Kala Vandanam

A nonprofit organization

$3,475 raised by 24 donors

35% complete

$10,000 Goal

Namaskaram! At Kala Vandanam, we: 

... have reverence and gratitude for our art

... love to communicate through movement and music

... create bridges between tradition and contemporaneity; old and new; generations of practitioners and rasikas

... honor the gifts of legacy and lineage while paving new paths forward

... practice the art with humility and joy

... aim for excellence in all that we do

... nurture the aspirations of community and individuals

Most of all, we aspire to be good human beings through our foundational values and artistic practice.

Kala Vandanam was founded by Suchitra Sairam in 2002, with the vision of sharing the beauty and depth of Bharatanatyam, the oldest and most widely performed classical dance tradition of India, and its allied arts through education, outreach, performance and presentation. Inspired by an artistic lineage known for its visionary practitioners, originality, precision, subtlety, and keen sense of aesthetics, Kala Vandanam expands creativity within the framework of this exquisite art form; retaining its traditional roots while contributing to its evolution as a “living” performance art, and its wider acceptance and appreciation in mainstream communities. 

We invite you to travel with us on this beautiful journey – using the power and reach of art to connect people, and develop the next generation of excellent artists, leaders and members of our community.

Why do we do what we do?

The intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of Bharatanatyam are, in unison, an incredibly powerful vehicle through which we experience personal and artistic growth, the connection between people, the creation of community, and the endless joy of lifelong learning. As immigrants and children of immigrants, this artistic practice creates a framework from which we build and express our unique lens into the world.

How do we do what we do?

We explore our art through the lenses of relevance and our core values, with the goal of making experiences interesting and meaningful for our dancers, their families and our audiences. 

  • Context - interpreting old stories to find modern day parallels
  • Content - reinterpreting traditional content, and developing contemporary themes
  • Teaching – creative techniques to aspiring dancers, most of whom are born and raised in the US, to create contemporary relevance to an art form rooted in Indian cultural practices and spirituality
  • Presentation - blending eastern and western aesthetics, focused on audience experience balanced with substantive content
  • Audience - connecting to contemporary audiences with people from different walks of life by creatively using an orally based, centuries old tradition

Why should you be interested in what we do?

Whether this form or these practitioners are familiar or unfamiliar, we can each experience the richness and beauty of the art if we are given the content with context

We each have people of different backgrounds in our lives – by taking an opportunity to experience and understand an age-old tradition that is important in someone else’s lived experience, we gain new insight into members of our extended communities whose identity has been shaped by different experiences than our own.

We practice art with a focus on excellence, but our art is an important vehicle to develop good people with great life skills. Kala Vandanam dancers develop a keen understanding of the importance of the quality of the content, the presentation, and the people, all while using the skills gained through their artistic practice in all of their personal, academic and professional interests.

How you can help us do what we do...

Your contributions will help us achieve some big goals for the future, including several initiatives for our 20th anniversary in 2022! It takes $15K to create a new production and another $10K to stage it. It takes $20K to put on a residential camp. It took $3.5K to put on a 10 day online festival that reached viewers around the globe. It took $3K for basic tech to provide online classes.

Won't you help us make more happen in our 20th year and beyond? With your help, we can keep paying-it-forward in service to our art and community.

  • Premiere of a new original production – “Hasati
  • Remount of past productions with new casts, including Love Lyrics, Colors of Krishna, and Ritu-The Seasons
  • "Festival of Solos" - short concerts by Kala Vandanam students and Suchitra Sairam
  • Post-pandemic return of Natya Gurukulam, our annual residential camp 
  • Special "International Dance Day" project - in service to our community
  • Return of our "Heartbeat of..." campaign to benefit artists, and our "Shakti" campaign to benefit empowerment of women and girls
  • Launch of new products and learning tools, creating representation of our art form to wider audiences
  • Devi Divya Daayini - our 10 day Navaratri offering of slokam, stories and sahityam
  • Annual recital by all students - Natya Sadhana

Many thanks to our fiscal sponsor Pangea World Theater (Mpls)

Organization Data


Organization name

Kala Vandanam


Arts & Culture Education Children & Family

BIPOC community

BIPOC led, BIPOC serving


2327 Wycliff St Suite 214
St. Paul, MN 55116

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