Sushmita Ghosh started her training in Kathak at the age of eight at Gandharva Mahavidylaya under Guru Tirath Ram Azad. Later she joined Kathak Kendra, New Delhi where she studied the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak under illustrious Guru-s such as Guru Smt. Reba Vidyarthi and Guru Shri Munna Lal Shukla. Sushmita was awarded the Department of Culture National Scholarship for higher training in Kathak in 1988. In 1985 Sushmita completed her graduation with an honours degree in Physics from Delhi University.
In 1990 Sushmita was appointed the Resident Guru in Kathak at the UK branch of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She worked in the UK and Europe for the next 12 years to help create a strong community of Indian Classical Dancers in the UK. Sushmita set up Aakriti Dance Foundation in 1998 and also worked with numerous other individuals and organisations such as Academy of Indian Dance (now known as Akademi – South Asian Dance in the UK), Nahid Siddiqui Dance Company, Nitin Sawhney, and others. Her performances have been aired by the Doordarshan, BBC and Channel 4. Several of her disciples are working as professional Dancers in the UK and Europe.
In 2002 Sushmita returned to India and established the New Delhi branch of Aakriti Dance Foundation known simply as the “Aakriti Foundation”. She continues to work across continents with a group of dedicated students on either side. Arts for her, continues to be the inspiration and education, for life’s journey.
Shiv Sankar Roy:
Born into a family of music lovers Shiv Shankar Ray was drawn to the sound of percussion as a child. At the age of 8 he started learning from the legendary master Padmabhushan Pandit Gnan Prakash Ghosh, a doyen of Farrukhabadi Gharana. Pandit Gnan Prakash Ghosh is remembered today not only as a great exponent of Tabla but also as a great Guru and scholar well versed in literature as well as various branches of music.
In 1987 Shiv Shankar Ray was invited by the UK centre of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to join their team of Resident Guru-s. For the next 16 years he was the Tabla Guru at ‘Bhavan’ initiating a whole generation of musicians in the UK into Indian Music.
Shiv Shankar Ray has accompanied several eminent artists including Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb (Sitar), Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia (flute), Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (Sarod), Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Guitar) and Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty (Vocal). Shiv Shankar Ray has also played for BBC Television and All India Radio. His interest and curiosity in music without boundaries led to several collaborative projects with artists from other genres. Chief among these are 'TAPS' in Berkshire and young musicians' band in Spain He is also a founder member of the Indian Music Academy in the UK.
‘Shivji’, as he is known to his friends and disciples, shares his time between Europe and India inspiring musicians and music lovers all over the world through his mesmerizing performance and a keen sense of giving and sharing through music.