Sandra K. Saldanha holds an M.F.A. in Theatre with an interdisciplinary focus in Dance from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University. Saldanha has an abiding interest in movement both as medium of expression and in the production of cultural identity. With a grant from the American Institute of Indian Studies, she immersed in the practice of Kalarippayattu, the martial art of Kerala. She completed research for her Master’s thesis entitled, Identity through Movement: An Analysis of the Reconstruction of Mohiniyattam.
Since then, she has been engaged in a variety of projects as teacher/choreographer working with both children and adults. In Hyderabad, India, she collaborated with Kathak master Mangala Bhatt on Pratyavbhas: Manifestation of Inner Self, an evening of poetry and dance performed at the State Gallery of the Fine Arts. In Secunderabad, she taught children at the Forum for Street Children which resulted in their performance of Augustya and the Water Pot. At Catholic University in D.C., she was choreographer for Ghetto, written and directed by Joshua Sobol. She has performed with and constructed masks for a number of projects, most notably, the mask and Bunraku style puppet in Nilimma Devi’s Walk the Sky performed at the Kennedy Center. Teaching credits include the International School of Hyderabad, Governor’s Magnet School for the Arts at Old Dominion University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York University, Suffolk County Community College and the University of Wisconsin.