St. Louis
Mrs. Seema Murthy – MemberSeema Kasthuri is an accomplished singer with a charming voice. She has undergone Carnatic Music training for over 10 years under Vidwan K.R Venkatesh. She has completed her Senior level board exams in Karnataka. Seema has accompanied Guru. Venkatesh in several concerts held in many places of state of Karnataka. Seema has taken active participation in most of the music productions from Sharada Vidyalaya under guru Venkatesh that was produced for All India Radio. She has also given concerts in Devotional Music and light music. Later, she is pursued her education studentship with Chintalapalli Krishnamurthy. Seema is an active dancer by herself; she performs with the productions of Soorya Dance Company. Seema has provided vocal support to classical dance drama productions. She composed music for "OM Ganesha" - a classical dance drama on lord Ganeshji's story. Seema's album "Sri Lola" - a collection of Daasa literature songs is released in India in November 2002. At present, Seema is taking advanced training in Carnatic music from Nagamani Srinath and Hindustani Music from Ustad Imrat Khan. Seema performs frequently. Her performances in Hindu Temple of St. Louis, Indian Association of Greater Springfield in 2005; in ANANYA - Bangalore in 2006 gave her high accolades. Seema accompanied many of arangetram functions of Soorya Performing Arts in 2006, 2007. Her recent role as RADHA in - "CALL OF THE FLUTE" - the first ever dance musical of USA got the attention of classical music and classical dance lovers evenly. Seema Works in AT&T as a Software Analyst. Seema Kasthuri recently released music album - "Nireeksha" - got some raving reviews. More details can be found on her website - http://www.seemakasthuri.com/
Mrs. Bhavani Amirthalingam – Member
Mr. Vijay Sakshi – Member
Mr. Srinivas Palakollu – Member
Mr. Prasanna Kasthuri – Artistic DirectorPrasanna is a teacher, choreographer, organizer and a performer of two great traditional Indian classical dances - Bharathanatyam and Kathak. His art has a pleasant infusion of the key elements of literature, music, and theatre.
Prasanna was fortunate to receive training from many great legendary teachers of dance field. The main styles which he received training are from Dr. K. Venkatalakshamma and Smt. Lalita Srinivasan of Mysore style and later in Pandanallur style from Guru Narmada. He attended workshops of Chitra Vishweswaran, T. Mahalingam Pillai, Adyar K. Lakshmanan and Pandanallur GopalaKrishna. He received Kathak knowledge from Guru Maya Rao, a very well known authority in Choreography and took Kathak workshops under Birju Maharaj.
Prasanna has performed all around the world and at present is the artistic director of "Soorya Dance Company" in Saint Louis, Missouri. His major credentials include - a rank in Vidwath exam conducted by Karnataka Government, more than a decade of Carnatic music training, a 24 hour non-stop marathon dance feat and a Master's degree in Information Technology.
Prasanna's major dance productions include -
"Kadu Kuniyithu" (1987) -Dance production for children on the story of animals
"Kavya Kinkini" (1989) - A Bharathanatyam repertoire based on poetry from Kannada epics
"Subhadra Parinaya" (1991) - A Sanskrit dance drama from Mahabharatha
"Shrungara Naayakaru" (1994) - A Portrayal of Romantic heroes corresponding to the Nayikas of Indian dance.
"Rasa Gati" (1996) - Adoption of Rasa theory and Carnatic tala structures
"Jnana" (1998) - Mini dance drama based on moral stories
"Avataara" (1999) - Metaphysical interpretation of incarnations
"Cherishnu" (2000) - A dance spectacle of Bengali literature
"Silambu"(2002) - Dance drama based on 2nd century Tamil epic Silappadikaram
"Anubhava Mantapa"(2002) - Dance reflection of 12th century Sharana literature
"Maarga" (2002) - A Bharathanatyam dance repertoi
"Thoughts"(2002) - A thought provoking dance presentation based different works of philosophers of India
Beral ge Koral (2003) – Story of dedicated student, who sacrifices to keep up teacher’s promise
Rainbow - I (2004) - English poems into Indian Solo dancing
Katha Kahe Kathaka (2004) - Presentation of Kathak dances
Rhythms in Motion (2005) – Rhythms across the life
Shaam - e - Kathak (2006) – Dances on Ghazals - love-lorn songs Rainbow - II (2006) – English poems into Indian Dancing with a Grammy award winning musician
Call of Flute (2007) – USA’s first Indian opera through classical music and dance of India
Zero (2010) - a dance presentation on Mathematician Aryabhatta
Mruchchakatika (2012) - a second century production with a cast of 40 artists