Savitha Sastry is the founder-director of Sai Shree Arts, a dance company known to experiment with the format of traditional Bharatanatyam dance, by using the techniques of Bharatanatyam to showcase theme based productions based on novel stories, not based on Indian mythology or religion.
The innovations of Savitha Sastry have been described as 'path breaking' by the critics of modern era. She is considered to be a 'renaissance architect' of the dance form much as Rukmini Devi Arundale was in her times.
Early Life of Savitha Sastry
Savitha Sastry was born in Hyderabad, which is now the capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Savitha Sastry lived in Mumbai before her family relocated to their home town of Chennai. She started her training in Bharatanatyam under the guidance of Guru Mahalingam Pillai at the Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir in Mumbai, and later with Adyar K Lakshman and the Dhananjayans in Chennai. She did her schooling from the P.S Senior Secondary School in Chennai, and her graduation from the Stella Maris College. In 1986, Savitha Sastry featured as the lead dancer in the Tamil film Ananda Tandavam, a production of Adyar K Lakshman. She pursued her Masters degree in the United States, where she majored in Neuroscience.
Career of Savitha Sastry
Savitha Sastry had performed mostly to traditional repertoires of Bharatanatyam dance. Savitha Sastry produced and choreographed a few full length presentations such as Krishna: The Supreme Mystic and Purushartha during this phase. Savitha Sastry was credited to have a high degree of technical proficiency to her kinetics of the dance form in being able to deliver it with grace and technique demanded of Bharatanatyam performers.
Career of Savitha Sastry in 2009
Savitha Sarthy departed from performing traditional margams (the traditional order in which classical dance is performed), and started her work on theme based productions. Savitha Sastry is noted for the use of contemporary and original story lines in her performances and her portrayal of multiple characters as a solo performer in them, which is a marked departure from the traditional Bharatanatyam theme of the nayika (the heroine) pining for love or pieces based on Bhakti (devotion) alone.
Works of Savitha Sastry
The notable productions of Savitha Sastry include Music Within (2010), Soul Cages (2012), "Yudh" (2013), The Prophet (2013) and most recently, Chains: Love Stories of Shadows (2015). Savitha Sastry has also performed 'Chains: Love Stories of Shadows' at NCPA Mumbai (2015).
Productions of Savitha Sastry
All the productions of Savitha Sastry have been based on short stories by her husband AK Srikanth and the soundtrack for the productions have been composed by Rajkumar Bharathi, the great grandson of the veteran poet Subramania Bharathi. These have been performed in several countries, and the productions have met with critical and popular acclaim. Another hallmark of Savitha's presentations is a Q & A session that she and Srikanth have with the audience at the end of the performance where the audience discuss the presentation with the performer and writer.
Personal Life of Savitha Sastry
Savitha Sastry is married to AK Srikanth, who is her partner in the production company and also her classmate from her high school. The couple has jointly produced their shows, and live in Mumbai, Maharashtra.