Sankhya is a Public trust founded to accomplish multi-dimensional activities that aim to rekindle interests, promote excellence and revitalise techniques in classical dance for the modern world. Thus, its undertakings include promotional initiatives, workshops, performances, dance training, dance festivals and a professional dance company.
Founded in 2009 by Vaibhav Arekar, Sankhya came as a natural extension of his artistic vision. Today, with the added dynamism and vision of its co-director Sushant Jadhav, Sankhya is a formidable institution based in Mumbai.
Sankhya Dance Company is one of the leading dance company from western India. Its forte is Bharatanatyam through which it investigates, involves and interrogates concepts as well as dance techniques for performances, with the quest to find the 'contemporary' with the classical folds. One of the foremost dance company's in India 'dance' is a way of life for Sankhya dancers.
Its dynamic and inspiring repertoire, both in the theme and performance, has an impressive collection of dance works - ranging from the traditional endeavours, contemporary classical creations to spectacular dance dramas.
Has give recitals as soloist at various prestigious Dance Festivals and organizations of national repute. Some of them are:-
Vaibhav has performed with the Nalanda troupe all across India as a leading soloist. He has also has essayed lead roles in Dance-drama’s choreographed by Dr. Kanak Rele viz. Dashavatar, Santavani, Shilapadikaram, Swapna Vasavadatta(Play), Kalyani, Kanchan Mriga & others.
Sushant, over the last seven years, is deeply associated with Sankhya Dance Company and functioning as its Co-director. He is deeply involved in all its creative endeavours as well as its administrative functioning. He is the Director of Sankhya’s annual dance Festival called SINDHU-celebrating dance.
Sushant received initial guidance in Kathak from Gurumaa late Sushri Madhurita Sarang. He has been fortunate to receive training in the Uday Shankar style of dance under the legendary dancer-choreographer Sachin Shankar under the Ballet Unit, Mumbai.
He has Kathak training under renowned dancer-choreographer-academician Guru Smt. Rajashree Shirke. And later under renowned Kathak choreographer Guru Smt. Kumudini Lakhia at her dance institute ‘Kadamb’ in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Sushant has personally assisted one of the lead choreographers from the Marathi Film Industry Shri Narendra Pandit. He has undergone training for two years at Shaimak Davar Institute of Performing Arts, been as assistant to noted choreographer Smt. Indumati Lele, and has been trained in acting under highly reputed director –actress- producer Nadira Babbar.
Sushant has been choreographing for past 15 years a wide range of folk and creative dances for various Festivals and occasions. Sushant’s choreography has traversed between diverse regions and its forms, not losing its originality, with an artistic ease
and creativity. His venture “Namo Gurjari Namostute”- has been applauded for bringing alive the entire art and culture of Gujarat on a stage in India and USA (2012).
For past 6 years several dance sequences in Folk and classical have been choreographed and designed by Sushant for Sankhya’s Poland tour.
“Usha- Aniruddha” his latest successful venture is a stunning dance spectacle that has artistes from across the globe. It has successfully performed over 25 shows in India and Poland.
Poorva, our company manager is a talented artist in making. With her prism like mind she brings about smooth running of Sankhya’s projects. This is alongside her unique technique and maturity in dance which has kept her touring with the company everywhere.
"“"I am forever indebted to my teachers, for I believe that dance brings the happiness in one. Through ups and downs of life, it can miraculously take you flying high and untouched. As part of my dissertation for master’s degree I presented a research paper searching to answer, "What is 'classical' about classical styles with regards to learning, teaching & performing."" Since then I can certainly say there is an unknown symphony in dance which has many chords to it. And to strike the right chord shows the success of an artist. To encompass its vastness with subtlety is the challenge that I love."
Shruti’s journey with Sankhya started in 2013 and it has been quite a fascinating ride. Her experience at Sankhya has been nothing but an insightful and learning adventure for her. Shruti has grown to become a strong dancer and seamlessly merged into the company with that positive smile and energy that brings joy to her fellow dancers and audience. Her honest approach to Abhinaya has won many hearts and she continues to evolve in creating her own voice and language. Shruti moved to the States in 2014 and has since been managing Sankhya’s US affairs. She travels to India and Europe where she continues to train with Vaibhav Arekar. Currently, she is also freelancing for Nava Dance Theatre in San Francisco (SF). For Nava, she also assumes the role of the Company Manager and Rehearsal Director for their productions. She is a co-collaborator of ‘When Eyes Speak’ in SF which is the first ever Indian choreography festival to be organized in the US. Her recent initiative Kshetram is a platform where she teaches young kids the art of Bharatanatyam.
“I am a dreamer and a romantic and I love listening to stories, I simply live all of these in dance, which makes my life exciting and blissful and ongoing discovery of self”
Deepika’s entry to Sankhya was in 2013 after her graduation in Performing Arts and Information Technology. Her involvement in Sankhya’s productions, in both dance and management has been diligent and clean. Her dance brings unsubstantial energy where she actively interacts with the dancers at every moment. Her technique coupled with subtle abhinaya has kept her in the hearts of the audience. Presently, living in Munich, Germany, Deepika works as a soloist and continues to train under Vaibhav Sir. She also manages the company operations in Europe. Deepika has recently also started teaching the art form in her own dance school in Munich.
“A path taken to imbibe the richness of tradition has also become a path of self-discovery. Being a dancer makes you think, imagine, create, move and enchant all at the same time. It is no secret that art mirrors who you are. And each time I dance, I see a different part of me uncovered. I love this newness in dance. Bridging tradition with present times is a fun challenge, and we dancers time travel always! In a world hooked on to augmented realities, I believe classical dance augments a reality on stage for the audience each time”
The oldest member of Sankhya Family, the highly talented Eesha has been dedicated to us since 2009. She has studied Masters in Performing arts from Pune and bears a natural talent in Photography. Her strong technique and method acting has led her to perform in all the prestigious venues in and around India. She represents Sankhya and Vaibhav Arekar’s technique and style of movement through every inch of her.
“Dance for me is the inner urge to LIVE. If I don’t dance for a week, I feel very restless. What interests me the most in dance is the journey from every movement that has its own expression to every expression that has its own movement. For time when words fail me, I dance my heart out.”
Aditi is is not only the core member of Sankhya, but also began her dance lessons at the school. Sankhya’s one of the earliest members, Aditi is also a graduate in Commerce in addition to Dance. She took up the task of accounts management under Poorva and does an articulate job. Her dance speaks the innocence in her.
“Seeing around, the best thing I love about my work, is that I love doing my work. Bharatanatyam in its abundance has been a very deep ocean to swim in. The tradition that it holds is dear to me and I want to simply spread this art form to all corners of the world through performance and teaching. Every day I learn how we dancers endure yet enjoy. I am always asked how I will survive in this ever-changing society, and I have a simple answer to them. Only when I keep Bharatanatyam alive, will Indian tradition remain alive. I am just doing my part.”
A Pune based dancer, Radhika with her melodic voice, merges music and dance to the best of her knowledge. She is professionally trained in Carnatic Music from Pune and after moving to Mumbai, she participates in music recordings of Sankhya. A relatively newer addition to the company, Radhika has spent her days and nights evolving in dance. Her captivating personality on and off stage keeps her rightly the centre of attraction for all eyes!
“Dance is a way of expression of life away from the monotonous life that we are programmed to see. It is our Virtual world if I may say. Being a millennial and learning a very ancient art form, I constantly seek to stretch the boundaries of this tradition and reach out to Gen X. Always borrowing from our classical textbooks is critical at the same time. I believe it is my responsibility to be able to communicate to the world in a universal language but using the vocabulary of Bharatanatyam.”
One of the first dancers to have joined Sankhya Dance Company
Sayali has lived on the journey with Vaibhav Sir, Sushant Dada very closely. A loving teacher to the young students of Sankhya School of Dance, a spontaneous performer, Sayali brings frolic into the ever so intricate pieces of choreography. During her studies of Arts from Pune, she has effortlessly mastered the art with maturity. One of the main hands in the success of Sankhya, Sayali can be without a doubt called one of the vertebras of this dance company!
“Dance to me is my first love, the only passion and lots and lots of fun. It has been with me since childhood like a best friend. It is an expression of joy and sometimes the only remedy to life filled with questions. Art makes you complete; it makes you a better human. And I love the give and take of energies that happens live when you are on stage.
A master in Performing Arts, Pracheta has been with Sankhya ever since its foundation. Her allegiant contribution to the table as a research assistant is highly valued. Being a core member of the dance troupe, Pracheta brings her experience of performance and is a warm guidance to the dancers.
“I see Bharatanatyam in the current stages of performance too. With time and tide changing, I also feel Bharatanatyam evolves. With more current ideas that touch every heart in the world, movements minimalistic in nature are what are the call of today. Traditions should always be relevant for their existence. And to find its relevance today, we should be open to modify them. If I ,as a dancer, am able to merge the richness of thought and experience of tradition through the centuries with freshness of practices of today, something unique will be added to the universe. This process is what I learn and participate in Sankhya. There is always a lot of learning happening between the team and that’s what keeps the humility at check.”
Also a graduate in Performing Arts, Ruta has been with the company since 2010. A dedicated dancer with sharp skills in rhythm and music, she has mastered some of Sankhya’s pieces with ease. She is the head of our Samvad Projects.
“Dance is 'conversation through movement'. I find it very important that this perception of dance is projected right from the beginning of dance training. Interacting with young children is amusing to me. Knowing their thoughts and trying to bridge the gap between traditional and modern views is challenging fun, you need a lot of patience and creativity in it! Teaching the kids what I have learnt gives me satisfaction. And it is reassuring that with activities like these we will broaden views about Indian Classical dance in the future.”
A genius in Rhythm and Memory, Swarada has the capacity to grasp intricate choreographies with ease. She has been awarded the scholarship for young artistes from Chennai which sprouted her creativity early on. A keen dancer pursuing her PhD along with performing with Sankhya, Swarada brings immense energy and vibrancy to her dance with subtlety.
“It is my way of conversation of the movements, with the divine, with the audience and in turn with me. An expression, an energy, a passion which is given a form. If I am asked why I dance, I would say because it reflects life, mine, yours or anyone. Dance will never leave us dry, a life partner in the true sense. I dance, to express myself, to re-experience life as I know it.”
An agile dancer, Gautam brings a child-like enthusiasm to Sankhya. His innocent gaze has led him to take high strides in different genres on dance. A well- trained contemporary dancer from the Ashley Lobo’s training regime, Gautam easily merges western and classical style of movement. Currently pursuing his post-graduation in Performing Arts from Pune, he smoothly imports all facets of art into one body.
“To dwell in dance is to merge with the Ultimate energy. As many times as you read this in books, the moments when you experience it is what you cherish forever. It impacts you, it changes you, it defines you. That is dance for me. And dancing at Sankhya has put on a spiritual path also. Infact, I see Bharatanatyam as a treatment centre, where one can heal oneself. Only requirement is the willingness to dive in deep and then let go.”
A beautiful dancer with sharp spikes of energy, Mrinal came into the Sankhya family in 2016. After completing her post graduation in Arts, she enjoys the process of aestheticism search in what she works. Her buoyant personality takes her effortlessly through different challenges posed in everyday studio experiments.
“Dancing with your feet is one thing and dancing with your heart is another. Dance means everything to me, and Everything means dance to me. Being a part of Sankhya means to belong to a whole with one’s individuality. We eat, drink, and think together! I have evolved as a person and developed new values. This has become my way of life and has never been better.”
A fresh face to the Sankhya Team, Shruti is a graduate in Computer Science. Turned from the IT world to the world of arts, Shruti is now pursuing her post-graduation in Arts. Her spick-and-span attitude towards tasks brings in a lot of dopamine to the company members. Shruti is an example of diligence no matter what. Her dance has brought newness to the group as she reciprocates every movement with a movement.
“At first, I didn't understand much of this language. But as it grows on you, you realise the infinite capacity it has, to evoke within something so real, it’s almost contradictory to the world around us. What I bring in is a morsel to what has been created; to feel the deepest layers of our emotions everyday is very exhilarating! Blessed as we are to have classical arts that can transform themselves into something more contemporary and relevant.”