Sadhana Dance Theater

Founded by Madhavi Mai in 2001 and based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this theatrical dance ensemble is dedicated to performing both traditional Kalakshetra Bharatanatyam repertoire and contemporary works. In her choreography, Madhavi seamlessly fuses her American and Indian sensibilities and incorporates diverse cultural references, using the emotive expression and rhythmic movements of Bharatanatyam to tell stories of contemporary relevance. The result is soulful, musical dance drama.

Since its inception, Sadhana Dance Theater has performed a wide variety of works. A full-length program that premiered in 2007, Everyday Heroines, and a piece that premiered in 2004, South Asian Womenspeak, are both celebrations of womens' voices. From 2001 until 2005, Sadhana Dance Theater had the honor of working with Anandhi Ramachandran, a senior dance teacher at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts. Anandhi's story is featured in Everyday Heroines.

"Everyday Heroines"

In 2014, Sadhana Dance Theater presented the arangetrum recital of Maya Gianchandani, a longtime student of Madhavi's. The arangetrum recital is the traditional debut of a Bharatanatyam dance student, signaling the end of a significant period of training. Dancing a full-length solo recital is a serious undertaking that requires physical stamina and the command of many pieces, and Madhavi was thrilled to guide Maya through the process of preparing for and dancing the arangetrum. 

Sadhana Dance Theater is dedicated to the principles and practices of Rukmini Devi (1904-1986), the founder of Kalakshetra
and a prolific
. Her visions of dance as an elevating practice and of art as a unifying force in society have inspired the lives of countless
individuals. In honor of Rukmini Devi's fifty years of dedication to dance and the human spirit, Sadhana Dance Theater presented
Conversations with Tradition: An Evening of Classical and Contemporary Indian Dance to mark her centennial. Like Rukmini Devi, Madhavi
believes that the human spirit can be transformed through beauty, rhythm, sound, and emotive expression, and that this kind of transformation
can help to create a better world.

(For photographs and detailed information about the pieces mentioned above, please click on their titles.)

Maya Gianchandani's arangetrum
"Everyday Heroines"