CV Articles / Panels / Speaking Engagements Publications Interviews

PROFILE – Malathi Iyengar
Choreographer, Educator, & Visual Artist

Artistic Director, Rangoli Foundation for Art & Culture & Rangoli Dance Company, Los Angeles, CA (1985 – Present)

  • Teach Indian classical dance Technique, story telling sequences, gestures, rhythms, music, language, visual arts, customs, and culture
  • Choreograph, stage, and present students in annual recitals, solo dance debuts, and company performances
  • Teach advance choreography and prepare company performers for touring and local performances.
  • Work with dancers from diverse communities to engage in intercultural performances including improvisation and spoken word.
  • Present, stage, perform, and present full-length concerts and productions all over United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and India.
  • Design and prepare all publicity, graphic design work for company productions, and prepare all necessary teaching aids and materials.

 Faculty, Santa Monica College, Dance Department, Santa Monica, CA (2009 – 2013)

  • Taught Indian classical dance technique, customs, and culture

University of California, Los Angeles, Dance Department, Los Angeles, CA (1995 – 1996)

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant – Taught production design seminars and concert planning to Undergraduate Dance & World Arts & Cultures students

 Artist in Residence – Los Angeles City Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA (1989 – 1994)

  • Taught and directed a program showcasing music, dance, and visual arts of India to K – 12 students as a part of the LAUSD Intercultural Awareness Program.


  • Lecture Demonstrations and Workshops featuring Dance and Visual Arts
  • Rangoli (Sand Mandala) Artist – Created floor designs for ‘Festival of India’ series all over California, Universities, Art Institutes, LA County Museum of Art, Norton Simon Museum, Bowers Museum, and Pacific Asia Museum
  • Created and designed logos, publicity material, interior design, murals, and visual arts projects


  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1993 – 1996)
    Master of Fine Arts in Dance
    Emphasis: Choreography & Performance
    Mentors: Marion Scott, Angelia Leung, Judy Mitoma, Colin Quigley, & Elsie Dunin
  • Bharatanatyam Dance Training
    Master Teacher and Mentor – Late Guru Narmada, Bangalore, India
  • Internships & Workshops specializing in art of expression (Abhinaya) and conducting Dance recitals (Nattuvangam)
    Mentors: guru Narmada, guru Kalanidhi Narayanan, guru Bragha Bessell,  & guru Adyar Lakshman
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1978 – 1980)
    Professional Designation Certificate in Interior Design and Architectural Graphic Design
  • Bangalore University, India (1969 – 1972)
    Bachelor of Science
    Emphasis: Chemistry, Botany, & Zoology 


  • 2013 COLA Fellow (City of Los Angeles mid-career exemplary artist fellowship for choreography)
  • 2010 Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement for World Dance – ‘Shivaya’
  • KCA (Karnataka Cultural Association, Los Angeles) Award & Recognition 2009
  • Hind Rattan Award 2009 (NRI Welfare Society of India, Delhi, India)
  • Rainbow Award (Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival) 2007
  • California Cultureplace Artist (ACTA) 2006
  • Asthana Vidushi – Recognition bestowed by Hindu Temple of southern California – July 2005
  • Alliance for California Traditional Artists – Master Artist 2004
  • Durfee Foundation Award – (Ramayana) 2000
  • Brody Fellowship for Performing Arts / Dance 1999
  • Alma Hawkins Award for Excellence in Choreography 1995
  • Watumull Award 1995
  • Glorya Kaufman Award 1994
  • John Lennon Performing Arts Award 1994
  • Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA – (Two Dimensional Design – Pen & Ink Drawings) – Artistic Merit Award 1980


  • The constant need to produce something “new,” and it’s connect with the “old.” 2014
    Malathi Iyengar – Writer, speaker and panelist  ‘UTSAV’ – celebrating India’s Maestros of Music & Dance presented by SIVAM and supported by U.S.  – India Business Council
  • Dance & Devotion
    A Hand Book on Bharatanatyam Dance, Written & Compiled by Malathi Iyengar
    Published by Rangoli Foundation 2004