Artistic Director
Padmaja
Dharnipragada
Padmaja Dharnipragada has been studying Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi nearly all of her life, and is the disciple of the renowned masters
"Padmasree Bharatakalaprapoorna" Dr.Nataraja Ramakrishna, "Padmabhushans" Sri Raja and Radha Reddy, Smt.Gidugu Visalakshi  and Dr.Uma
Rama Rao.  Padmaja's precise yet graceful and subtle movements are a true reflection of these beautiful dance forms. Padmaja, a totally dedicated
artist who never settles for mediocrity has carved a niche in the propagation of Indian Classical Dance.  Padmaja commenced her artistic career at the
age of six and performed her Arangetram at the age of twelve. Padmaja continues to be recognized for her stellar contributions to arts, dance, and
cultural / social activities in India and the United States of America.

  • Active exponent of Indian Classical Dance in        
    U.S.A for the last 20 years
  • Performed for National and Local Television
    audiences in India on numerous occasions
  • Gave over 1500  performances in India and U.S.A
  • Received many awards and titles to her credit.  
    Won a number of state and national level
    competitions held by the Andhra Balananda
    Sangham, and the Education Department of
    Andhra Pradesh, India.  
  • Recognized by the Honorable Chief Minister, and
    renowned movie actor, late Dr. N.T.Rama Rao on
    many occasions.  
  • Won the UNICEF competitions during the
    consecutive years 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984.

  • Gave extensive performances at Prestigious
    organizations like “Shankarabaranam” Association in
    Chennai, India, “Andhra Bhavan” New Delhi,  
    “Kalakshetra” Chennai, “Kuchipudi Dance Academy”
    in Kuchipudi, Andhra Pradesh and many more.
  • Critically acclaimed by local and national press both
    in India and North America.  Received              
    “Satvika Padmam” title (most graceful expressive
    dancer) from Indian Express National Newspaper.
  • A well-respected dancer, teacher and
    choreographer, Padmaja has choreographed and
    performed in title roles of several evening length
    dance dramas.  Her innovative choreography
    includes collaboration of  "Navarasas - the nine
    emotions",  "Karthikeyan", "Venkateswara
    Kalyanam",  "Mohini-Bhasmasura",  "Mahishasura -
    Mardhini", "Girija-Kalyanam",  "Rani-Puvvu",  
    "Ramayanam", to name a few.
Nrityalaya Dance         
        Academy