Sutradhar Institute of 
Dance & Related Arts 
 Board Members
Nilimma Devi is an acclaimed artist, educator and choreographer whose career has crossed barriers and spanned the globe. She is founder and director of Sutradhar Institute Dance and Related Arts (SIDRA). Under her direction (1989 - present) she has made the Silver Spring based Institute into a community touchstone of classical art and culture. She was the recipient of senior research grant from AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) Nilimma currently serves a second term as councilor  on the board of Maryland State Arts Council as appointee of the governor of Maryland. She was recently awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. 
Anila Kumari is an eminent Kuchipudi dancer, writer, and a captivating storyteller who has had an international career in teaching and performing.  Hailing form a bicultural family, by the age of thirteen she had performed on stage and television in the United States, Kenya, Iran, and Indonesia. During performances at age nineteen Anila won accolades from reputed dance critics as well as first place in New Delhi’s dance completion. In 1993 Anila was interviewed by the BBC and won the Individual Artist award by Maryland State Arts Council. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Anila assisted a project funded by AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) to research the Indian dance code of hand gestures. She was  a recipient  of the Master Apprenticeship Award from Maryland State Arts Council.  
Dr. Rebecca Henry
Rebecca Henry PHD, RN is a medical anthropologist with a lifelong passion for movement and dance. As a teenager she studied at the College of St. Benedict with Margaret Dietz protégé’s. She went on to minor in dance at the University of Minnesota and then to apprentice with Nancy Hauser Dance Company in Minneapolis. Her love of movement inspired her anthropological studies on how the body and experience are constructed through our social lives and daily experiences. She’s worked in the Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Ghana, Mexico, Guyana and the United States and is now anchored at National Institutes of Health. She has rediscovered the centrality of movement and creativity in her life with the aide of Nilimma Devi and the astounding, warm community she has build around her love of Kuchiputi dance. 
Rakesh Brennig
Rakesh works at Fannie Mae and pursues photography in his spare time. His background in cultural diversity stemming from time overseas as part of a diplomatic family. He studied western philosophy and classical literature at St John's College and has a deep interest in Buddhism. His sharp aesthetic instinct and made him a valuable member of the board.   
Dr. Ashwini Tambe
Dr Ashwini Tambe is Associate Professor in the Department of Women's Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of History and Asian American Studies. She is also the editorial director of Feminist Studies, the oldest US journal of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and artistic expression. Her interests include modern South Asia, sexuality studies and global political economy. Her publications include the books Codes of Misconduct: Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and The Limits of British Colonial Control in South Asia (Rutledge, 2008). She has previously served on the board of Toronto Women's Bookstore. She supports all forms of joy in motion and takes seriously Emma Gordman's credo: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."
Jualenda Boschulte
Jualenda is a gifted eye surgeon and a tenacious student of martial arts at the institute, as well as the goddess class for adults.  She brings her inner wit and rich Caribbean heritage to bear on class discussions on the sacred in eastern art.
Shefali Srivastava
 Shefali Srivastava has spent the last 20 years in the field of corporate finance. She started her career at Reuters America in New York City in the field of financial products. She then joined WorldSpace in Washington DC and was part of a small core group to take the company public and expand into multiple markets across Europe, Asia and Africa. She is now at Yazmi, a start-up that provides access to education to remote parts of Africa through their satellite services. 

Shefali has an MBA from NYU and a Masters in Computer Science from University at Stonybrook, NY. She has previously studied at St Xavier’s college in Mumbai. 

Shefali brings her financial know how and love for the arts to Sidra. Her daughter has been a student for the past five years and loves coming to Sidra for both Kuchipudi and the close friendships she has made over the years. 
Dr. Raman Mandapaka

During his 25 year career in Financial Services, Dr. Mandapaka advised numerous clients in risk management, regulatory, and litigation matters.  With his deep understanding of financial markets and operations, Dr. Mandapaka continues to make impactful contributions in process reengineering, analytic methodologies, and capital and liquidity issues surrounding financial institutions.


Currently, Dr. Mandapaka is a Vice President at Charles River Associates – a consulting firm.  Prior to joining CRA, he spent 11 years at Navigant Consulting leading their quantitative analytics and risk management segment.  Frequent speaker at industry conferences, Dr. Mandapaka holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from University at Stony Brook, NY and has previously studied at the Delhi School of Economics and the Indian Statistical Institute.


Dr. Mandapaka is an Indian classical music and dance enthusiast.  His unique background helps understand and bring together the North, South, and East cultures of India.  He is fluent in Telugu, Odia, and Hindi.
Advisory Board 
Dr. Catherine Kerst
Dr. Catherine Hiebert Kerst is a folklorist and archivist in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In addition to her work in archival description, education, and public programming at the Library, she has conducted field projects as an independent folklorist to document traditional culture. In her folklife research, she has been especially fascinated by the vitality and innovative expressive culture of South Asian tradition and artistic practice, such as that taught and celebrated at the Sutradhar Institute, in a setting vastly different from its original context in India. This know-how is informing her work in setting up an archival library for the institute to begin the process of saving its many video records.
Dr. Kathy Coon
Kathy Coon works for Winrock International an NGO. She is a gender expert and specializes in international development in third world countries. She is now a project manager for a program in east Africa.  
Punitha Manavalan
Punitha comes to Sutradhar as a parent with a keen interest in arts.  In her words "Sutradhar brought to life, what I had lost in the daily mundane tasks of life.. a joy of possibilities for the future!  Watching my kids sit still and soak up Anila's stories and teachings was a moment of growth for me as a parent."