Program Directors

Indian performing arts are based on the Guru-Shishya Parampara (Teacher-student tradition).  The teacher is not merely a giver of knowledge; he/she is the child’s window into the world, a Friend, Guide and Philosopher. In Indian culture, a Guru is given equal, if not more love and respect than a parent. All our Program Directors at Kulture Kool are highly accomplished exponents of their respective arts.

Here is more about our program directors:

Kathak - Parul Shah

Parul Shah is an internationally acclaimed Kathak dancer and choreographer whose work is expanding the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries. With a dedication to excellence, Parul preserves the form’s aesthetic integrity while developing a unique and powerful vocabulary within the Kathak tradition itself. Behind Parul’s work is decades of rigorous Kathak training under the world-renowned guru and choreographer, Padmashree Kumudini Lakhia at the Kadamb Center for Dance and Music in Ahmedabad, India. Ms. Lakhia’s pioneering work revitalized the form for 20th century audiences, and her training has produced forward-thinking Kathak artists with original voices. As one of her top students, Parul has internalized Ms. Lakhia’s vision and focused on the importance of revealing Kathak’s beauty and possibilities. By remaining within the Kathak tradition, Parul’s repertoire challenges stereotypes about classical Indian dance and illustrates the dynamic nature of the form. Her work includes traditional solo pieces alongside compelling contemporary group choreographies.

With an M.A. in dance education from Columbia University specializing in Indian classical movement, Parul has been teaching Kathak in the pure form for over 10 years in an effort to promote Kathak appreciation in the metro area. She has presented her solo and group works at major venues around the world, including City Center’s first Fall for Dance Festival in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, Asia Society in New York, Jacobs Pillow in M.A and at the Japan Forum Foundation in Japan. She has collaborated on numerous international projects and presented in Asia, Europe, and North America. Parul Shah is a groundbreaking Kathak dancer and choreographer with over 20 years of training in the form.

For more information about Parul Shah please visit www.kathakdance.com

 

Bharatanatyam - Sudha Damodaran

Sudha Dhamodharan is a passionate dancer and experienced teacher.  Sudha began her early training under the guidance of Guru Pushkala Gopal while at New Delhi.  She later learned from Smt. Padmini Ravi (Pradhan Dance Centre, Bangalore) and her renowned Guru Kalaimamini K.J. Sarasa and completed her arangetram at the young age of 11.  She has performed at several occassions .  Some of which include ICCR  (Indian Council of Cultural Relations), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kinkini, Chaowdiah Memorial Hall, various temple fund raisers, the Hindu Temple, Albany, NY, SPIC MACAY, RPI, NY.  A trained teacher from NCERT, she is works very well with children. She has been teaching dance for the past several years at California, before relocating to NJ.  As a teacher, she is deeply committed to the exceptional artistic development of her students as well as imparting the cultural and religious values through dance.

Piano - Ofer Bashan

Related image

 Ofer Bashan completed his B.Mus. in classical Piano Performance at the Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem. He also received the prestigious Billy Joel Merit Scholarship for his Master's in Composition at  NYU. In Israel, he released three solo albums (original music), many of which top the charts.  He has  also  written music for several  films, dance videos, festivals and events.. His music is performed all over the world  including China, London and USA.

This year, students trained by him stood 2nd and third in the state for the prestigious Trinity School of Music exams.  He also teaches Piano at NYU

Hindustani Classical Music - Rajesh Paranjape

Rajesh Paranjape commenced his music lessons at the young age of ten from his father Shri. Vinayak Paranjape. Having completed his Electrical Engineering, he decided against joining a  promising carrier in engineering and decided to dedicated himself entirely to music. Thereafter he took intensive training from Dr. Ram Deshpande, a leading Hindustani vocalist. Dr. Ram Deshpande guided Rajesh in the various fine aspects of music, combining the Gwalier, Jaipur and Agra Gharana in his Gayaki.

Rajesh has passed his Sangeet Visharad (Bachelor Degree) from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya with first class. He has accompanied his guru in performances  throughout India. He has also been trained by Pt. YashwantBuva Joshi, Maestro of Gwalior Gharana.  Rajesh was invited as a scholar by an Educational Institute to demonstrate and share his perspective about ‘Awareness of young generation towards Indian Classical Music.’ He has been associated with Sharda Sangeet Vidyalaya, SNDT College, Mumbai as a Music Teacher for many years. He is a thorough, patient, and creative teacher; under his tutelage, students have grown to understand and  love classical music like they would love video games!

Carnatic Vocals Music - Vasudha Narayan

Image result for vasudha narayan carnatic

Vasudha has been teaching Carnatic style vocals & veena since 25 years for all levels of students and has given pancha veena performances in New Jersey & New York. She is very skilled at teaching young children

Guitar - Eran Philips

Eran Philips is an accomplished guitar player, songwriter and producer. He started playing guitar at the age of 14, dedicating his first couple of years to classical guitar and finger style playing. Eran later spent years studying rock music, rhythm and lead to become a proficient and compelling guitar player. In 2003 Eran joined forces with three NYC veterans to form "critical fuse" a modern rock band fronted by Terence Dover, a well known song writer and producer who has worked with celine dion, venesa carlton and averil levigne. Critical Fuse's debut album is available at cdbaby.com. Working with Terence gave Eran an important insight to old school recording techniques, songwriting and vocal production and arrangements, all of which are crucial to the making of a successful producer. At the same time Eran started working as a producer and moving towards different genres of music to include Dance, Pop, Funk, R&B and Hip-Hop. He spent over three years working on beat oriented music and is well versed in loop-based music. Recently Eran finished producing a 5 song EP for NYC singer/songwriter Gjorgi.

Eran has  been teaching guitar for the past several years to students of all ages.Studied with such professionals as: Sonny Igoe, Tommy Igoe, Billy Ward, Rod Morgenstein, Tony Bienert and Dan Haskins.

For more information about Eran Phillips please visit www.eranphilips.com

Sitar - Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury

Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury is a disciple of the sitar maestro Pandit Subroto Roy-Chowdhury.  Groomed in the Veen-kar style of the Senia Gharana, which maintains the Dhrupadi origins of Indian Classical music, Indrajit strives to innovate while keeping a firm connection with the past.  While completing his undergraduate studies at Duke University, Indrajit received the Bennenson Award for the Arts to further his study of Indian Classical music.  Since then he has taken the profession of a full-time sitarist and has performed on stages across the world including such prestigious venues as Gyan Mancha (Kolkata), Hammerstein Ballroom (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.) and has had his 
concerts telecast by Doordarshan (Indian National Television).  During the 2010 Fall semester Indrajit was a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and taught the University's sitar course.

For more information about Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury please visit www.indrositar.com

Tabla - Girish Nalawade

 Image result for girish nalawade tabla

Shri Girish Nalawade ( senior disciple of PT Arvind Mulgaonkar) is a seasoned Tabla artist in the music world back in India. He has accompanied veteran vocalist  like  Prabha Atre, Parveen Sultana, Shobha Gurtu, Ustad Maqbool Hussein Khan, Pt CR Vyas to name a few, and has also accompanied several instrumentalist like Ustad Halim Jafer Khan, Pt Nayan Ghosh, Pt Ram Narayan &  many more.

He has been an A-grade artists on All India Radio and holds a Masters degree in Music. His teaching style is thorough and patient with a keen focus on strengthening fundamentals.

 

Drums - Chris Feil

Chris has been playing drums for over 25 years. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music and has studied with such professionals as: Sonny Igoe, Tommy Igoe, Billy Ward, Rod Morgenstein, Tony Bienert and Dan Haskins. Has recorded drum set on numerous sessions and currently records and plays with the band Copper Dalton. He is a fantastic teacher adored by his students!

Guru Kool and Yoga for Kids - Archana Athalye

Archana has a masters in Communication and more than 20 years of experience in events, tour management and A&R. She is one of the founder members of Kulture Kool and very passionate about promoting education of Indian arts in a child friendly format. She has designed Guru Kool as an exclusive program aimed at helping young children internalize the beauty of South Asian languages and cultures through hands-on, play-based activities in a group setting.

Drama & Elocution - Maleesa Lamatina

Mrs Lamatina has a bachelors degree from Montclair State university in human ecology- family and child studies, and is certified in early childhood education and elementary education.

She also holds a minor in Musical Theater. She is about to complete her 10th year of teaching for the Secaucus school district and is without doubt one of the favorites!. She has taught classes at dance power studio in Secaucus for 13 years in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater.

She also is the advisor to the Clarendon Drama Club (since its inception 9 years ago) as well as the Clarendon Dance Club (since its inception 6 years ago).

She continues to try and perform in musicals with community theater groups throughout New Jersey.