ABOUT PAMPA

PAMPA Dance Academy has been exemplary in blending both traditional and modern stage design techniques to enthrall its audiences, without diluting the purity of the art form. At PAMPA, we believe that while the dance itself is the most important component of a performance, the art of stage design and innovative lighting also form an integral part of the appreciation of dance. In order to enhance the overall classical dance experience in the Bay Area, PAMPA was founded in California by Purna Prasad in 1992. Nirmala Madhava is the chief choreographer and instructor of PAMPA Dance Academy.
She teaches both Bharata Natyam and Kathak dance forms and is recognized internationally as a Master solo performer.

WE STRIVE TO:

  • Promote and spread the art of Indian classical dance
  • Deliver key messages to the common audience in a unique way
  • Help the community by partnering with other non-profit organizations

OUR HIGHLIGHTS:


Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, Community Reception:  

In 2015, PAMPA Dance Academy had the honorable opportunity to perform at a community reception for Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. PAMPA collaborated with local dance companies to create a show that was rooted with traditional Indian classical dance and that projected ingenuity.

North America Ford Executive Conference:  
In 2004, Ford organized a conference for its North American executive leadership team at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. PAMPA was invited to perform at the conference. The performance had the audience spellbound due to the innovative way of presenting current social issues.

RSA Conference in 2006:
The RSA Conference is America’s biggest security conference, with more than 4000 people attending every year. In 2006, the event was held in San Jose and PAMPA was chosen to present the opening act as well as perform at the gala. The audience was impressed to see PAMPA perform a story about internet security evolution through Indian classical art forms

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival: 
The Ethnic Dance Festival, organized by the World Arts West organization, fosters appreciation for diverse ethnic cultures in Northern California through an annual performance of various dance styles. Performers are selected from a series of auditions, by a panel of experts from around the country along with World Arts West staff. PAMPA performed at the festival in 1995, 2004, and 2009. Nirmala Madhava was invited to be on the panel of judges for the festival in 2005.

OUR TEAM

Dr. Purna Prasad | President

Dr. Purna Prasad, the founder and President of PAMPA brings a wealth of experience in the field of performing arts. His artistic talents were aptly recognized with his role in the Indian National and European Film Festival award winning movie, “Madhwacharya”. Dr. Purna also co-directed music for this film with renowned musician Dr M.Balamurali Krishna.

His interest in music began at the age of five when he started training in the Indian percussion instrument “Mrudangam”. He was trained by Vidwan Vayyapuri Devar, who was one of the doyens in his field of percussion instruments. Dr. Purna is not only a musician, but also is a music composer. He has composed music for several dance dramas and has been an assistant conductor with renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Vijaya Raghava Rao. Some of the famous dance dramas which Purna contributed are Punyakoti, Srinivasa Kalyana, Mohini Bhasmasura, and Sri Krishna Vyjayanthi.

Nirmala Madhava | Creative Director and Chief Choreographer

The chief choreographer at PAMPA, is proficient in both Bharathanatyam and Kathak dance forms. She graduated from Banglore University, Karnataka, with a dance major. Nirmala’s foundation in dance started at the age of eight from her guru late Lalitha Dorai and continued with guru late Narmada. At a very young age, Nirmala started developing a real flair for Bharathanatyam with the encouragement and support from Vidwan Sri Gopinatha Das, a doyen in the field of music and dance. She also had her advanced training in Bharathanatyam under the able guidance of Guru Sri. Lakshmi Narayanachar Udupi.

In parallel, Nirmala also learned and mastered the Lucknow Gharana style of Kathak dance from Dr. Maya Rao of Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in Bangalore, India, who hails from the legendary Kathak school of Pandit Shambu Maharaj. All her training, knowledge, flair and her own exploration into the traditional dance forms of Bharathanatyam and Kathak, makes Nirmala a very innovative choreographer. Nirmala is also trained in Western Tap dancing. She used this training in Tap dance blended with her indepth knowledge of Kathak to present an upbeat rhythmic presentation which claimed her popularity.

Nirmala has choreographed several traditional and unique Bharathanatyam and Kathak compositions. She has trained innumerable dancers all over the world and has been recognized as a master solo-performer. Most recently, Nirmala was one of the panelist in the San Francisco Ethnic dance festival, which is acclaimed as one of the most significant festivals of its type in North America. Nirmala is a visiting faculty of the Creative arts department at De Anza College in Cupertino, California.

Bindu Madhava | Vice President

Bindu Madhava is the Vice President, and Co-founder of PAMPA. Bindu brings with him a decade of theatrical experience in performing Classical dance Bharathanatyam. He has performed for major stage shows, movies, theatricals and documentaries. As PAMPA’s Vice President, Bindu manages the production team for all theatrical releases. He oversees video and technical production while managing PAMPA’s out-of-home performances.

Bindu started performing at the age of eight on major stage productions as a lead role. He has written, produced, directed and edited theatrical productions for television and these have won critical acclaim in India and abroad.

The famous TV show “Suprabhath” produced by PAMPA was cinematographed by Bindu. This show aired on a weekly basis for five years from San Francisco and was nominated for “The Home Town Video Festival Awards.”This was the first and only nomination for an Asian Indian program. Bindu was mentored in cinematography by his ‘Guru’ G.S.Bhaskar, the lead cinematographer for the Oscar winning motion picture, Attenborough’s “Gandhi.”

Sudheendra Tumkur | Technical Supervisor

Sudheendra Tumkur is the son of Late Vidwan T.V.Gopinatha Das, and is the technical supervisor of PAMPA. Sudheendra spearheads the sound design and management of all PAMPA major productions.  

Sudheendra entered the arena of dance and drama at the age of four. He mastered the Indian classical dances in general, and Bharathanatyam in particular. As a dancer and dramatist, he has dominated the Indian cultural scene for the past decade. His ability as an artistic director has won him national appreciation. His lead roles in major productions such as Ramayana, Srinivasa Kalyana, Mohini Bhasmasura, Dharma Bhoomi and Cinderella gave him the national recognition in India and abroad.

Sudheendra has expertise in the field of Audio, Video and lighting. His is well versed in the field of Stage lighting and sound engineering. He has worked with Great musicians such as T.G.Lingappa, Ilayaraaja, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Vijaya Raghava Rao, Pandit Shivakumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Vidwan Chittibabu, Padmashri Yesudas and Dr. Balamurali Krishna.

Subhashini Gunapu | Music Associate

Subhashini with her mother Shyamala’s guidance began her vocal training at the age of five. She was fine tuned by Guru Vidwan Ramachandra Rao. Concurrently, her Veena training began under the guidance of her Grand Father, Vidwan Gopinatha Das and continued with Smt. Usha Shastry. Subhashini gave her first stage performance at the age of seven for the Japanese International festival in India. As a child, she accompanied renowned artists such as Dr. Balamurali Krishna in his well-known musical album ‘Narasimha Suprabhatha,’ composed by Vidwan Gopinatha Das. She has performed for several major productions of PAMPA both in India and in the US.

She had an opportunity to compose and perform a song for a popular Hollywood music producer named Christopher Franke. Subhashini composes and performs fusion music with a flavor of Karnatic, Jazz and Blues in collaboration with Purna Prasad and Robert Edgar in her own group ‘Ragamala.’

Subhashini is a well versed ‘artist’ in the field of Karnatic classical vocal music, Veena, and teaches in Bay Area. She plays a vital role in the activities of PAMPA.

Vandana Thirumale | Script Supervisor

Vandana Thirumale is PAMPA Dance academy’s oldest student, making her highly skilled in the theory behind Indian classical dance. As PAMPA’s script supervisor, Vandana creates scripts that successfully portray the vision of PAMPA’s creative director.

She is from Bengaluru originally and has lived in the Bay Area since 1987. She started her dance journey in India at the age of six with Guru Muthaiah Pillai of the Pandanallur style. She learnt from his son Guru Gopalakrishnan Pillai as well.

After starting classes at PAMPA Dance academy, she has performed in several of their productions in the US and Canada. She has also volunteered at the academy backstage for several productions and solo debuts. She has an MS in Audiology from San Jose State University.

A technical writer by profession, she has worked at Apple Computer, Inc. and Newchannel. She also has spent many years volunteering at the Saratoga school district and Saratoga library. She also worked on the library commission eventually becoming chairperson. She is now retired and intends to hike as many trails as she can around the world.

Lavanya Rao | Marketing Director

Lavanya Rao started as a Bharatanatyam dancer at PAMPA Dance Academy in 2003. Since then she has participated in several of PAMPA’s main stage shows and competitions. Lavanya has been a supportive and loyal performer at PAMPA throughout all her years. In addition to performing, she serves as PAMPA’s marketing director.

As marketing director, Lavanya oversees marketing campaigns, branding techniques, and brainstorming sessions for PAMPA’s large-scale plans.

In the past, Lavanya has worked as director of customer success at InstartLogic and worked in several capacities at Citrix, Netscaler.

Saarini Madhava | Production Assistant

Saarini Madhava is one of PAMPA’s Bharatanayam students. She has been performing with the academy since she was four-years-old. As PAMPA’s production assistant, Saarini assists in planning theatrical productions, creating social media posts, stage-managing PAMPA shows, and being on-site.
Currently, Saarini is studying Public Relations and Advertising at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Along with her major, Saarini has experience working as a PA with various production companies in Los Angeles.

Dr. Purna Prasad | President

Dr. Purna Prasad, the founder and President of PAMPA brings a wealth of experience in the field of performing arts. His artistic talents were aptly recognized with his role in the Indian National and European Film Festival award winning movie, “Madhwacharya”. Dr. Purna also co-directed music for this film with renowned musician Dr M.Balamurali Krishna.

His interest in music began at the age of five when he started training in the Indian percussion instrument “Mrudangam”. He was trained by Vidwan Vayyapuri Devar, who was one of the doyens in his field of percussion instruments. Dr. Purna is not only a musician, but also is a music composer. He has composed music for several dance dramas and has been an assistant conductor with renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Vijaya Raghava Rao. Some of the famous dance dramas which Purna contributed are Punyakoti, Srinivasa Kalyana, Mohini Bhasmasura, and Sri Krishna Vyjayanthi.

Nirmala Madhava | Creative Director and Chief Choreographer

The chief choreographer at PAMPA, is proficient in both Bharathanatyam and Kathak dance forms. She graduated from Banglore University, Karnataka, with a dance major. Nirmala’s foundation in dance started at the age of eight from her guru late Lalitha Dorai and continued with guru late Narmada. At a very young age, Nirmala started developing a real flair for Bharathanatyam with the encouragement and support from Vidwan Sri Gopinatha Das, a doyen in the field of music and dance. She also had her advanced training in Bharathanatyam under the able guidance of Guru Sri. Lakshmi Narayanachar Udupi.

In parallel, Nirmala also learned and mastered the Lucknow Gharana style of Kathak dance from Dr. Maya Rao of Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in Bangalore, India, who hails from the legendary Kathak school of Pandit Shambu Maharaj. All her training, knowledge, flair and her own exploration into the traditional dance forms of Bharathanatyam and Kathak, makes Nirmala a very innovative choreographer. Nirmala is also trained in Western Tap dancing. She used this training in Tap dance blended with her indepth knowledge of Kathak to present an upbeat rhythmic presentation which claimed her popularity.

Nirmala has choreographed several traditional and unique Bharathanatyam and Kathak compositions. She has trained innumerable dancers all over the world and has been recognized as a master solo-performer. Most recently, Nirmala was one of the panelist in the San Francisco Ethnic dance festival, which is acclaimed as one of the most significant festivals of its type in North America. Nirmala is a visiting faculty of the Creative arts department at De Anza College in Cupertino, California.

Bindu Madhava | Vice President

Bindu Madhava is the Vice President, and Co-founder of PAMPA. Bindu brings with him a decade of theatrical experience in performing Classical dance Bharathanatyam. He has performed for major stage shows, movies, theatricals and documentaries. As PAMPA’s Vice President, Bindu manages the production team for all theatrical releases. He oversees video and technical production while managing PAMPA’s out-of-home performances.

Bindu started performing at the age of eight on major stage productions as a lead role. He has written, produced, directed and edited theatrical productions for television and these have won critical acclaim in India and abroad.

The famous TV show “Suprabhath” produced by PAMPA was cinematographed by Bindu. This show aired on a weekly basis for five years from San Francisco and was nominated for “The Home Town Video Festival Awards.”This was the first and only nomination for an Asian Indian program. Bindu was mentored in cinematography by his ‘Guru’ G.S.Bhaskar, the lead cinematographer for the Oscar winning motion picture, Attenborough’s “Gandhi.”

Sudheendra Tumkur | Technical Supervisor

Sudheendra Tumkur is the son of Late Vidwan T.V.Gopinatha Das, and is the technical supervisor of PAMPA. Sudheendra spearheads the sound design and management of all PAMPA major productions.  

Sudheendra entered the arena of dance and drama at the age of four. He mastered the Indian classical dances in general, and Bharathanatyam in particular. As a dancer and dramatist, he has dominated the Indian cultural scene for the past decade. His ability as an artistic director has won him national appreciation. His lead roles in major productions such as Ramayana, Srinivasa Kalyana, Mohini Bhasmasura, Dharma Bhoomi and Cinderella gave him the national recognition in India and abroad.

Sudheendra has expertise in the field of Audio, Video and lighting. His is well versed in the field of Stage lighting and sound engineering. He has worked with Great musicians such as T.G.Lingappa, Ilayaraaja, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Vijaya Raghava Rao, Pandit Shivakumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Vidwan Chittibabu, Padmashri Yesudas and Dr. Balamurali Krishna

Subhashini Gunapu | Music Associate

Subhashini with her mother Shyamala’s guidance began her vocal training at the age of five. She was fine tuned by Guru Vidwan Ramachandra Rao. Concurrently, her Veena training began under the guidance of her Grand Father, Vidwan Gopinatha Das and continued with Smt. Usha Shastry. Subhashini gave her first stage performance at the age of seven for the Japanese International festival in India. As a child, she accompanied renowned artists such as Dr. Balamurali Krishna in his well-known musical album ‘Narasimha Suprabhatha,’ composed by Vidwan Gopinatha Das. She has performed for several major productions of PAMPA both in India and in the US.

She had an opportunity to compose and perform a song for a popular Hollywood music producer named Christopher Franke. Subhashini composes and performs fusion music with a flavor of Karnatic, Jazz and Blues in collaboration with Purna Prasad and Robert Edgar in her own group ‘Ragamala.’

Subhashini is a well versed ‘artist’ in the field of Karnatic classical vocal music, Veena, and teaches in Bay Area. She plays a vital role in the activities of PAMPA.

Vandana Thirumale | Script Supervisor

Vandana Thirumale is PAMPA Dance academy’s oldest student, making her highly skilled in the theory behind Indian classical dance. As PAMPA’s script supervisor, Vandana creates scripts that successfully portray the vision of PAMPA’s creative director.

She is from Bengaluru originally and has lived in the Bay Area since 1987. She started her dance journey in India at the age of six with Guru Muthaiah Pillai of the Pandanallur style. She learnt from his son Guru Gopalakrishnan Pillai as well.

After starting classes at PAMPA Dance academy, she has performed in several of their productions in the US and Canada. She has also volunteered at the academy backstage for several productions and solo debuts. She has an MS in Audiology from San Jose State University.

A technical writer by profession, she has worked at Apple Computer, Inc. and Newchannel. She also has spent many years volunteering at the Saratoga school district and Saratoga library. She also worked on the library commission eventually becoming chairperson. She is now retired and intends to hike as many trails as she can around the world.

Lavanya Rao | Marketing Director

Lavanya Rao started as a Bharatanatyam dancer at PAMPA Dance Academy in 2003. Since then she has participated in several of PAMPA’s main stage shows and competitions. Lavanya has been a supportive and loyal performer at PAMPA throughout all her years. In addition to performing, she serves as PAMPA’s marketing director.

As marketing director, Lavanya oversees marketing campaigns, branding techniques, and brainstorming sessions for PAMPA’s large-scale plans.

In the past, Lavanya has worked as director of customer success at InstartLogic and worked in several capacities at Citrix, Netscaler.

Saarini Madhava | Production Assistant

Saarini Madhava is one of PAMPA’s Bharatanayam students. She has been performing with the academy since she was four-years-old. As PAMPA’s production assistant, Saarini assists in planning theatrical productions, creating social media posts, stage-managing PAMPA shows, and being on-site.
Currently, Saarini is studying Public Relations and Advertising at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Along with her major, Saarini has experience working as a PA with various production companies in Los Angeles.

PAMPA’S Behind The Scenes Team

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