Subsequent to her relocation to the US in 1996, Sunanda founded and runs a dance school “Thillai Fine Arts Academy” in Newton, MA (the Academy was formerly located in Cambridge, MA), where she trains talented students in this classical dance form of India. The Academy has a well-earned reputation for excellence in the Boston area. Many of her students have performed their arangetrams and won awards for dance in US competitions including the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana festival. In 2011, Sunanda received an award from Lokvani, an online newsletter and resource for the Indian community in the Greater Boston area, for being a dedicated dancer and teacher.

Thillai Fine Arts Academy organized a highly successful a tour in August 1998 of several cities of USA, of the dance presentation DESH choreographed by Guru Rhadha and performed by Sunanda and her sister Sumitra. Called a Marga Darisanam (A Glimpse of the Path) of India’s moral and spiritual legacy, DESH was a homage to India in celebration of the 50th year of India’s Independence.

Sunanda and her students have raised funds for several Boston area non-profits through widely acclaimed performances and group presentations such as “Desh”, “Natya Nandhanam”, and “Ramabhirama”. Sunanda strives to take her art to mainstream audiences in the US through lecture demonstrations that present the dance form in a meaningful format, and has collaborated with several museums and educational institutions on such initiatives.

Classical music is intrinsic to Bharatanatyam, and Sunanda has had a thorough training in vocal Indian classical music with Gurus Semmangudi Srinivasier, Ramachandriah, maternal grandmother Ananthalakshmi Sadagopan, and Neelakanta Iyer. A leading music company in India, Sangeetha, released a commercial recording of songs sung by sisters Sumitra and Sunanda in 1996.

Sunanda is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

<< Back