Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani

Pondicherry Pondicherry
India
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Smt Devasena Bhavanani is a qualified Bharata Natyam Artist, Nattuvanar, Carnatic vocalist, and Yoga Exponent. She has a Bachelor of Performing Arts () from Bharathiyar Palkalai Koodam (1995) Pondicherry as well as a Diploma in Yoga, Bharata Natyam and Carnatic Music from Yoganjali Natyalayam (1999). She performed her Bharata Natyam Arangetram in 1994. She obtained a Masters Degree in Sanskrit () from Pondicherry Central University (1997) and Advanced Diploma in Yoga (ADY) from ICYER (March 2000). She has completed PG Diploma in Yoga from Annamalai University in 2005.
She has been fortunate to study the essence of Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga directly under the guidance of Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Kalaimamani Yogacharini Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani since her childhood. She started attending Yoga and Bharata Natyam classes at Ananda Ashram in Sri Kambliswamy Madam in the year 1984 and has continued ever since. She has been performing Bharata Natyam programmes since 1985 under the guidance of her Guru Kalaimamani Yogacharini Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. She also has the good fortune to be a student of world famous Padmasri Adyar K Lakshman of Chennai since the last 20 years. She has received the Central Govt. Young Artist Scholarship for Bharata Natyam and took 2 years of advanced training with Kalaimamani Smt. Jayashree Narayanan, former Principal, BPK. She is a popular Carnatic vocalist and Nattuvanar and conducts many dances performances in and around Pondicherry on a regular basis. She also gives concerts during Thiyagaraja Festival etc. She trained for 15 years under Kalaimamani,Guru Sri Rengam Sri R. Ranganathan after receiving initial training under Kalaimamani Puduvai V Manikannan.
In her career of nearly 30 years, she has performed more than five hundred Bharata Natyam recitals in many places including UK, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and Germany as well as all over India (Shimla, Bangalore, Kodaikanal, Chennai, Yanam, Karaikal and Chidambaram). She has also performed the leading roles in several Dance Dramas of Yoganjali Natyalayam including: Kannappa Nayanar, Karaikal Ammaiyar, Nandanar Charitram, Kamba Ramayanam, Meenakshi Thiru Kalyanam, Nala-Damayanthi, Andal Charitram, Silappadikaaram and Karna Charitram.
She has performed at 10th Anniversary celebrations of ABHAI (Association of Bharata Natyam Artists of India) and for ABHAI Dance Festival in 1992 at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan and Naradha Gana Sabha, Chennai (2002) under auspices of Arkaya Foundation. She has also been part of the Yoganjali Natyalayam Bharata Natyam Troupe during performances every year in the International Yoga Festival since 1993, as well as performing for Food Festivals, DRDA Festival, Chidambaram Natyanjali Celebrations, Navarathri celebrations, Vinayaka Chathurthi Festivals (since 1991), Fete De Pondicherry and Natya Vizhas, and many other programmes too numerous to mention. She has led Yoganjali Natyalayam in performances organised by the Department of Art and Culture, South Zone Cultural Centre, Kamban Kazhagam, Sekkizhar Mandram, Panniru Thirumurai Manadu, Brahmakumaris organization, Pondicherry Music and Dance Artists Association etc.
At present she heads the Dance Department at Yoganjali Natyalayam as well as Music, Dance and Sanskrit Department at the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER). She has conducted Bharata Natyam Arangetrams for a dozen students and it is note worthy that two of her students Niraimathy and Ramya were selected for the Central Human Resource Ministry’s National Best Child Awards from New Delhi in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Many of her students have won State Best Child award from Government of Pondicherry and bagged many other coveted prizes.
She is an expert in the traditional Natya Karanas, the acrobatic Yoga Asana-based stances of Bharata Natyam, which she performs with ease, having achieved a high degree of mastery in Yoga Asanas. She has given hundreds of Yoga Asana demonstrations and classes all over India and in UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. She has won many prizes in Yoga Asana Competitions at State, National and International levels. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in Yoga, having worked as a Yoga instructor at Yoganjali Natyalayam since 1993 and in that same capacity at ICYER since 1997. She has taught Yoga, Music, and Indian Classical Dance to thousands of students from all over the world.
She was fortunate to come into direct contact with the world-famous Yoga Guru and codifier of the Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga system, Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, the Madathipathy at Sri Kambliswami Madam, Thattanchavady, Pondicherry, at a young age and be accepted by him as his disciple, when she was only twelve years old. Thus, her association with classical spiritual and practical Yoga teachings in the Rishi Culture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga Tradition is not only a profession, but a life-long, commitment.
She is happily married to Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani who is a Yogacharya and Medical Doctor and they have a beautiful and talented daughter, Dhivya Priya Bhavanani and wonderful son, Anandraj Bhavanani. She and Dr Ananda are a dynamic Yoga and Bharatanatyam team who have composed and choreographed more than 50 Bharatanatyam compositions as four “Ananda Nartana Margams” and assisted in direction of more than a dozen dance dramas of Yoganjali Natyalayam in the past decade under guidance of their beloved Guru Ammaji, Yogacharini Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. They have traveled together on five international tours to Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Australia in the past years. She recently starred as Avvaiyar in the dance drama produced by Yoganjali Natyalayam in October 2012 and assisted in the choreography and direction of this magnificent successful production under guidance of her Guru Yogacharini Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and with the support of her husband Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani.
She was honoured with “Yoga Chemmal” award by Pondicherry Yogasana Association as well as ISAI YOGA NATYA NATTUVANGA KALAICHUDAR Award from Kalaimamani Pulavar I Pattabhiraman, Director Valluvar Villisai Kuzhu. She is General Secretary of Yoganjali Natyalayam and Member of the Jury Board of Pondicherry Yogasana Association. She is listed in the ABHAI directory and on numerous dance and yoga websites internationally.

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