WHO

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Nandini Sikand (Co-founder & Co-artistic director) was born and raised in New Delhi, Nandini Sikand is an Odissi dancer, professor and filmmaker. She is the co-founder and co-director of her dance company, Sakshi Productions, a neo-classical and contemporary dance company.  Her work has been funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Asian American Arts Alliance and Joyce Soho (subsidized rental program) in NYC, and often combines the use of film imagery, live music and elements unique to Indian theatre and performance.   Although her Odissi training began at the age of 7, she has studied with Guru Durga Charan Ranbir for the last 15 years.  Some of her performance credits include Alvin Ailey, Lincoln Center, Joyce Soho (multiple engagements), the United Nations, Danny Kaye Playhouse, (Hunter College), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Pace University, John Jay College, Manhattan Ensemble Theatre and The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is also the Associate Director/Choreographer and on the board of directors for Harmattan Theater, (www.harmattantheater.com), a performance group committed to an environmentally and socially engaged theater. Nandini Sikand is an Assistant Professor of an interdisciplinary film and media studies program at Lafayette College, PA and is the author of Languid Bodies, Grounded Stances: The Curving Pathway of Neoclassical Odissi Dance. To order her book: here

Kakoli Mukherjee (Co-founder & Co-artistic director)  has been dancing Odissi since the age of 12, Kakoli learned under Guru Ramli Ibrahim in her hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and presently studies with Guru Durga Charan Ranbir.  Kakoli has performed extensively throughout the US, UK, Malaysia and India. Kakoli works as a manager for a leading publication in New York. Prior to Sakshi Productions, Kakoli was a co-founder of the Trinayan Collective (2003-2008).

donia salem (Dancer & Associate Choreographer) donia salem’s work is driven by a desire to know how identity and experience are shaped by place, language, lineage, migration, history, and gender. She is a student of acclaimed Odissi dance teacher, Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, and works closely with Rahul Acharya. Performances include Princeton University, Bard College, Kansas University, The FlynnSpace, Alvin Ailey, and the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts – with Rajika Puri as part of WMI’s Dancing The Gods series. In addition to being a member of Sakshi Productions, salem co-directs The Outlet Dance Project – an annual festival of women choreographers and dance filmmakers; she is part of the Brown Girl in the Ring Collective, and was a founding member of Kalamandir Dance Company. donia has her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.

Nyasa Cusmai began studying dance since 3, ranging from odissi, musical theatre, tap, contemporary, modern, lyrical, ballet, jazz, hip hop, zumba, and salsa. During high school, she served as a principal dancer and secondary roles for several musical theatre productions including Little Shop of Horror, Hairspray, High School Musical, a Broadway musicals mash up, Footloose, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream. At Rutgers University, she is studying for Bachelor of the Arts in dance and has also spent time dancing with a West Indian dance troupe, an African dance troupe and two separate hip-hop teams in NJ. Nyasa has been dancing with Sakshi Productions since summer 2015.

Carrie Rohman (Dancer/Choreographer) is an Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College and a former faculty member at Contemporary Dance Theater in Cincinnati, Ohio. She considers modern dance performance, choreography and teaching her life-long avocation. Before accepting her first academic position in English, Carrie worked as an independent performer and choreographer in Cincinnati, where her work was featured at such venues as the Aronoff Center for the Arts, the Performance and Time Arts Series, and the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art. Most recently she has performed and presented work with Nandini Sikand, Kristin Lyndal Garbarino, and others at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York City and on Lafayette’s campus. As a choreographer, she has also collaborated with composer Kirk O’Riordan and various music ensembles at Lafayette, creating both traditionally choreographed works and highly improvisational performance events. Carrie has placed a special value on collaborative work with poets and musicians in her dance career.