Founder Director & Guru, Tapasya Academy of Performing Arts, Borivli, Mumbai
Manasi: the dancer, the choreographer, the nattuvanar and the guru
Smt Manasi S Nair is a well known exponent of Bharatnatyam, the Indian classical dance form. She is also an expert choreographer and an accomplished nattuvanar, the artist conducting Indian classical dance recital known as nattuvangam.
Professional Qualification: Manasi is a post graduate in Fine Arts (Dance) from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya headed by Padmashree Dr Smt Kanak Rele and affiliated to Mumbai University.
Her training in Bharatnatyam (or for that matter, in dance) started at the age of 5 under the illustrious Guru Ananta Narayanan. Little did Manasi know then that those tiny steps will lead her to hoping from one stage to another and from one country to another.
Arangetram: Manasi did her Arrengatam under her Guru Anantanarayan. Shri AKG Nair, the then President of the Borivli Malayali Samajam, and Shri J M Shah, her School Principal, were the Chief Guests on the occasion. Guru Anantanarayan later arranged her further training under Guru Ramaswami Bhagawdar, the Guru of cine artist and famous dancer Sudha Chandran.
Nattuvangam: Having learnt nattuvangam under the guidance of the experienced Guru and equipping herself with thorough knowledge of the dance movements and the thala or beat structure of Indian classical music, Manasi plays the cymbals as she recites in her inimitable style.
Achievements: Manasi choreographed and performed many dance ballets such as:
Dashavataram in 2011
Devi Mahatmyam in 2009
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 2008
Krishna leela in 2007
Prestigious stages where she mesmerized the audience with her solo performance are:
Yashwant Natya Mandir, Matunga (infront of more than 1100 audience for Sanskriti Samvardhan Pratishthan)
National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi
Nataraj Mandir festival, Satara
Indo-Russian joint naval exercise (in the presence of Russian Navy Admiral)
Kala Ghoda festival, Mumbai
Indian Expatriats in Combodia and Thiland
Indian consulate, Thailand
Bombay Chambers of Commerce & Industry for promoting Indian Classical Dances
Hare Krishna Festival at ISKCON
Kalidas Theatre, Thane
Prithvi Theater, Mumbai
St. Andrews Auditorium, Mumbai
Tejpal Auditorium, Mumbai
While being associated with Laasya Academy, Manasi performed the role of Satyabhama in the Ballet Shyama Sakhi, directed and choreographed by Smt. Rajashree Shirke and Shri Vaibhav Arekar.
While at Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, Manasi was part of the following dance dramas:
2000 – Kalidasa’s Rutusamhara
1997 – Aandal
1996 – Rani Padmini
1994 – Shri Shailam
Awards & Recognitions
In 2012, Borivli Malayali Samajam recognized her contributions by awarding Excellence in Arts award to Manasi.
In 2009, Manasi received an award form Mumbai District Aids Control Society for the outstanding work she had done for the underprivileged children.
In 2007, Shivali Cultural Society recognized Manasi by conferring the title Nritya Shivali
Manasi, the institution: In 1998, Manasi founded Manasvi Nrityalaya, an institution for imaprting training in Bharatnatyam. The institute began to grow soon and emerged into a leading dance institute which was renamed to Tapasya Academy of Performing Arts in 2008. Today, she teaches bharatnatyam to more than 300 students spread in 4 centers in and around Borivli.
Manasi recalls how she (along with her talented batch-mates like Priya Menon and Laxmi) was given various platforms to showcase her talents by the Guru Anantanarayanan. Thanks to him, she performed at various Ayyappa Pooja festivals and Malayali Samajam functions in Mumbai. The Guru-Shishya-Parampara of yester years still brings the divinity of the Guru in her…
Her performance at the 25th anniversary celebrations (in 1986) of Borivli Malayali Samajam is still fresh in her memory. She is proud of her association with Borivli Malayali Samajam.
When Shri J M Shah (her principal at JB Khot School) retired, he requested that Manasi should perform on stage on his send-off day, an honour that she cannot, and will not, forget in her lifetime!
During the era of cold war, the people of different countries had divergent political opinions; but the same people had unanimous opinion about the enthralling performance of Manasi.
Manasi, the family person: Manasi is married to the well-known Social Activist and Theater Director / Actor Shri Shriraj Nair. The couple has 2 daughters.