Dr. Sunanda Nair is the first student in India to earn a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Mohini Attam in India, which she did from Nalanda Nrityakala Mahavidyalaya affiliated to the University of Mumbai, in the year 1988 and 1990. Sunanda is one of the leading Mohini Attam exponents in the country today with a valuable contribution of 32 years of performing and teaching this art form. She is a name to reckon with in the field of Indian classical dance, a highly acclaimed performer, choreographer and teacher in the international classical dance arena. Sunanda is the senior most disciple of the noted Mohini Attam exponent Padmabhushan Dr. (Smt.) Kanak Rele to whom she completely devoted her study of the art form, and for Kathakali from Kalamandalam Krishnankutty Warier and Kalamandalam Gopalakrishnan, for Bharata Natyam under Guru Shri Deepak Mazumdar, Kalaimamani Mahalingam Pillai and Kalaimamani Kadiverlu Pillai, Smt Tejiswini Raj from Kattumanar Muthukumaraswamy bani.
She in September 2016 submitted her research thesis, “An Intrinsic Lyrical Feminism in Mohini Attam” to Mumbai University under the expert guidance of Padmabhushan Dr. Kanak Rele for which she was awarded a PH.D. Sunanda is also the recipient of the prestigious “Kerala Sangeetha Natak Akademi Puraskar” in 2010 and also received the prestigious “Kalarathnam” from The Kerala Kalamandalam 2016.
Sunanda has been a part of many very reputed national and international dance festivals, and has won high acclaim from critics and connoisseurs of dance for her impressive dancing skills.
She has initiated a yearly festival “Narthaki’ in Houston Texas to encourage artistes from across USA to participate and share their art with local dance students and connoisseurs of Indian classical dance. Her institutions Sunanda’s performing arts also has star disciples that travel to India and are featured in reputed classical dance festivals. SPARC also conducts yearly workshops with reputed Indian artistes travelling to Houston and are always featured in professional dance productions. SPARC students are highly recommended, appreciated and applauded for their pristine and amazing performances and have won awards, prizes and accolades for the same all throughout USA and also won international awards as well.
Another festival that Dr.Sunanda hosts is “Kanak Nrityotsav” in Mumbai to celebrate the contribution of her Guru and mentor Padmabhushan (3rd highest civilian award given in India to an artiste) Dr. Kanak Rele in the field of Mohini Attam, where upcoming and reputed artistes are invited to perform at this event in Mumbai.
Dr Sunanda’s contribution to Indian classical dance also extends internationally where there is an obvious inclusion of the art form at prestigious festivals in the countries abroad has been a remarkable contribution by her. It is not only her performances but there is a remarkable desire to learn the art form which is vividly noticeable by the innumerable workshops she is conducts nationally and across the globe. Sunanda’s contribution has been responsible for taking it across the globe, and building an interest and quest in students, dancers and teachers to know and learn more about the art form.
Educational qualification• S.S.C – St Thomas Academy, Goregaon, Mumbai 1979
• H.S.C – Vivek Vidyalaya Education Trust, Mumbai 1981
• Bachelor of Commerce, Mumbai 1984 University of Bombay
• Student of J.C Law, Vile Parle 1985
• Bachelor of Fine Arts, Mohini Attam, Mumbai 1989 Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay, University of Bombay,
• Master of Fine Arts, Mohini Attam, Mumbai 1991 Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay, University of Bombay,
• NET exams cleared, University Grants Commission 1994.
• Ph. D in Dance (Mohini Attam): Research thesis in Mohini Attam titled “The Intrinsic Lyrical Feminism in Mohini Attam” University of Mumbai September.2016, under the guidance of Padmabhushan Dr. Kanak Rele.
• Web site: www.sunandanair.com
TEACHING EXPERIENCE• Lecturer from 1991 to 1999 for Mohiniattam, Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, affiliated to University of Bombay.
• Established Śrutilaya Institute for Fine Arts, Mumbai in 1982 for Mohini Attam, 35 years of teaching experience.
• Established Sunanda’s Performing Arts Center in 2002, For Mohini Attam in New Orleans, Austin and Houston, Texas.
• Workshops in India and USA.