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Guru Dr Maya Rao - Founder Director/Mentor

Guru Dr Maya Rao is a pioneer in the world of Kathak & choreography. Apart from the president of India award, she is a receipient of several state & national awards.

She headed important cultural institutions, been on international juries , choreographed and created festivals at world heritage sites. She runs India’s only dgree college of choreography & has trained over 1000 students in Kathak. (details at


The Kampni trains extensively in Kathak, Contemporary Dance technique, Yoga, martial arts like Kalari Payattu & Thaang ta, Folk/ritual dance motifs, mime and other movement disciplines to evolve a unique vocabulary.

The Kampni is an empaneled company under the aegis of the ICCR ( indian council for cultural relations), Govt of India

Madhu Nataraj - Founder director

Performer, choreographer, educator and arts entrepreneur-Madhu Nataraj studied Kathak from her mother Dr Maya Rao & from Chitra Venugopal. Madhu was chosen as one of India's 50 young achiever's by 'India today' . Her recent awards include; the Mohan Khokar award for excellence in dance and the Bismillah Khan Yuva puraskar from the central Sangeet Natak Akademi, Govt of India

She is often invited to perform, design programmes and Choreographic works for prestigious cultural organizations across India, UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, SE Asia, Europe & USA.

A graduate of commerce, journalism & choreography, She has also trained in Indian martial arts, ritualistic/folk dance traditions, pedagogy and Yoga.

Although she trained in contemporary dance in New York, Madhu returned to India with a vision to create a unique dance company with its own distinctive contemporary Indian dance identity - the Natya STEM Dance Kampni.

Madhu has created over 75 choreographic works (short pieces & productions) in the 16 years of the Kampni's existence . She is also a Panellist at important Design, Cultural and Academic institutions.

The Core Team

All dancers have trained in Kathak (Dr. Maya Rao), martial arts and Indian contemporary dance (STEM vocabulary).

Janardhan Raj Urs - Assistant Director

Blessed with an energetic body & a versatile presence, Jana, has been noticed as an exceptional performer. He has been with NSDK for several years as a principal dancer. He is a faculty member of the NIKC for creative movement & martial arts.He also teaches kathak at the Karnataka University, Sirsi.
Jana is a gifted multimedia, stage designer.

Ramya Nagaraj - Assistant Director

A vibrant stage presence and a commitment towards absorbing & effusing the essence of Kathak makes Ramya’s performance a joy to watch. She is an important part of the NSDK faculty & is the coordinator for the Kathak & choreography sections of NIKC.
She performs extensively as a soloist & core member.

Ponnamma Devaiah - Assistant Director

Sonia, as she is fondly called, began her dance training as a little girl in Bharatanatyam, which is still her forte. She stands out her clarity, finesse & precision in the execution of movement in both the traditional & contemporary idioms. She is on the NSDK faculty for aesthetics, Natya Shastra for the Choreography batch & contemporary dance for the children’s batch.

Keerthi Kumar - Projects Head

An enduring passion for artistic expression steered this master graduate in business administration to the realm of dance. He keeps up his 15 year tryst with Bharatanatyam & as a core member of the Kampni, has been touring extensively.

Keerthi has helped initiate several projects, which form a platform where his acumen in management merges with his dedication to the performing arts.

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