(Last Updated on : 11/08/2015)
A highly skilled and talented danseuse Satyavani Iswara, is the Master of Performing Arts (M.P.A.), a postgraduate degree in performing arts with specialization in Bharatanatyam. She was born in the year 1969 at New Delhi to Pushpavalli and Suryakumar Bulusu. Her parents are illustrious personalities in promoting the classical arts in India. At the tender age of four years, Satyavani was inducted to the dancing by her Guru Sri Vedantam Mallikarjuna Sarma. Guru Sri Vedantam originally belongs to the legendary Kuchipudi family. After wards her parents moved to Baroda. At that time Baroda was a flourishing place for the art form of Bharatanatyam.
The story behind this is that the Maharajah of Baroda in the 19th century brought his wife from the South. And along with the queen some of the great exponents of that time came to Baroda to bring the tradition of Bharatanatyam into Baroda. Thus the rich tradition of Bharatanatyam has been continued by the able tutelage of those exponents. Under the guidance of Guru Mrs. Rema Shrikant, who is an exponent of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam, Satyavani continued her training in Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam.
Satyavani to improve further her knowledge in performing arts and to heighten her histrionic talents went to the M. S. University, Baroda. At the same university, she preceded further training in Bharatanatyam in the Kalakshetra style. She was trained under the able tutelage of well-known scholar and choreographer Nritya Choodamani Prof. C. V. Chandrasekhar. He was a recipient of the differentiated 'All India Sangeet Natak Academy award' for his fantabulous endeavor to the field of Indian classical dance. At the M. S. University, Satyavani has also studied the Ballet and Modern Dance in accompaniment with an introduction to various dances of the world.
Satyavani has actively participated in various workshops, which involves exchanging of views of the internationally reputed choreographers. Some of these workshops were also participated by Jonathan Hollander of Battery Dance Company, New York and Dr. Brennon of University of Wisconsin, Madison. The M. S. University has conferred the prestigious Anjali Merh Memorial Gold Medal to Satyavani for her excellent performance in the Bachelor of Performing Arts (B.P.A). She was also being offered a merit scholarship in post-graduation. With a uniformly stupendous performance, in her Master of Performing Arts (M.P.A.), she had also stood first in the University.
During her Masters, Satyavani did research on 'Lesser Known Dance forms of Andhra'. Her research paper won many decisive acclamations from many established artistes who are interested in research in performing arts. In her thesis, she explored the dance forms of Andhra Pradesh (a southern state of India) other than Kuchipudi, like Andhra Natyam, Perini Siva Thandavam, Prajanartanalu, Devaganikas, etc. For learning the refinements in Andhra Natyam and Perini Siva Thandavam, she has worked with Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna.
Satyavani's second love is Clinical Psychology. She has also received a degree with the distinction in Clinical Psychology. She achieved another honor of standing second in the university for the faculty of Psychology. Satyavani is at this time working at Forest Psychiatric Hospital in Des Plaines IL (USA) as a Dance Movement Therapist. She has also fulfilled her much precious dream by doing her Master's under the able guidance of the founding member of American Dance Therapy Association, Jane Ganet-Siegal, in Dance/Movement Therapy at Columbia College Chicago. Today she is regarded as the first ever Indian Classical Dancer, who has achieved the unique eminence of being a Dance Movement Therapist and being a profoundly knowledgeable Indian Classical Dancer.
From early childhood, Satyavani has been performing for various occasions. Both in Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, she has given several mesmerizing demonstrations before national and international audience throughout New Delhi, Baroda, Bombay, Hyderabad, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Bonaventure, NY, etc. She has executed in different ballets that are choreographed by her Guru Mrs. Rema Shrikant. Satyavani mainly performed in the lead role of the dance dramas - Sri Krishna Leela, Venkateshwara Kalyanam, Tulasi Das' Ram Charit Manas, Jayadeva's Gita Govindam, Rasa Ranjani (a depiction of the nine rasas), Nitya Sumangali (the evolution of Bharatanatyam from the temple tradition to today's stage). In many ballets choreographed by Prof.C.V.Chandrasekhar, Satyavani also performed. These ballets included Aparajita, Arohanam (Darwin's theory of evolution), Vasant Vilas (a depiction of the spring), Pancha Mahabhuta (about the five elements of life).
Satyavani has also performed in a number of national and international dance festivals. Some of this includes the International Women's Conference and Indian Science Congress. Both of this festival took place in Baroda. Others are: Music and Dance Festival at Kalakshetra, Music Academy and Krishna Gana Sabha - all the three in Madras, International Dance Festival and Conference on Pancha Mahabhuta at the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts - both in New Delhi, Festival of Dance organized by the ITC group in Bangalore and Hyderabad. She has performed in various other dance festivals held at Coimbatore, Ankleshwar, Ahmedabad, etc. For her delicately beautiful performances at the Rotary Inter-city Meet, she was also awarded a first prize in classical dance as well as at the Rotary District Conference.
At the Annual International Festival of Culture at Skokie, Illinois in 1995 and 1996, Satyavani delineated Indian classical dance form amidst her remarkable performance. Her performances won special recognition at the festival. She also took part in various cultural events. Acknowledging her surpassing commitment to the cause and culture of the Asian-Indian community of Northeast Ohio, the FICA, honored Satyavani. Her bewitching performance won several accolades on the occasion of Navagraha Pratishtapana at Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago. Satyavani has also fetched the rare honor of giving a lecture-cum-demonstration on special invitation from the St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY on 'Dance, Religion, Psychology and Stress'.
Today Satyavani is completely devoted in circularizing the high ideals set up by her mentors for the domain of dance. She has come out as a fantabulous teacher with her own originative ability to the art form. Her long-time Guru and mentor Mrs. Rema Shrikant has established the Ellora Center for Performing Arts (ECPA). Satyavani contributed her fullest in nourishing the young talent under the banner of Ellora Center for Performing Arts. The objectives of ECPA are to promote the cause of all dance forms, such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and others; and to provide infrastructure and training facilities, necessary for performers to improve in their art.