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At the 40th Annual Battery Dance Festival 2021
Sunday, August 15th, 2021
7pm EDT | Robert F. Wagner Park, New York City

For directions from your location, CLICK HERE
Available also on livestream during the event, and until Aug 25th on Battery Dance website.


Kundalini Rising

Kundalini Rising marks the Hindu ritual offerings to the morning sun, which arrives in a chariot drawn of seven rays as it were, and sinks slowly in the waters over the horizon. The Sun cycle is imagined as the rising of a great life force-a serpent- that traverses through Kundalini Chakras i.e. the controlling points in a human body, in a timeless rhythm to find release.

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Kavacham literally means armor. It also means invoking the gods for a harmonious resumption of creation, protection and destruction, represented respectively by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu Trinity.


In their original form, these deities are dormant in a fused cosmic being. The Kavacha prayers separate the cosmic being into Brahma, the original architect of the universe who creates animate and inanimate beings; Vishnu the mighty preserver who destroys evil to restore order; and Shiva who through his primordial dance, destroys the universe, so that it can be created anew.

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Maya Kulkarni


Kundalini and Kavacham dances are conceived and choreographed by Maya Kulkarni. Described by NYT as a ‘Dancer’s dancer, she is a well-known figure in the Indian dance world. Her recent choreographic works include The Allegory of the Cave, Medea’s Muse, and traditional pieces such as Ardhanarinateswara, Sayankale, Yakshini and Tridha.

Maya has performed at the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Open Space, Symphony Space, Cubiculo, and the Danny Kaye Theatre in New York. 
In addition to mastery over the vast traditional repertoire of her gurus, Maya frequently choreographs her own dances. Maya has deeply studied the Indian aesthetic theory and won a grant by the New York State Creative Artist’s program for a comparative study of Indian and Japanese (Zeami/Noh) aesthetics.

Instagram @mayakulkarni_


Aishwarya Madhav



Aishwarya Madhav is an Indian classical dancer and educator. Trained from the age of six in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi, she began her solo performance debut at nine. Since then, she has widely performed across India and the US, independently and with dance companies such as Jiva Performing Arts, at prestigious venues like 92StY, Lincoln center, Yale University, and Drive East, Jamaica, and other dance festivals. Aishwarya has also conducted dance workshops for students at the American Ballet Theater, 92StY, exposing them to the technique and discipline of Indian classical dances.
She currently performs and teaches in New York City.

Instagram @aishwarya.madhav



Aishwarya Sriram


Aishwarya Sriram is a Bharatanatyam dancer based in New York City. She has trained under Padma Bhushan Sri V.P. and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, Smt. Padmarani Rasiah Cantu, and Smt. Uma Chetty. She has also studied flamenco and modern dance, and she was a dance minor at the University of Virginia, where she received the Harrison Institute Arts Award. Aishwarya has performed as a solo artist and with companies including Jiva Performing Arts and Mrudani School of Performing Arts, at venues and events such as Narada Gana Sabha, Seva Sadan, Lamakaan, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Battery Park Dance Festival, Jamaica Dance Festival, and Dualities—Dance on Camera Festival.


She is currently a resident in ophthalmology.

Instagram @aishwaryaaa_s

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Mesma Belsaré


Mesma Belsaré is a dancer, painter, and actor, described by The New York Times as “a tour de force…a true act of transcendence and religious immersion“ and by The Dance Current magazine as "as mesmerizing as staring into the heart of a fire". Her solo performance venues include The Lincoln Center (NYC), Asia Society (NYC), Alvin Ailey (NYC), The Lincoln Theater (Washington D.C.), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, Canada) and several art museums and universities. She trained in dance under Sri Shankar Hombal and Padmashri Geeta Chandran in India, and is continuing her studies with Dr. Maya Kulkarni.
Recent projects include a dance film "In the Creator's gaze", and stage productions "Plato's Allegory of the Cave", "In Each is Both", "Mohini", "Sāyankale", "Carmine Bees" and "The Vermin's Will".
Mesma currently lives and works in West New York.

Production Credits



Vignesh Ravichandran

T. Balachandran

Tala Vadya Ensemble

Veena Jayanthi

Soundscape Design

Mesma Belsaré


Bharathi Penneswaran

Stage Management

Sonali Skandan

Sponsored by

Battery Dance, NYC

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