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Najma Harissiadis

Adjunct Instructor

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Courses
Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: Flamenco Dance
Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: Indian Dance

Education
B.A. Yoga and Philosophy
A.A.S. New School in Graphic Design, Parsons School of Design

Biography
Najma has been a faculty member at NYU since 2002 where she teaches the Jaipur tradition of Kathak Dance and Yoga correlating the dynamic interplay of energies and consciousness through chakra awareness and the cosmic movement of the universe.

Najma originally studied Kathak Dance, Sanskrit, yoga and tabla at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra, and Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, India under the guidance of the illustrious Guru Kundan Lal Gangani and his son, Guru Rajendra Gangani

As a Kathak Dance exponent of the Jaipur Tradition of Kathak Dance, Najma is known to have enriched and integrated the great Jaipur tradition of Kathak with elements of folk and Gypsy dances with an unusual sense of aesthetic adventure and free form. Her creative repertoire finds expression in integrated compositions with cross-culture fusion pieces performing to music and rhythms of Flamenco, Sufi, and the Middle East, and has recently developed a new class reflecting the roots of Flamenco: a dance journey from India to Spain.

Being active in Multi-Cultural Education throughout the tri-state area, Najma assimilates poetry and music from all backgrounds by incorporating Indian dance movements and sounds shaping artistic communication with her students. Most recent venues include Baruch College, Juilliard School of the Arts, Brooklyn Council of the Arts, Queens Library and Bronx Library. Early only in her career, 1989, Najma was awarded a Letter of Commendation from the Board of Education in New York City for her work with learning disabled children. And in 2003, she was awarded for her work reflecting the global influence of Asian cultures by the Asian Heritage Committee at New York University.

Founder of the Gangani Kathak Dance Company since 1989, Najma has performed both classical Kathak and fusion throughout the United States at venues including Asia Society, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Garden State Arts Center, Lincoln Center in New York City and has toured extensively performing and presenting and workshops in England, Brazil, Russia and India.

Najma has on many occasions performed with the illustrious Espirito Gitana' reflecting the Roots of Flamenco with great artists as, tabla virtuoso, Badal Roy, at Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park, in August 2011 and UN Presentation creating an awareness of the violence in Syria, 2012 and most recently, at LaMaMa Theatre all with rave reviews.

Aside from her dance practice, Najma is also a certified yoga teacher in which she reflects the ancient wisdom of India through combinations of yogic postures and sacred symbolic dance gestures enhancing chakra awareness. She tours throughout the country presenting workshops and master classes most recently in New York city, Yoga Dance workshop Invoking the Tree Goddess, Nirvana Yoga 2010 in which she choreographed Kundalini Unleashed, Sadhana Yoga Ashram, The Serpent Force.