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       Faculty
 

Mrs R Banumathy  - Senior Teacher -Veena & Vocal Music 

Mrs Banu hails from a family of rich musical tradition of India.Her father & Guru, Sangita Kalanidhi  Dr. S.Ramanathan was one of the greatest musicians of our times. She is one of  the 6th generation  representatives of the musical heritage of the Trinity of Carnatic music.                                           

[St.Thyagaraja - Mananbuchavadi Venkatasubbaier - Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer - Sabesa Iyer -  Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy           

St.Thyagaraja - Veenai Kuppaier - Thiruvotriyur Thyagayyer - Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy                                       

Muthuswami Dikshitar - Ponniah Pillai/Sivanandam - Kannusamy Nattuvanar - Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy                     

Syama Sastri - Subbaraya Sastri - Thachchur Singarachariar - Tiger Varadachariar/Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy]

Mrs Banu has always been a topper in the University music courses. She holds the first rank in Music (Veena) diploma course from Madras University. She stood first in her M.A.(Music) degree in Delhi University and was awarded Gold Medal by the President of India Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma. She has undergone 2 years' training under Prof T.N.Krishnan. She has also bagged the topper award from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya of Delhi in the Post Graduate Music course.

Mrs Banu has a teaching experience of over 25 years in Veena and Vocal music. She is a senior teacher at alapana arts, besides being its founder Director. She also teaches Veena & Vocal music at the National University of Singapore, Centre for the Arts.

Her patience in teaching, dedication, recognised style of Veena playing and an authentic ‘Paataanthram’ have earned her a respectable place in the field of Carnatic music. Her book entitled 'Sruti Manjari' has the blessings & foreword by Sri Semmangudi R.Srinivasa Iyer.  It has been published in 2 parts, both in English & Tamil. The second edition of the book carries a special greetings message by the then Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communication and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew.

 

Mr V Raghuraman - Senior Teacher - Mridangam & Music Theory

Mr Raghu has learnt music traditionally from Chidambaram Sri S.Srinivasa Iyengar, both vocal music and Mridangam. He further honed his knowledge of Indian Music from an intensive coaching by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr S.Ramanathan. His teaching career in Mridangam spans over two decades. He has been recognized as an approved ‘guru’ for training the Government of India Scholarship holders in Mridangam. Many of his students have also received the prestigious CCRT scholarships offered by the Department of Culture, Government of India.

He has produced many worthy Mridangam students both in India and in Singapore, one of whom has won the second prize for Mridangam (Open category) at the National Indian Music competition in Singapore. He has authored a book entitled ‘Laya Manjari’ on Indian percussion lessons which has the Foreword from the Mridangam Maestro, Sri Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman.

He has performed widely in India and in Singapore. His performances at New Delhi have earned highly commendable reviews by the famous music critic Subbudu. He has provided mridangam accompaniment to a several senior Vidwans of the rank of 'Sangita Kalanidhi'. 

Mr Raghu has conducted many workshops on Indian music for students in Junior Colleges & schools, including Raffles Institution, Dunman High School, La salle & SOTA. MEP students have benefited enormously on account of such sessions. The music workshops for the Music teachers at the MOE have earned him a respectable place among the music teachers in Singapore. A workshop entitled “Music of our Heritage”  held thrice so far has also won unanimous appreciation among music teachers of Singapore.

His presentation at an International music seminar, ‘The Performer’s Voice’ held at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, NUS, Singapore in Oct/Nov,2009 earned further reputation for his scholarship and  erudition from International music scholars.

He also teaches Indian Music at the Yong Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory of Music, NUS, Singapore as a part-time Lecturer.

       Teachers in-charge of Branches & Faculty

Smt Meera Sampathkumar  - Vocal

Meera Sampath who hails from  Thanjavur, the Carnatic hub of Southern India is a Degree holder in Indian Music from Madras University. She is also a Post Graduate in Hindi literature. She has been trained under the Gurus Sri. Balasundaram, Sri. K.P.Kailasam in Coimbatore and Sangitha Bhushanam Sri.K. Vasudevan (Disciple of Late Tiger K.Varadachariar)  in Trichy. She has performed Vocal concerts at various prestigious organizations and have also given vocal support for Bharatanatyam for several years. Being an academician with flair for teaching, she has taught vocal music for hundreds of students for the past 25 years.

Smt T V Lakshmi  - Vocal

T V Lakshmi, who hails from Kerala has trained in music right from her childhood. She is a post graduate in vocal music and a gold medalist for her Bachelor's degree from the Bharathidasan University, Trichy. She started teaching in the year 1998. She has performed many stage concerts in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu, besides appearing in many TV programmes. She has several years of experience in providing vocal support for Bharatanatyam performances. She has a flexible voice, whereby she can adapt to a large range of Srutis. Patience in teaching is her added asset. She is currently leaning Veena from Smt R.Banumathy at alapana. T V Lakshmi is also a well-trained Mohiniyattom dancer.

 

Hononary Head of Faculty

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Smt. Lavanya Raghuraman- Bharatanatyam

Lavanya Raghuraman is a gifted individual with a multi-faceted personality. A disciple of the Dhananjayans, she is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, Carnatic Music Singer, Violinist and Actress rolled in-one and brings tremendous energy and dedication to promoting these arts.
Lavanya hails from a rich musical background. She is the granddaughter of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr S Ramanathan. At present, Lavanya is an honorary Bharatanatyam tutor at Alapana Arts, Singapore, where she has choreographed significant works for her students. Through lecture demonstrations, master classes, workshops and seminars, Lavanya shares her thoughts on Bharatanatyam and its propagation Singapore with traditional purity. Lavanya has been performing in Chennai at the Festival of Music and Dance every year since 2000. Her dance production called Nagareshu Kanchi (under the choreography of her Gurus, the Dhananjayas) at the Krishna Gana Sabha received rave reviews.

In 2004, Lavanya won the 1st Prize in the National Indian Music Competition for Carnatic Violin Open Category. The competition was held by the National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore - the apex body for Music, Dance and Drama in Singapore. Earlier, Lavanya had won the Competition held by NAC in the year 1998 for Carnatic Violin -Intermediate category.
Lavanya has won the first prize at the National level competition organized by the Radio Corporation of Singapore. Lavanya has mostly returned home with a first prize in almost all the competitions that she took part. Her Carnatic Vocal music concert exclusively for singing Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi at the Singapore Art Museum and the Carnatic Violin concert at the Music-Box held by the Esplanade, theatres on the bay are two outstanding performances to mention.
Lavanya has been an eloquent compere both in Tamil and English. As an Anchor person for a TV serial show, Kalai Yaththirai. Lavanya won the appreciation of many Singaporean viewers and TV crew alike. She is a regular Compere (MC) at many Bharatanatya Arangetrams and other cultural functions.
Lavanya has taken active part as Sita in Wayang Ramayana, a play at the Singapore Management University. She was the President of the Indian Cultural Association at the Singapore Management University till she completed he University Education. Lavanyas contribution to theatrical work is wide and she has directed plays for her University.
Lavanya proudly recalls her first Sabha performance at Karthik Fine Arts Chennai in the year 2000. Since then, Lavanya's performances at India's prestigious cultural venues and festivals have received wide acclaim both in Chennai and in Singapore.
In November 2007, her recent solo production, Alchemy of Opposites for Singapore's landmark cultural theatre, the Esplanade, theatres on the bay was a fully sold out roaring success. She had the good fortune of having the Dhananjayans to come up on stage after this performance to praise and bless her. Later in 2011, her ground-breaking performance at Neythal to a full-house at the Esplanade established class once again as a World-vlass Bharatanatyam dancer.


After obtaining a degree in Accounting & Law, from Singapore Management University, Lavanya did her Masters Degree at Fuqua, Duke University, NC, USA and is currently working in Philedelphia, USA.

Lavanya is committed to preserving the tradition, and attempting innovation within bounds.

 

 

alapana Centre for Music and Dance, 375 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218122 & Block 684 #01-316 Race Course Road Singapore-210684

Tel: (65) 63963296      Mobile : (65) 98280418;  (65) 97968737           Email : welcome@alapana.org