Rangoli Dance Company features ‘Bharatanatyam’, the vibrant dance form that has its origins in south India. Drawing from the myth and spirituality of the cultural heritage, artistic directors Malathi Iyengar & Lakshmi Iyengar create dance landscapes that dwell in both traditional and secular, and rhythm and stillness. The dances convey a sense of reverence & mystery and are offered in the spirit of universal celebration.
Malathi Iyengar is a Los Angeles based choreographer, educator, and visual artist. Iyengar holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography and Performance from University of California, Los Angeles. Iyengar studied Bharatanatyam (classical dance of India) from guru Narmada of Bangalore, India and choreography and improvisation under the mentorship of Marion Scott.
Iyengar received the 2013 C.O.L.A. Individual Artist Fellowship for choreography from the City of Los Angeles. Iyengar is also the recipient of Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Dance for her choreography “Shivaya.” Iyengar has received numerous other distinctions for her choreographic works and is recognized as a Master Artist of Bharatanatyam dance by the Alliance for California Traditional Artists. Some of her other awards include Hind Rattan Award, Rainbow Award (LAWTF), Hindu Temple Asthana Vidushi Award, Durfee Foundation Award, Brody Fellowship for Performing Arts, Alma Hawkins Award for Excellence in Choreography, John Lennon Performing Arts Award, Glorya Kaufman Award, J. and Watumull Award. Iyengar regularly teaches Bharatanatyam, production and presentation seminars, and intercultural dance theater. Iyengar is the author of ‘Dance & Devotion’ published by Rangoli Foundation. Iyengar is the artistic director of the Rangoli Dance Company & Rangoli Foundation for Art & Culture, a non-profit organization, which was founded in 1985. Iyengar served as an adjunct faculty at the Santa Monica College Dance Department from 2009 – 2013.
As Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lakshmi tracks, produces and acquires films for the studio. Annually attending Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca, Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival, Lakshmi actively screens films and meets with filmmakers from all over the world. She is currently overseeing the following Sony acquisitions: AMMONITE, DREAM HORSE, THE GLORIAS, LATE NIGHT, LITTLE FISH, SAINT MAUD, TOMORROW MAN, THE WEDDING GUEST and THE WORLD TO COME.
Lakshmi’s career in Acquisitions began in 2009 at Universal Pictures and continued as Director of Acquisitions for Focus Features in 2016. During her time with Universal and Focus she participated in the acquisitions of Tom Ford’s NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, Lenny Abrahamson’s ROOM, Pedro Almodovar’s JULIETA and Garth Davis’ MARY MAGDALENE. Prior to joining the studio, Lakshmi interned at ICM, Dan Lin Productions, John Wells Productions and volunteered for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.
Born in Sherman Oaks, California, Lakshmi’s background is deeply rooted in the arts and live performance. She has worked for the Los Angeles Opera, and is the Co-Artistic Director and lead dancer for the Rangoli Dance Company. She has worked extensively behind the curtain as stage manager and production designer for most of their productions. Lakshmi continues to perform and has been actively dancing for 30 years. She additionally serves on the board of the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles and is on the faculty for Carnegie Mellon University’s MEIM program in Independent Film Acquisitions.
Lakshmi has a BA in Theater with a Minor in Italian (2005), and a Masters in Entertainment Industry Management from Carnegie Mellon University (2009). She additionally studied abroad in Bologna, Italy and interned with the Cineteca di Bologna.
Shivani Aysola, Vyshnavi Aysola, Nishitha Viswanathan
Visual Artist & Sculptor
Suresh Iyengar was born in Dharwar, India, to a family of artists. He is a sculptor, painter, float builder, and a craftsman. Having been a visual artist since childhood, he has enhanced his skills by attending sculpture workshops in Pietrasanta, Italy, Cambria, and Los Angeles.
Suresh has been a sculptor and a contributing float-building artist for the City of Burbank Rose Bowl Float since 2004. He has won numerous awards and recognitions from the City of Burbank for his sculptures and artwork. His art works have been a part of Rangoli Dance Company performances and other site-specific concerts, museums, events, installations, and weddings all over California. His sculptures and paintings are also part of a private collection. Suresh has received multiple nominations for outstanding achievement in set design by the Los Angeles based Lester Horton Dance Award Committee. He is the recipient of the ‘Kannada Kala Bhushana Award ’ by the Karnataka Cultural Association, Los Angeles in 1999.
In addition to being an artist and a dentist by profession, Iyengar has been an avid jogger and a marathon runner from 1976 – 2013. He has completed several Marathons all over the United States and abroad. The list includes prestigious Marathons such as The Boston 100th Marathon, Paris, London, Munich, Chicago, Portland, St Louis, Honolulu, Big Sur, San Diego, Carlsbad, and Los Angeles. His best time in completing a marathon was 3:17 at the Carlsbad Marathon in 1996.
Christopher Taylor has extensive experience in both theater and in office administration. He received his BFA from Grinnell College in Iowa, majoring in Theater. He then continued his acting training for four more years at The Juilliard School, graduating in 1990. Writing projects have included short stories, an extensive adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta “The Grand Duke,” a TV-pilot entitled “Kasanova” developed with Reddy-Or-Not Productions, and currently a one-man show, “Let There Be Rum (A Rum Show).” Working experience in office administration for 16 years has included the New York Academy of Medicine Library, NYU, the University of Minnesota, Oasis Theater Company and as Administrative Associate at Rangoli Dance Company.
Ashley, a southern California native, is an aspiring designer and a talented artist. She graduated from CSU Channel Islands with a degree in Fine Art and a Certificate in Digital Media.