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Sandhya Raman is an internationally known costume designer, curator and textile activist. She has a versatile career spanning over 30 years. Working towards spreading awareness about socially responsible design, Sandhya co-founded DESMANIA DESIGN a leading design company in India. Sandhya’s passion for handlooms has taken her through the length and breadth of the country. She is actively involved in textile revival, for artisans to have a larger reach in the global market. Her commitment for a better world through design shows through her work with visually impaired and differently abled people.  

Sandhya was conferred the Stree Shakti Puraskar from the Govt. of India for her contribution in empowering women, craftsmen and artisans. Raman’s costume design journey has been path-breaking and has developed sensitivity towards the kinesthetics of dance. She uses new technology and fine detailing to resolve ergonomic issues related to costuming, which in turn has created a new design language. Her aesthetic and refined eye allows her to treat the body as a canvas, which translates into innovative use of pattern and drape, creating distinct costumes.

Sandhya has worked on several National and International projects over the course of her career. Her work has been showcased in several cities in India, the United States, including New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Sandhya’s collaborative efforts with a spectrum of renowned artists have been noteworthy. She has an in-depth understanding of fabric and aims to revive, as well as promote handlooms to keep the tradition of Indian weaves robust and alive. Her spectrum of costuming includes both modern and traditional choreographies. Her use of Khadi for the performing arts in GANDHI - WARP AND WEFT has been very aspirational for young minds.

In addition to costuming, Raman has designed dioramas for the permanent exposition of ‘Discovery of India’ at The Nehru Centre, Mumbai, depicting the thread that binds costumes across the length and breadth of India.   She conceptualised and produced the pan India experience of ‘Mythologies Retold’– a dance drama that addressed the issue of female foeticide and was conferred with the Creative Excellence award from UNFPA.

As a curator, Sandhya has designed and conceptualised “When the pleats Dance” – a journey of costumes over four decades, “The Enchanted Tree” – a visual paper presented for the XXVII  International Federation of Modern Languages and Literatures FILLM  --- UNESCO Her collaborative production You ME and RUMI –promoting the essence of Indian fabric, was very well received by the Lyric theatre and Kentucky Arts Council Lexington. Her recent work and garment range ENIGMATIC EAST was an effort to bring the fabrics of Arunachal Pradesh to the main stream through a fashion showcase and collaboration with AWFED as a design strategy consultant.  

She has worked closely with several dance companies internationally such as Battery Dance Company (New York), Natya Dance Theatre (Chicago), Bharatkala Natya Academy (Atlanta), Sampradaya Dance Creations (Canada) amongst others. These premiered in the US, Europe and across India. Her collaborative efforts with a variety of dance forms such as Bharatatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathkali, Chhau, Sattriya, Odissi and American Ballets have involved many renowned artists like Anita Ratnam, Geeta Chandran, Aditi Mangaldas, Sonal Mansingh, Malavika Sarukkai, Leela Samson, Pratibha Prahlad and Vanashree Rao.

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