Saturday 11:00-11:30 AM  UPSTAIRS THEATRE

Panelists : Rujuta Vaidya, Anu Sahasrabudhe, 

Abby O'Brien and Antalia Mesa

Moderator: Arpita (or Nikita pending coverage)

Can dance be a viable career? Dancers from different disciplines talk about their journeys in building a career in dance. 

Discussion topics will include finding your own voice as an artist, the road of professional development and the nitty, gritty of getting jobs as dancer and choreographers in different industries.

Rujuta : 

Rujuta Vaidya is a globally-recognized Bollywood choreographer and has been responsible for some of the biggest Bollywood musical extravaganzas in the Hollywood entertainment industry. With choreography credits that include AR Rahmans groundbreaking performance at the Oscar’s for Slumdog Millionaire, Britney Spears’ The Circus tour, the Oprah Winfrey show, The Black Eyed Peas World Tour, the AR Rahman World tour and Disney’s Cheetah Girls 3 – One World the film. Rujuta has emerged as a leading influence in the world of contemporary Bollywood dance.  Rujuta has choreographed for some of Bollywood's most legendary actresses such as Sridevi for her come back film called “English Vinglish”, and Priyanka Chopra, in her Hollywood debut of  "In My City". Additionally, she directed the opening sequence for Zakir Hussain at the Kennedy Center Maximum India festival in Washington DC. Rujuta has also released a hip-hop – Bollywood dance workout video called BYOU 2 that has her collaborating with Sabrina Bryan of the Cheetah Girls on a dance instructional video for young girls that blends both styles from the east and the west. While her training includes a rigorous study in the classical forms of Indian dancing such as Kathak and Bharatnatyam, Rujuta has fine tuned her skills under the tutelage of famed hip-hop choreographer Fatima Robinson (choreographer for Michael Jackson, Prince, Fergie, and Rhianna) and the legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan (Tezaab, Mr. India, Devdas, Taare Zameen Par, etc) to develop her own spin on Bollywood dance. Rujuta has collaborated on several Bollywood productions including Tara Rum Pum, Jaaneman, Rocky and Good Boy Bad Boy.Recently, Rujuta was one of the main judges for a tv reality show alongside the pioneers of Bollywood dance reality shows Javed Jaffrey and Naved Jaffrey. 

Anu : 

Anu is an IT Business Analyst by profession but her passion for dance was set as a child, training under her mother Smt. Nilima Lokre, and then further received training in Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Oddisi. She then did her diploma in modern creative dance style under Guru Tanushree Shankar one of India’s leading dancers and choreographers of contemporary dance.

Following her guru’s footsteps Anu is now set on a path to unfold this art in her own language blending all styles she has learnt to truly make it a fusion but also preserving the essence of purity and simplicity. Anuradha has had many award winning Choreographies over her 20 years of dance career. Anu resides in Scotch Plains with her husband and 2 kids ages 11 and 9 where she has recently founded and is the Artistic Director of her own Dance Company and Performing Arts School “MUDAVIS Performing Arts”. Her showcases are unique truly bringing forth the aesthetics of MUSIC, DANCE and Visuals.

Some of her unique choreographies are “Nirbhaya”, “Natrang”, “Beat the Beats”, “The Indian Train”. Please visit to see some of Anu’s work.

Abbey : 

Abbey O'Brien performed in NYC for 15 years and recently crossed over from performer to choreographer. She is currently the associate choreographer for the hit Broadway show Waitress.  Choreography credits include: NBC’s Jimmy Fallon Show, CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, Dreamgirls (Theatre Raleigh), Spamalot (Atl.Lyric Theatre), True Love ( TriArts Sharon Playhouse), Performa Gala (Jennifer Rubell), Hot on Broadway (Jeffery Finn Prod.), Wizard of Oz (NewArts). Assoc. Director/Choreographer credits: Waitress (Broadway), The Odyssey (The Public Theatre), Double Portrait (Indie film), Elf (Paper Mill Playhouse), Ragtime (Lincoln Center), Company (Bucks Co. Playhouse), National Pastime (B.C.P), Plaid Tidings (B.C.P.), Legs (Tory Burch commercial), Microsoft (Ind.), Chicago (Ogunquit Playhouse). Her performing credits include: NBC's Smash, TonyAward winning cast of Spamalot,Tony nominated cast of Pal Joey, Radio City Rockette, NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, Longshot (film), Martha Plimpton Sings? (Lincoln Center), Sinatra (Radio City Music Hall), No Strings (City Center), Sugar Boy (web series), Met Gala (NYC).

Natalie :

Natalia is an experienced performer, teaching artist and performing arts administrator. Currently, she is managing the Battery Dance Festival and the Education Programs for Battery Dance combining her knowledge in arts administration with her passion for dance and community building.
Over the past few years Natalia has been implementing the company’s methodology, Dancing to Connect into the New York Public Schools system and has assisted Battery Dance in the coordination of programs in Latin-America. She holds a Masters in Performing Arts Administration from NYU and a Bachelor of Industrial Design with a minor in Business Administration from Los Andes University in Bogotá, Colombia. She has worked with numerous companies in the United States and in Colombia such as Company E, Clancy Works and Dakshina Dance Company, TangoLibre, Ballet Anna Pavlova, and Sandrine Legendre Dance Company. Early in her dance career she won an Honorary Mention on the V
Ballet, in Habana, Cuba and later obtained a scholarship for the ballet program at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In 2008, Natalia moved to New York where she completed her dance education at The Ailey School. She was a faculty member at the early division at Maryland Youth Ballet in Washington D.C and has taught dance and creative movement in various public schools in Washington D.C, New York and Bogotá where she planned and taught workshops with Niños de Los Andes Foundation, a renowned institution that for more than XX years has provided shelter and education to children living on the streets of Bogotá.



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