2013 Workshops


Workshops in Abhinaya (art of expression), Yoga and Martial Arts

taught by

Master Teachers and Tradition Bearers from India


Bragha Bessell, Renjith Babu Choorakkad, & Parshwanath Upadhye

June 10 – 23, 2013

Artistic Director – Malathi Iyengar

‘Full Circle’ workshop offers a rare opportunity to study under the master teachers the disciplines of Art of Expression (Abhinaya), Yoga, & Martial Arts.  The teachers work with students of various levels and ages to create original works in the classroom. Yoga and Dance are unique among the arts disciplines, offering an experience that is kinetic as well as creative. Each class begins with a warm-up that incorporates elements of Yoga and art of expression in classical Indian dance. Students are familiarized with cultural heritage, customs, vocabulary, proper alignment, and other important principals of Yoga. Additionally, the students stretch and strengthen their bodies, build stamina, and increase their overall awareness.

‘Full Circle’ workshops occur during June 10 – 23, 2013. The workshops are open to the public! The workshops are held at the Rangoli Space in Sherman Oaks. The culminating performance by workshop participants is held at the Electric Lodge on June 23, 2013.

‘Full Circle’ workshops inspire students to build expressive skills, develop artistry, and experience the power of movement. Students explore cultural connections, traditions, and build a sense of rhythm, space and time. Yoga and Dance workshops typically culminate in showcase events for students to perform their learnt material.
Yoga: Breathing techniques, simple Yoga stretches, Asanas, and basic movement techniques. The activity expands mental alertness and concentration, improves self-discipline and coordination, and in turn helps students to learn about their bodies and improve their learning.
Martial Arts: Students are introduced to ‘Kalari’ martial art form from Kerala in south India.
Abhinaya (Art of expression in Indian classical dance): Students will learn mime, expressive dances, facial expressions, and techniques of story telling

Interested participants may write to or call (818) 599-1936 for more information.

Master Teachers

Bragha Bessell – Art of Expression (Abhinaya) 
Bragha Bessell, a consummate artist is a prime disciple of Adyar K. Lakshman and Kalanidhi Narayan. She studied Bharatanatyam initially from Mangudi Durai Raja Iyer and Kunchitapadam Pillai. Bragha, a quintessential dancer and a multiple award winning artist is renowned for her Abhinaya (art of expression). She has often played the lead roles in her teachers’ dance productions and also teaches at her guru’s institute. With many awards to her credit, she has given numerous performances and participated in festivals all over India, the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe. She has made TV appearances in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and on Asia Net. She has conducted Abhinaya workshops and lecture demonstrations extensively and has been invited by the prestigious institution Kalakshetra, (Chennai India) to give master classes. Bragha has toured US extensively and has been a sponsored artist of Rangoli Foundation since 2006.

Renjith Babu Choorakkad (Master Teacher of Yoga, Martial Arts, and Dance Theory)
Renjith Babu is a master Yogi and a practitioner of Yoga since 1996. Renjith is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer and Martial Arts specialist. His training in Yoga began under Srivatsa Ramaswami in 2001. He began teaching Yoga after he received the ‘YOGA SHIRONMANI’ on completing the Teachers Training Course (TTC) from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre (Trivandrum, Kerala). In March 2009 he received the prestigious ‘ YOGA ACHARYA’ title on successfully completing his Advanced Teachers Training Course (ATTC) from the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai. His workshops on Yoga have been well received in India as well as abroad. Renjith also had the golden opportunity to assist his Yoga teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami in his recent work on a book “The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga”. Renjith is also influenced by Pilates, an effective method of bodywork popular among dancers. Renjith, a Kalakshetra dancer is a prime disciple of the veteran guru Prof C. V. Chandrashekhar. Renjith and Vijna, partners in dance and life, perform, choreograph, and teach as a part of their institution ‘Dhwani – Temple of Performing Arts, Chennai. Renjith has been a part of Rangoli  Dance Company presentations since 2002.

Parshwanath Upadhye (Dance, Martial and Movement Arts)
Parshwanath Upadhye (India) a versatile dancer, choreographer and singer is one of the youngest dancers to become ‘A’ grade artists of Door Darshan (TV) Bangalore. He is a disciple of The Kirans. He is a recipient of HRD, ICCR scholarships and holds a Masters degree in Kannada literature. He is a Black belt holder In Indian Karate and state level swimmer, and also a trained south Indian classical singer. Parshwanath has worked with several noted dance companies in India and abroad. Along with his wife Shruthi, Parshwanath directs, teaches, and performs as a part of Upadhye School of Dance, Bangalore.  As a sponsored artist of Rangoli Foundation, this is Parshwanath’s second visit to work with Rangoli Dance Company.

Full Circle workshop participation and presentation

The fee includes attending a workshop, rehearsals, and final presentation. There are No Refunds.

The following schedule and fee refers to group classes. All three visiting artists will be teaching the classes each day. Participants learn Abhinaya (art of expression, Yoga, and movement routine in each session)

COST:  For details and information, please e-mail or call (818) 599-1936.

The following workshop schedule and all other events are subject to change under unavoidable circumstances.

Abhinaya, art of expression – Private classes with the master teacher  Bragha Bessell are available.

Yoga Workshops by master Yogi Renjith Babu Choorakkad may be available during July.

Programming content for ‘Full Circle’ is decided by the master teachers offering the workshop.

Dress Code: Call or write for more information.

Rehearsals for ‘Full Circle’ Performance on June 23

Every dancer is required to attend final rehearsals from June 20 – 22.

All dances will be rehearsed in order this week.

One of these rehearsals might be a stage / tech / dress rehearsal.


Videotaping the workshop is up to the discretion of the master teachers.

The Workshop presentation on June 23rd is videotaped professionally and you may request a copy of your performance for a small fee. Send your request to No other person is allowed to videotape the presentation.

‘Full Circle’, a workshop and presentation of Rangoli Foundation is supported in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.