The 2022 Executive Committee
Pratidhwani is 501(c)3 cultural non-profit organization. It is managed by elected representatives from the community.
Gurvinder Pal Singh, President
Gurvinder's stage career started way back in school (in 4th or 5th std) when his teacher needed girls for a dandiya dance and she couldn't find any. Instead she asked him to dance, with his hair open and tons of makeup! Since then Guru has been on stage, be it a dance or a skit or a mime (although never as a girl again!). In college - the dice got rolling with a mono act that he did in his first year, and never looked back. Guru was the dramatics rep at his IIT-D hostel and then the Cultural Secretary. At the end of years, he had earned a name in skits and dances. Aath Ghante was his first hindi play in which he had a major role, followed by Dr. Ahuja in Everyone Loves a Good Tsunami, Ensemble role in Gaare ki Deewar, Directed the Bollywood Ballerina Desi Girl, played the Kotwaal in Ek Tha Gadha and was director and Genie in Mausam Xpress, the King in Chitrangada and directed Darling Tere Liye. Other than MCing shows (Ina Mina Dika, Gunjan, IAWW Diwali, Cry Idol etc.) and skits, Guru is a member of the Pratidhwani Dance group, Dreams dance group and Shub Gill's Rhythms of India Bhangra group.
Ankur Gupta, Treasurer
Ankur first appeared on stage as Mangal Pandey during 5th standard and has been an active participant since then. The journey continued in Seattle with appearances in plays like Sangharsh ki Oar (Lakshman), Aath Ghante (BrijBhushan Verma), Gaare Ki Deevar (Sanjeev), Ek Tha Gadha (Devillal), Kanyadaan (Arun), Samsara (foetus) and The compleat works of William Shakespeare (Various), Bollywood dance dramas (as script writer/actor/director) like Yam Ne Bana Di Jodi (Khunkhar Singh), Mausam Express (Mausam), Pardey Ke Peecheey (Karodimal), Shaadi.Con (Ranjeet), Jab We Dance (Arjun), and DesiGirl (Mohan). He has also MC’d shows like Ina Mina Dika, Bhartiyam's Diwali, Shaam Mastaani, Hai Dum, Colors of India, and APCC. He managed the stage for Everyone Loves a Good Tsunami, Chitrangada, Darling Tere Liye, Imagine India, Kingdom of Cards. He has been serving as Pratidhwani treasurer since 2013.
Meenakshi Rishi, Director, Partnerships and Alliances
Meenakshi Rishi is an overdetermined woman. She is, mostly a Professor of Economics, hopefully a supportive spouse, and always a crazy mama. When she grows up she would like to see a world without inequity and injustice. In addition to her teaching talk show (on air since 1993), she has performed in several shows for Pratidhwani as well as for Mirror Stage and Infinity Box Theatre. She is also on the Board of Infinity Box Theatre. Meenakshi was nominated for a Gregory Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Ratna in Dance Like a Man and has recently acted in two film productions: What if and Finding Bapu. She was also a very glorified extra in Three Busy Debras (HBO/AdultSwim).
Alpa Dave, Director, Marketing
Alpa’s first show was unplanned. At age six, she snuck onto the stage of a someone else’s school talent show to perform a nursery rhyme. She remembers it being well-received. After that, Alpa performed in traditional Gujarati dances during high school and college. After moving to Seattle, she got into improv theater and acting, including Pratidhwani's production of The Banyan Tree and staged readings (House of Joy and Landlord). She has had the privilege to both perform in and co-direct Yoni Ki Baat (an annual South Asian performance inspired by the Vagina Monologues) and witness the healing power of storytelling. Alpa is an avid traveler and is fascinated by different cultures. Born in Sudan, raised in Dubai, she moved to Phoenix for college, and then relocated to Seattle where she has lived ever since. Humor and love are the driving forces of her life. By day, she is a researcher at Microsoft where she enjoys talking with customers and influencing products. She is passionate about putting technology in service to her community and society. She wishes to thank her family, her friends, and her husband for supporting her in all her creative endeavors.
Chavi Khare, Artistic Director, Dance Wing
Chavi Khare is your typical software nerd from Hyderabad, India - the city of pearls. As a child, she discovered her passion for dance while participating in festivities organized by local groups. She graduated from performing to choreographing and eventually to organizing numerous dance shows. These endeavors lead to not just showcasing & honing her creativity but also harnessing leadership skills. After moving to Seattle, US in 2012, Chavi became an active member of the various South Asian Art Organizations such as Pratidhwani & Indus creations. After establishing herself as an accomplished artist by consistently performing in several shows in the Seattle circuit, she went on to become the artistic director of the Pratidhwani dance wing (2015-18). During which she directed, organized & continued performing in multiple shows. Chavi is also very passionate about filmmaking. She has directed dance videos, web series, and short films. She was also an associate director of a Tamil feature film, Vellai Pookal (2019). So, totally your typical software nerd from Hyderabad… ;)
Shailendra Upadhye, Artistic Director, Classical Music Wing
Shailendra started learning the art of tabla from Shri Kuntal Roy of Kolkata around 2005. During his musical journey, he has been privileged to learn from late Dr. Sharad Gadre of Seattle, a well known vocalist & also has received occasional instruction from Shri Harshad Kanetkar from Pune. Shailendra loves to arrange & participate in various Indian Classical music endeavors as well as light music events. He has participated in semi-classical events such as Sur Sandhya & Kashish as well as Light-music shows such as Dil ne Kaha & Swarali.
Agastya Kohli, Artistic Director, Drama Wing
Agastya has led Pratidhwani's Drama Wing since 2005, and has directed and produced a number of productions under the Pratidhwani banner. He has also directed for Live Girls! Theater, Infinity Box, PFP, Penguine Productions and 14/48. As an actor Agastya has worked with Book-it Repertory, Pony World Theatre, Theatre22, ReAct Theatre, 14/48, PFP, SIS Productions, Theater Schmeater, Live Girls! Theater, and more. An avid theatre goer, Agastya used to watch about 3 plays a week in the Before Times, and is glad to see a slow return to normalcy in theatre production calendars. He is happy to recommend his favorites if you're looking for suggestions. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.