Teacher Biographies

Odissi – Smt. Supradipta Dutta

Supradipta has been a part of Kala Bhavan since its inception in 2007.

She is one of the senior most disciples of the renowned Odissi dancer Guru Smt. Aloka Kanungo. Her skills in Odissi have been further enhanced by the guidance of legendary maestros like Padmabibhushan Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty, Guru Manoranjan Pradhan, Guru Smt. Sujata Mohapatra and Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra. She has the rare distinction of achieving the Sangeet Kriya Visharad in both the dance forms of Odissi and Bharatnatyam.

As a dancer Supradipta has performed in various prestigious festivals in India including the Khajuraho Festival, the Konarak Festival, the Puri Beach Festival. Her first introduction to the western world as a young dancer came through her Odissi performance which was featured by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in their documentary on Indian culture and Hinduism.

Supradipta moved to U.S.A. in 1997. Along with obtaining her Maters’ degree in Finance, she has continued to perform all around the U.S.A. in prestigious events like the 1st Odissi World Conference (at Washington D.C.), the North American Bengali Conference (NABC), and the North American Odissi Conference. She continues to perform, choreograph and collaborate with other renowned artists for various cultural shows, the latest ones being Chitram with Kanniks Kannikeswaran and Ananta with Sreyashi Dey and Arnab Bandyapadhyay.

In 2003, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra inaugurated her institution Kalaangan, a center of the performing arts, dedicated solely to Odissi. Since 2010, Kalaangan has been organizing a yearly dance festival called Alok Utsav (named after Supradipta’s Guru Smt. Aloka Kanungo) for young Odissi students. A second festival, Nrityanubhav is organized by Kalaangan to give platform to young Odissi dance professionals post their Ranga Praveshes.

By exposing this rich and elegant art of Odissi to its students while preserving its purity and traditional roots, Supradipta strives to instill a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment for every student. Performance recitals by her students are specially recognized for their grace, elegance and masterful technique.

Bharatnatyam – Smt. Arpita Mukhopadhyay

 Arpita Mukhopadhyay is the founder of the Payal School of Dance, started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of five with Devjani Chatterjee and completed her graduation degree in Bharatanatyam from Prayag Sangeet Samitte, Allahabad, India, when she was twelve years old. She also holds a diploma in Bharatanatyam and Rabindra Nritya from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh.

Her quest for learning different aspects of Bharatnatyam continued and she took rigorous training from Pinaki Chowdhury and Kalamandalam Venkit . Arpita learned Creative Dance from the Ananda Shankar Dance Academy. She also took lessons in different regional folk dances from various workshops conducted in different states of India. She was also a member of a dance group in Calcutta and performed all over India and participated in television programs. Arpita had a natural flair for choreography from an early age. A dance choreographed by her at the age of 18 was televised by the Doordarshan of Kolkatta.

Arpita has more than twenty years of experience as a dance teacher. She started teaching dance at different cultural organizations from 1988 and also worked as a dance teacher at the Ryan International school in New Delhi and also ran a dance school at Calcutta , Delhi and now in Katy.

Kathak – Smt. Dolly Goyal

 Dolly Goyal received 7 years of Kathak Training under my Guru late.Dr Madhuker Anand, who was the disciple of Legendry Pt. Birju Maharaj, Maestro in Kathak (Lucknow Gharana) creator of Kathak in the modern era & worship of all Kathak dancers.

My Guru Dr Madhuker Anand has done his PhD in Kathak, who was a combination of Kathak in Lucknow  & Jaipur Gharana.  He starts his early education in Kathak at the age of 5years from his father and there what he started never ends till he died in 2008 at the age of 40. His last master piece was a book on Pt. Birju Maharaj ji which has published and now in the Indian Market.

I have followed the same “Guru Shishaya Parumpapra”under Guru Lt Dr Madhuker Anand.  I have got many opportunities to represent Kathak with my Guru in state and National level festivals.

I have completed my education of Kathak from school “Bhathkhande Sangeet Mahavidhayala” Dehradun a branch of Lucknow Bhathkhande Sangeet University.

Now a days attending different Kathak workshops organising by Kathak maestros to enhance and adding more interesting work in our dancing skills. Also gathering more knowledge about and working on “how to make classical classes more interesting for our young generation.

After 4 years of teaching Kathak in Singapore of all age groups from 5 to 50 years, now in Houston, trying to cultivate and spread knowledge about the culture and beauty of Indian classical dance Kathak to the next level.

As a member of a competitive dance team, I understand the importance of teamwork and leadership. I have come to realise that a team uses cooperative effort to achieve a common goal.

I believe a dancer is someone who is generally admired. They are looked upon as people who strive for perfection.
Kathak is a way to communicate with people and it should be respected and honored. I feel it is beautiful, exciting and inspiring. I can never get bored with it because there is always room to improve.

While performing on stage, everything is really intense however, I strive for excellence. To stand out on stage at the end of the performance, and to know you thrilled the audience is an incredible feeling.Personally, I have worked very hard to become the best dancer possible. In the process, I have earned the respect of my family, friends, fellow dancers and students.

I cannot imagine my life without dance, an art that I considers as my “child” and the essence of my existence, my passion. Dance has made me a better person. I enhance my strength, courage and confidence.

Art – Sri Neil Sen

 Neil Sen is a freelance artist, who has exhibited his work in different parts of the country and produced illustrations for books & magazine covers. He is currently involved in teaching numerous classes both for kids and adults and has taught over 100 students so far over a decade. He is widely known in the community for his inspirational teaching and his passion for art. He is a natural teacher and is in the process of writing a book for children which will work as a guide for kids to learn art easily. He has also been a consultant and artist for several organizations. He was recognized and awarded last year by “Samskriti Art Academy” and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for his contribution to Indian Art. He is currently offering numerous exhibitions of his work in different parts of Houston.

Please check about his classes and artwork on his website www.Redblueart.com

Hindustani Classical – Smt. Rajneeta Bandyopadhyay

Sangeet Bhusan Rajnita Bandyopadhyay is an accomplished professional singer in classical and semi-classical arena. Rajnita is a familiar name today in Kolkata’s musical area receiving innumerable acclamations from many highly noted musicians and audience. Rajnita received “Sangeet Bhusan” title in vocal music (classical, semi-classical and Nazrulgeeti), the highest order title from prestigious Prachin Chandigarh Kalakendra at the age of ten. Rajnita is extremely versatile singer with supreme commands in classical music, semi-classical music including Bhajans, Gazhals, Thumti, Dadra along with Bengali and Hindi contemporary songs.

Rajnita started her formal musical training in Durgapur under guidence of Sri Bimal Mitra. After that, she took formal classical training for more than 15 years from Pandit Prasun and Meera Bandyopadhyay (Disciples of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali – Patiala Gharan) and Ustad Munabbar Ali Khan (Son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali). She also took rigorous training under Smt Purabi Dutta and Sri Sukumar Mitra in Nazrul Geeti and Sri Jatileshwar Mukherjee in Adhunik for more than 15 years.
She is a top graded artist in All India Radio, Kolkata and Mumbai and performed regularly in Radio and Doordarshan, Kolkata. Rajnita was winner of Zee Alpha Bangla TV’s first reality show (musical contest) “Kichhu Smriti Kicchu Gaan” (earlier version of SaReGama Bangla) in 1995-96. Rajnita won several prestigious awards in Nazrul Geeti, Adhunik, Bhajans and semi-classical vocal music including All India Nehru Talent Search and West Bengal Inter College Competition.
Recently, Rajnita stormed into Bengali movie playback singing and sang a melodious number whose music director is none other than Sri Mrinal Bandyopadhyay. She has also performed in prestigious Tara Club which was shown worldwide in Tara TV.
Her melodious and extremely trained voice touched the hearts of thousands of people in Kolkata, Mumbai, New York, Dallas, Oklahoma, Tulsa, New Orleans, Houston and other places.

Her first CD album “Hridaye Rabindranath Chetonay Nazrul” in 2011 was highly applauded in Kolkata media.

Rajnita is teaching classical and semi-classical vocal music lessons for more than twenty years.

For more details, please go to Rajnita Bandyopadhyay’s web page www.rajnitab.com

Rabindra Sangeet – Smt. Kamalpriya Roy

 Kamalpriya Roy – Born and grown up in the open, natural and cultural environment of Santiniketan, Smt. Kamalpriya Roy earned her Masters degree in Sanskrit from the University of Visva-Bharati at Santiniketan. She learned Rabindra Sangeet under the tutelage of one of the most authentic and renowned teachers of Rabindra Sangeet, the late Prof. Nilima Sen. Ever since, Rabindra Sangeet and Rabindranath’s dance-dramas and literature became her passion.

Experience

  • Regularly offering Rabindra Sangeet lessons for adults at the HDBS Kala Bhavan since August 2011 with strict adherence to Swarabitan to maintain the authenticity of the songs
  • Taught Rabindra Sangeet and Rabindra dances in the Rampurhat Girls’ High School and Panchshua High School (near Santiniketan), Birbhum during 1984 – 1986
  • Directed, choreographed and performed Rabindra Sangeet and dance-dramas, e.g. Chandalika, Shyama and Chitrangada from 1980 to 1987 in different cities of India
  • Instructed the students of the old Bangla Pathshala of Houston for songs and dances during 2001-2003.

Accompishments

One of the most celebrated and authentic Rabindra Sangeet singers, and teachers in the Houston area – more than 25 years of teaching experience in Rabindra Sangeet

Rendered the overall music direction and taught Rabindra Sangeet for a group of 35 participants for the program “Bandhan Bhangar Sadhaney Rabi” for the 2012 Durga Pujo which was highly acclaimed by the audiences

Orchestrated the overall music direction and taught the songs from dance-drama Chitrangada for the participants on Tagore’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary celebrated by the Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) in 2011

Undertook the lead role for the Rabindra Sangeet segment of Saptasura at the HDBS Durga Pujo 2010

Undertook the lead role for the Tagore Musical soire for the Kali Pujo night (2010) at Durgabari where the celebrities Partha and Gouri Ghosh participated in recitation

Extensively performed songs and dances in many cities of India , UK and US, e.g. Santiniketan, Kolkata (Rabindra Sadan, Academy of Fine Arts and Belvedere Gardens), Durgapur, Asansole, New Delhi (Kamani Auditorium), Peterborough (UK), Dallas, Little Rock, Memphis, South Jersey and Houston

Directed and choreographed the “Shapmochon”, one of the finest dance-dramas of Tagore in Houston in 1996. This dance-drama had a participation of more than thirty (30) singers, dancers and musicians from within the community

While instructed for the old Bangla Pathshala of Houston for songs and dances during 2001-2003, the school received the best award for performance among the 27 groups of competitors for the Indian Independence Day Celebration in 2002.

Education

  • Master of Arts with 1st class in Sanskrit from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India in 1981.
  • Trained in Rabindra Sangeet under tutelage of the late renowned Prof. Nilima Sen in Santiniketan – placed 1st in her class of Rabindra Sangeet in 1978
  • Trained by Prof. Sankarnarayanji in Bharat Natyam and Kathakoli in Visva-Bharati during 1980 – 1982
  • Trained by Prof. Madhab Mukherjee in Monipuri dance in Visva-Bharati during 1980 – 1982
  • Placed 1st in Kathakali and Monipuri categories of dance

Personal

  • Lively, self-motivated, strong sense of responsibility, energetic, highly enthusiastic and equally sociable with children and adults
  • Effective leadership role, proactive attitude and good teamwork
  • Believe in the philosophy of the Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

Tabla – Sri Raja Banga

 Raja (Tathagata) Banga has been a very well known tabla player in the Houston music arena for last 15 years. Raja was awarded Sangeet Visharad at a very young age, and has been a disciple of none other than the tabla wizard Pandit Anindo Chatterjee . He has performed with many well-known musicians in India and US including Ustad Ashish Khan, Pandit Keshav Ginde, Dr. Paul Katz,  Amit Kumar, Abbos Kosimov  et al. Raja is part of an experimental fusion band called Essence of Prana.  His professional career is in petroleum industry (Phd in Geology).

He is the director of Prana School of Music and Arts & their Facebook page

Violin – Sri Biplab Sammadar

 Biplab is a well-known Houston-resident violinist who hails from a musical family in Kolkata, India.  He specializes in the North Indian Classical form of music (also known as Hindustani Classical music).
His musical journey started when he was initiated to violin at the tender age of ten by his father Sri Bimal Samadder, who was a disciple of the violin maestro Pandit V. G. Jog.  Later on Biplab was under the prolonged tutelage of the famous sitar virtuoso of the Senia-Maihar Gharana, Pandit Deepak Chaudhury, who was a senior disciple of maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.  After relocating to USA, Biplab has also been under the tutelage of the violin virtuoso Dr. Sisirkana Dhar Choudhury.  Biplab’s musical journey also got enriched with trainings in vocal, and percussion from various scholars at different times.
His musical style has been shaped by all of these exposures to various different forms of music.  Although his playing style is predominantly instrumental, also known as the “Tantrakari” style, he has also adopted elements of the vocal form known as the “Gayaki” style.  This amalgamation has given a unique flavor to Biplab’s musical style, which is characterized by, soulful melodic improvisations, creative compositions, interspersed with complex rhythmic patterns, and application of high speed phrases (known as “taans”) without deviating from the melodic structure.
Apart from his rigorous practical training, Biplab also has a strong theoretical foundation on Hindustani Classical music.  At a very young age he had obtained the Sangeet Bibhakar certificate in Instrumental Classical with distinction from Bangiya Sangeet Parishad affiliated to Rabindra Bharati University in West Bengal, India.
Apart from his core specialization, Biplab is also highly adept at various other forms of music from the Indian subcontinent e.g. Folk, Rabindra Sangeet, Geet, Ghazal, etc.  He is also a prolific participant in various other experimental forms of music crossing genres, involving fusion between Indian Classical and Jazz/Blues. He has given many solo performances and has collaborated with many renowned artists both in India and USA.
Although by profession Biplab is an IT Project Manager, at heart he is a musician.