Dancers

Sheetal Suravkar - Maulik

Crowned ‘Miss Mumbai 1998’, Sheetal, a dedicated lover of Bharatnatyam dance, is an emblematic Indian beauty with a very expressive face. She has been performing the dance form for over 18 years and has stayed away from any kind of commercialization of this ancient art, staying true to its traditional essence.

Sheetal has been a part of a ballet group called Yuvak Biradari that had produced a spectacular ballet exhibiting the evolution of India, from the stage of Mohenjo Daro and Harrappa to the present day. Having already played roles in TV soaps like Akkar Bakkar Bombay Bo, Sai Baba, Sun Yaar Chill Maar (UTV Bindaas) and Bhootwala Serial (Sony Sab), Sheetal is now playing a pivotal role in India’s first silent TV comedy, Gutur Gu.

Sonali Surve

Sonali is a dancer par excellence. From undergoing a two-year foundation course to successfully completing her Masters in Bharatnatyam at Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, she took her love for the dance form to a higher echelon by training for 8 years under her guru Ms. Jayashri Nair. With her exceptional talent, Sonali was chosen to perform in Nalanda’s various dance productions and Nrityotsava 2006, a national dance festival of Nalanda Dance Research Centre.

In 2006, Sonali represented India at the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar and she was also titled ‘Singar Mani’ by the 45th Kal Ke Kalakar, Sangeet Sammelan organized by Sur Singar Samsad. Sonali has also performed in prestigious events like the Khajurao Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh, Nritya Bhushana, Mysore and the Kala Ghoda Diwali Utsav, Mumbai, all in the year 2007. She won laurels in the TV serials Dam Dama Dam on Sahyadri Channel and Kya Masti Kya Dhoom on Star Plus.

At present, apart from training on an advanced level under Mr. Vaibhav Arekar and being a part of the legendary Hema Malini’s dance group Natya Vihar Kala Kendra, Sonali is running Nritya Sadhana, a dance institute where she teaches Bharatnatyam, folk and free-style dance.

Humera Almas

Niece of Padmashree Award winner Habiba A. Rehman, Humera, an expert in Kathak dance is a recipient of many awards for her classical dance performances across cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and New Delhi. An excellent stage performer, Humera’s vast experience in dance and acting has led her to perform on almost every continent. She is actively involved in teaching classical dance in Mumbai.

Humera has worked with one of the topmost producers of TV soaps Balaji Telefilms in series like Kamal, Kaun and Shree Ganesh and also with Ramesh Productions in their serials Tulsi and Usool. She has starred as Radha and Draupadi on stage in the famous theatrical titled Kanha,O Kanha directed by renowned stage actor and director Ashok Bhantia. Humera also performed for a series of the musical titled Shaam-E-Rangeen in Australia, New Zealand & USA.

Aparna Tarakad

Trained in Bharatnatyam from Nrityanjali, Mumbai under her guru Dr. Mrs. Vasundhara Shreedharan, Aparna also an expert in western dance genres, has starred in two famous music videos—Thoya Thoya by Vijay Atma and Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon by Somya Rao—moving her dancing feet to pulsating music. She has shot print campaigns for brands like Clinic All Clear, Sunsilk, United Colors of Benetton, Mirinda, Bajaj Spice and Godrej while also lending her pleasant smiling face to TV commercials for brands like Whisper, Slice, Cadbury and Sunsilk.

Aparna has also acted in TV serials like Lipstick (Zee TV), Yeh Meri Life Hai (Sony), Jeet (Star Plus), Kahii Kisii Roz (Star Plus) and the more recent Kaisi Laagi Lagan (Sahara One). She has performed at the Salsa India Festival 2008 and at present, Aparna is training in Salsa and other forms of contemporary dance.

Deepali Bhosale - Sophiya Sayed

Deepali is a powerhouse of performances. She is a trained Kathak dancer who moved towards acting eventually. Deepali has now been reigning the Marathi film industry for seven years. Apart from Marathi, she has also done Hindi and Bhojpuri films. She is known for her performances in Chashme Bahaddar, Mumbaicha Dabbawala, Lagnacha Dhoom Dhadaka, Mahima Khandobachi, Paheli Teer, Chatur Navra Chikni Baiko, Heerwa Chuda, 100 Crore and Jatra. Recently, looking at her career graph and fan-following, Suvarn Sparsh Jewelry, a leading name in gold and diamond jewelry, has appointed Deepali as their Brand Ambassador.

Manalee Surve

During her basic training period for 8 years in Bharatnatyam from Upasana Academy under Ms. Jayashri Nair, Manalee, an elegant dancer, participated in many solo and group dance competitions at University, Junior College and School levels and fetched rave reviews for all of them. Rai International Junior College conferred her with the title of ‘Best Dancer’ for her performance extraordinaire. She also performed in a dance production titled Dashaavatara organized by Upasana Academy.

Manalee tasted stardom when she was showered with praises for her performances on TV in Dam Dama Dam on Sahyadri Channel and Kya Masti Kya Dhoom on Star Plus. She has also participated in the longest running dance show on TV Boogie Woogie on Sony Television. One of her recent appearances on the small screen was in Eka Peksha Ek, a dance reality show on Zee Marathi. Presently, with her elder sister Sonali as partner, Manalee is running Nritya Sadhana, a dance institute that pioneers in teaching Bharatnatyam, folk and free-style dance.

Megha Gaikwad

A graceful dancer since childhood, Megha successfully completed a 4 year course in Bharatnatyam, folk and cultural dances from Nrityalika, Mumbai in 1997 and won laurels at many dance competitions organized on state and national levels including Gunayi Kala Prathishthan, Mumbai and All India Cultural Meet organized by the Orissa government in 2002. She has worked in close association with many choreographers and performed at events like Chitrapalavi, Shubham, Pausvela, Aathava Sur and Gagan Sadan Tejomaye organized by ETV Marathi, Pune International Film Festival 2005, Maharashtra Rajya Chirtrapat Mahotsava, Ma Ta Sanman, 50th Annual Filmfare Awards, Stardust Awards  and Ganesh Festival, Pune.  

Megha was also part of a prestigious cultural evening in Paris, France titled Nuit Blanche 2008—Shaad Ali and the Bollywood Bawaal where she performed with the legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan, whom she now proudly assists.

She has also done cameo roles in movies like Taj Mahal, Saawariya, Kisna, Aap Ka Suroor, Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi, Fanaa and Love Aaj Kal

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Manisha Basu

Trained under the guidance of her Guru Ms. Anjana Banerji at her institure Nritya Kutira, Manisha is a highly talented Bharatanatyam dancer. Her sincerity towards this art form and determination to achieve perfection through rigorous practice have groomed her as a danseuse with many possibilities and a bright future. In the year 1999 she was honored with Tagore’s Foundation Scholarship at the 21st Nehru Talent Search conducted by the Nehru Children’s Museum. Manisha is extremely involved professionally and emotionally with her Guru and has performed several times in Kolkata and Delhi in India and has also traveled to Russia to perform dance ballets. Her capabilities have led her to perform live on stage for India’s National Television Channel Doordarshan.

Kanak Khanna

A classic example of a multi-talented personality, Kanak has remained a student of Padmashree award winner, Sitara Devi, from whom she learnt Kathak and with whom she had the privilege to perform the dance form all over India. Subsequently, she was chosen to play the main lead of Mumtaaz Mahal for a ‘Light & Sound’ style play titled Mohabbat—The Taj, for international audiences in Agra. The show was dubbed in 25 foreign languages for maximum reach and Kanak’s performance was much applauded by viewers. She has performed for prestigious events and festivals including Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahotsava, Kalakriti Kendra’s Mumbai Maharashtra Sanskriti Karyakarma, Shiv Ranjani Sangeet Mahotsava, Sur Singar Samsad, Taj Mahotsava and Pune Festival. Besides dance, Kanak is extremely passionate about theatre and has performed on stage with esteemed groups like Aranya, Ranga Theatre, Hum Yatri, Tea Pot Productions and Akavarious. Her plays have been selected for various theatre festivals including National School of Drama (NSD), Prithvi Musical Theatre Festival, NCPA Annual Theatre Festival and Lucknow Theatre Festival. Kanak has also assisted Mr. Prakash Kutty (cinematography) for the film My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves (Red Chillies Production).

Meenakshi Dixit

Model and actress, Meenakshi Dixit is a rising star of Indian cinema soon after this fresh, talented girl was spotted by veteran Muppaleni Shiva who directed her in his much hyped Telugu release of 2009, Lifestyle. Although she has been performing on stage since childhood at various events, she first tasted success owing to her dance with Punjabi singing sensations, Jassi Sidhu and Gippy Girewal, in their music videos. Meenakshi has modeled for Lee Cooper, Red Square Energy Drink, Radio Mirchi and ESSAR, besides being a regular in spreads for leading fashion and film magazines. But in spite of being blessed with good looks and unmatched skills, she would not have jumped into acting had it not been for Saroj Khan, Bollywood’s favorite choreographer, who became an instant admirer and immediately signed her to appear regularly on her dance show Nachle Ve With Saroj Khan on NDTV Imagine. Fondly called ‘Madhuri of the Gurukul’ by Saroj, this dancing beauty last featured in Sitara Telugu Film Awards 2009, where she danced into the hearts of millions as she announced her grand arrival on the film canvas with panache.

Reshma Khopade

It is said that ‘big things come in small packages’ and a classic example of this adage would be our very own Reshma. Trained in the folk dance of Lavani, she has been a dancer in Hindi film industry for over 7 years now and has many films to her credit, including hit titles like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, All The Best, Pathshala, Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam, Paheli and the much acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire. She also features regularly in Marathi films and has worked in many blockbusters in the language. Reshma was spotted and selected as a front-row dancer in the internationally renowned musical Bharati that toured almost half of Europe. Besides being a regular performer at award functions, for both Hindi and Marathi films, she also takes keen interest in choreography and has choreographed dance reality shows like Halla Bol, Dam Dama Dam and Maharashtrache Nach Baliye, winning the title for the last one. Reshma, along with partner Sunny, recently choreographed Bollywood Rock-On Show and toured Portugal, Germany, Poland and Vienna in 2010.

Dharini Yajnik

A bundle of stunning performances, Dharini has been training in Kathak for almost 20 years now, under the great maestro and Padmashree award winner, Ms. Sitara Devi. Besides Kathak, she is taking excessive training in various dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Belly Dance, Jazz, Tap Dance, Ballet and Bollywood dance. She underwent training in acting to be able to portray myriad moods and to become a multifaceted package for stage performances. Dharini has enthralled audiences during her past tours across India and countries like USA, Australia and Canada to name a few.

Payal Dandekar

Payal, a dancer with soft, gentle and mellifluous moves has completed a 5-year training program in Indian classical dances from Nrityaprabha, Mumbai, each year scoring ‘A’ grades for her flawless onstage performances. A recipient of many awards at school level for her unmatched ability, Payal also enrolled herself frequently for summer dance workshops and funk shows at Shiamak Davar’s Institute Of Performing Arts, Mumbai and came out as a confident western-style dancer.

Payal bagged small, mostly dance-centric roles in movies like Kisna, Aap Ka Suroor, Saawariya, Fanaa and Babul.

Minal Bhike

A student of Mrs. Asha Joglekar and Mrs. Grishma Iyyer from whom Minal has learnt Katthak and Bharatnatyam respectively, Minal is a gifted dancer and is an aspiring choreographer, too. Owing to her aspiration, she has assisted in choreographing most of the events she has also performed at like Salaam Kolhapur, Salaam Aurangabad, Mee Marathi Sanman Sandhya (all for Mee Marathi), Dhamal 2008, Sat Janmachya Gaathi (both for ETV Marathi) and Raja Shivchatrapati (Star Pravah). Minal also supported choreographers for Marathi films like Sariwar Sari, Sumbaran, Manya Sajjana and Lagli Paij and it wasn’t late before her talent was recognized and she was offered to choreograph Superwoman (ETV Marathi), Diwali Dhamaka (9X) and Commonwealth Youth Games 2008, Pune. Recently, Minal choreographed a Lavani based show, Hirkani, for the legendary Lavani danseuse, Surekha Punekar.

Dinesh Chorge

With high regards for his gurus Mrs. Grishma Iyyer and Mr. Subhash Nakashe, Dinesh, an energetic and high-spirited dancer, has performed in Marathi Bana, a long-running show with Maharashtrian music, dance and culture as its crux. He has also assisted Mr. Nakashe and has choreographed highly successful shows like Awaz Ki Duniya, Danga Masti Dot Com, Gane Suhane and Azadi 60 alongside him. This brisk dancer with great staying power has performed and assisted in choreography for prestigious events like Maharashtra Times Sanman Awards, Marathi Chitrapat Mahotsav 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004 (all for Zee TV Marathi), Kashasathi Premasathi and Film Federation Show (Mee Marathi). As a choreographer himself, he has directed shows like Superwoman (ETV Marathi), Diwali Dhamaka (9X), Commonwealth Youth Games 2008, Pune and Utsav.

Santosh Koli (Sunny)

As effervescent as he is in real life, Sunny is equally vivacious, lively and energetic on stage. Inclined towards dance and music since childhood, his stint with dance began as a dancer in Hindi and Marathi films. He has worked in movies like Slumdog Millionaire, Horn Ok Please, Paheli, Pathshala, Aladin and many others alongside Bollywood’s megastars. During his career as a dancer, Sunny has been associated with top-notch names in choreography—Saroj Khan, Farah Khan, Bosco-Ceaser, Ahmed Khan, Ganesh Acharya and Remo are just some of them. Besides increasing his repertoire of Hindi films, he has also performed on stage at prestigious platforms like Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards, Global Indian Film Awards, Zee Gaurav, Marathi Chitrapat Awards and Maharashtra Times Awards. Sunny then went on to be chosen as a dancer for a world tour of the Indian Musical, Bharati. But perhaps the peak of his career came when Sunny graduated from being a dancer to a choreographer, himself. As choreographer, he has directed dances for Marathi reality shows including Halla Bol, Dam Dama Dam, Eka Peksha Ek and Maharashtrache Nach Baliye (which he won along with co-choreographer Reshma). In 2010, Sunny got the opportunity to choreograph Bollywood Rock-On Show which toured Portugal, Germany, Poland and Austria.

Vishal Ganesh

Bangalore born dancer/actor/teacher/choreographer and fitness consultant, Vishal Ganesh is a prodigy, spotted at the age of 16 by the legendary Shiamak Davar, who offered him an assistant’s position at Shiamak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA). Over the 4½ years of association with SDIPA, Vishal graduated to the rank of Senior Assistant Dance Instructor and Choreographer and also participated as lead dancer for many prestigious corporate shows and award functions as well as the blockbuster, Bunty Aur Babli. With a passion to grow further in the domain of performing arts, Vishal enrolled for and completed a diploma course in acting from Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, where he eventually began teaching dance and aerobics. He has trained esteemed personalities from various fraternities, including Rajyavardhan Rathore, Monikangana Dutta, Richa Gangopadhyay, Shruti agarwal, Neeti Mohan and Gauhar Khan. Besides this, Vishal regularly conducts workshops for various schools and colleges, including workshops for special children and has choreographed many shows, including the popular Bollywood Nights. Vishal’s vigor and dynamism on stage are commendable and so is his ability to spread happiness through dance and drama.

Gautam Jinwal

With dance in his blood, Gautam, a master of folk and western styles, is an extraordinary dancer. He kick-started his career as a dancer in Marathi movies but soon landed in Bollywood where he worked extensively with ace choreographers like Ganesh Acharya, Saroj Khan, Farah Khan, Chinni Prakash, Bosco- Caeser and others. Gautam has worked as dancer in BAFTA and Academy Award Winning film Slumdog Millionaire, All The Best, Chance Pe Dance, Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge and other Bollywood blockbusters. Besides films, Gautam has also performed at The Global Indian Film Awards, Star Screen Awards and Filmfare Awards while also being a crucial dancer in shows like Bollywood Show (China) and Bollywood Rock-On Show (Portugal, Germany, Poland & Austria).

Ajay Arora

Not only has Ajay worked as a dancer at close quarters with some of Bollywood’s top-notch names in choreography, but has also danced alongside famed stars of the film industry. Ajay began as junior dancer with Ganesh Acharya, but soon moved up the ladder and graduated to being his lead performer. Subsequently, Ajay was chosen to perform in Bollywood films like Golmaal Returns, Horn Ok Please, De Dhana Dhan, Sunday and others by choreographers like Remo, Ahmed Khan, Saroj Khan and Rekha Prakash. Ajay has performed at the Filmfare and Star Screen Awards as well. He was also one of the leading performers in Bollywood Rock-On Show that toured Portugal, Germany, Poland and Austria in 2010.