Suchitra Sairam is a highly committed Bharatanatyam artist with over 35 years in the field, and received foundational training in the Kalakshetra style from Smt. Padmini Chari (Nritya School of Bharatanatyam). Suchitra continued advanced training under legendary artists Sri V.P. and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, and Sri M.V. Narasimhachari (late) and Smt. M. Vasanthalakshmi. All of these artists are her great guides and inspirations as an artist, teacher, and arts presenter.
Suchitra founded Kala Vandanam in 2002 in St. Paul, MN. She is committed to education, performance, outreach and presentation to share the beauty of Bharatanatyam through Kala Vandanam’s work and high-caliber touring artists. She is passionate about presenting and teaching the art that celebrates the tradition while embracing the aesthetics of our changing world; holistically, aligned with allied arts and with art as a vehicle to experience joy, develop humility and self-confidence, strive for excellence, and introspect for personal and artistic growth. Her work reflects a deeply personal blend of eastern and western values, methods, and aesthetics, as well as her multi-faceted background and interests. Through Kala Vandanam, she teaches a group of committed students, and is an active Indian arts presenter in the Twin Cities.
She is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge grant, a Next Step grant from the McKnight Foundation, and several grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board to support the her creative and teaching work. She has served as a panelist for the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, and is an advisory committee member for the Cowles Center for Performing Arts.
Suchitra’s artistic work has been received with appreciation, and is noted for its adherence to her gurus’ exacting standards, depth in abstract and expressional dance, and creativity. She has several solo and group productions to her credit that has been received with appreciation by audiences around the U.S. Suchitra is a skilled nattuvangam (vocal percussion and hand cymbals) artist, accompanying soloists and dance companies.
At Kala Vandanam, she has the good fortune of teaching a group of very committed students, and has presented twelve students in their formal, full-length stage debuts, or Arangetram, and twenty two in their first solo concerts, or Salangai Pooja. Her students have earned awards in solo and group events Twin Cities Bharatanatyam competitions since 2011 in solo and group categories, and won many awards in prestigious national competitions.
Suchitra holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and an MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas. In addition to her passion for the arts and business interests, she volunteers her time support leadership development, entrepreneurship, and science and math education for girls.