Deepti Navaratna, Poornima Risbud and “A Capella Group” to Perform at Woman of the Year Awards Gala


BURLINGTON, MA– Deepti Navaratna, founder and director of Carnatic Alchemy Project, Poornima Risbud of Rasrang and “A Capella Group” will perform at the 13th Annual Woman of the Year Awards Gala today at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.

Risbud and her daughter Shachi will perform Jyoti Banee Jwala (Flame unto Fire): In this world a woman is special. She is intelligent, conscious, reflective, forgiving, and modest. She has the ability to satisfy hunger and thirst. She is beautiful and courageous. Through her efforts, she brings prosperity and compassion to society, just like how mother earth brings bounty and stability to the world. She tries to be as flexible as she can just like the fluidity of water. Of course, she deserves to be as free as the air. She fuels the flame for happiness. But when she faces any kind of injustice or indignity, this flame has the power to turn into a roaring fire that can transform the evil into ashes.

Navaratna, who is involved with New England Conservatory of Music, will sing Om Namah Shivaya. Navaratna is a neuroscientist and musician based in Cambridge, MA. An accomplished South Indian Classical musician, her music has been presented at premiere performing spaces in the United States such as Asia Society (New York City), Symphony Space (New York City), Jordan Hall (Boston), Harvard Arts Museum (Cambridge), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Yale School of music (New Haven, CT), among others.

From South Indian classical music to avant garde to world music, her music embodies a rare mix of versatility, classical wisdom and virtuosity that is distinctly her own. As an improviser-soloist in several inter-cultural productions, she has collaborated with Richard Pittman (Conductor, New England Philharmonic & Boston Musica Viva), Zorana Sadiq (Soprano), Robert Schulz (Boston Metropolitan Orchestra), Jan Muller Scheraws (Boston Musica Viva), Mehmet Sanlikol (Jazz pianist, Turkish composer), amongst others. She is the director of •The Carnatic Alchemy Project’, a non-profit organization dedicated to taking South Indian Classical music to diverse audiences and is currently funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

“A Papella Group” from Weston Middle School in Weston, MA, will sing a Mash-up of Halo and Girl’s Run the World by Beyonce and Fight Song by Rachel Platten. Members of the group are: Laurel Davidoff, Emma Elliston, Katie Tilton, Margeaux McCaughey
And Radhika Mishra.

‘Rasarang School of Performing Arts’ was founded in 1997 with a passionate vision to bring traditional dances of India to the audience in the US. Although rooted in the tradition of Bharathanatyam, Rasarang constantly explores new and creative ways to enhance true essence of Indian dance by fusing ethnic and modern genres of dance and music.

A versatile artist, Poornima was trained in Bhratanatyam by ‘Natyakala Prapurne’ Guru Nirmala Manjunath and in Kathak by Guru Dr. Maya Rao. Poornima has earned Vidwat in Bharatanayam. A graded artist for BengaLuru Doordarshan, she has choreographed and performed several solo dance recitals both in India and in the US.

Her most recent production ‘Abhignana Shakuntalam’ mesmerized audiences and won critical acclaim in the New England area. Poornima conceptualized and choreographed this 90-minute dance drama of more than 50 participating artists in 2012 based on the original Sanskrit epic by Mahakavi Kalidas. Music for this drama was provided by renowned musician Praveen D. Rao from BengaLuru (India).

While sharing her knowledge of dance with her students, Poornima always turns the activity of learning dance into an enjoyable experience. Some of her students have passed Samved’s Elementary Level Examination in Bharatanatyam with flying colors.

Shachi Risbud has learned Bharatanatyam and folk styles from her mother Poornima Risbud since the age of three. She has also trained in western dance styles such as Ballet, Lyric, Jazz, and Tap for over five years. Shachi has successfully choreographed unique fusion items in different forms of dance and music of the world. She assists in choreographing many of Rasarang’s productions (including today’s performance), and currently leads one of Boston University’s competitive fusion dance teams called •Jalwa.’


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