Jiva Dance

Jiva Dance is a critically acclaimed dance company based in NYC. Jiva Dance, under the artistic direction of Sonali Skandan, sees the importance of preserving and promoting the traditional arts, yet also understands the need to incorporate innovative techniques to reach diverse audiences. Jiva Dance holds the belief that tradition is a continuum of evolution and hopes to invigorate classical works with a freshness and unique voice.

Jiva Dance strives to present work that is inclusive, allowing those who do not have a background in. We are not tied to Bharatanatyam’s cultural specificity, but create work that reflects our lives in a diverse urban environment. And though the art form in which we predominantly work has historical and cultural ties, we feel the vocabulary of movement and expression has the ability to transcend both time and culture. The Company creates original works with modern themes, and reenergizes classical pieces to incorporate innovative light design, staging and multimedia. We believe that Indian classical dance is a holistic art form, and is not fixed but is continually evolving.

Jiva Dance has received considerable recognition in the press and has been recognized as a leader in the arts. Jiva Dance presented work in major venues in the US, becoming the first Indian Classical dance company to be presented at the prestigious Victory Dance Series at the New Victory Theater, the first Indian Classical company to be part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (2017 and 2018) at Queens College Jiva Dance was also featured on NBC Learn, in a short documentary titled “Why We Dance.” Jiva Dance’s first dance film short, ‘Urban Nritta,’ has received much attention, and was an official selection in the 17th NY Indian Film Festival. Jiva has been the recipient of two Lower Manhattan Cultural Council awards in past years and a total of four consecutive grants from NYSCA, as well as continued support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Jiva Dance was the inaugural recipient of the Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund and receives ongoing private donations to continue its work from its supportive patrons and community base.


Company Members

Maya Deyssenroth

Maya Deyssenroth

Maya Deyssenroth started her formal training in Bharatanatyam in 2007 under the tutelage of Sonali Skandan. While continuing her studies with Sonali, Maya has also participated in workshops conducted by Prof. CV Chandrasekhar, Smt. Manjari Chandrasekhar, Smt. Priyadarshini Govind and Smt. Bragha Bessell.  Performances as part of past Jiva Performing Arts productions include Manhattanville Marymount College, 92Y Fridays at noon series Fridays Retro, New York International Fringe Festival, Living Dance Festival, Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance, Sun to Stars Festival of Music, Dance & Culture, Elmira College, Fashion Institute of Technology and NBC’s Red Nose Danceathon.  Maya is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Aishwarya Madhav

Aishwarya Madhav

Aishwarya Madhav is a professionally trained Indian classical dancer, with expertise in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She is trained under Rema Madhu, and has further advanced her training under N Srikanth. She has performed in more than 60 venues across India and US.

Aishwarya Sriram

Aishwarya Sriram

Aishwarya Sriram as been studying and performing Bharatanatyam for the past 20 years. She initially trained under Mrs. Uma Chetty of Apsaras Arts in Virginia, and later pursued advanced training under Mrs. Padmarani Rasiah Cantu and the Dhananjayans of Chennai. She has performed in venues in the US and India including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, University of Virginia, University of Richmond, Good Morning America, Narada Gana Sabha, Lamakaan, and Seva Sadan. Aishwarya has also studied modern dance for several years, and was a dance minor at the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate, she was 1 of 2 students to receive the Harrison Institute Arts Award. Aishwarya has been dancing with Jiva Dance in New York City for the past few years.

Amrita Doshi

Amrita Doshi

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amrita Doshi is a Bharata Natyam dancer pursuing dance, design, and production in New York. She has trained in Bharata Natyam with Guru Viji Prakash and Mythili Prakash and has continued to dance nationally and internationally with the Shakti Dance Company, Sonali Skandan’s Jiva Dance, and Preeti Vausdevan’s Thresh Dance Co.. Most recently, she performed in the 2019 Drive East festival with The Four Horsemen, and prior to that, she toured in Los Angeles and Singapore for Mythili and Aditya Prakash’s production, Mara.

Komala Kumari Mayshark Patel

Komala Kumari Mayshark Patel

Komala Kumari began her Bharatanatyam dance journey at the tender age of three under the guidance of her sister, Anapayini Jakupko. Since then, she has received years of rigorous training in Chennai, South India under her Guru, Srimati Indira Kadambi. Kumari taught and performed with the Bhakti Kalalayam dance academy in Florida for ten years before moving to New York where she she freelances and teaches dance.  Kumari has performed extensively on tours across Canada and the US as well as Mexico, Panama, England, Poland and India. Kumari is the 2016 recipient of the Vazhavoor Ramaiah Pillai Grand Prize from the Cleveland Tyagaraja Bharatanatyam Competition. Kumari dances because it is not only her passion, but it is her expression of devotion and a profound spiritual offering.

…their energy, discipline and passion bodes well for the future…
Ethan Kanfer, California Literary