About Us

The Asha Sharath Kairali Kalakendram is a school of performing and visual arts committed to nurturing, teaching, staging and promoting traditional Indian dances, music, and art as well as contemporary/Bollywood dance, musical instruments grooming, theater and much more in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Established in 2003 by Asha Sharath the school has flourished, blossoming into a cultural icon with seven centers (and growing) spanning the UAE.

Fostering a dynamic and collaborative learning community of faculty and students, the school is focused at rejuvenating the body, mind, and soul through the magic of art forms, offering a wonderful opportunity to unwind, appreciate and relish the gifts Mother Nature has bestowed on you, for modern society to savor and cherish.


Nurture the arts invoking discovery of talent and bestowing self-esteem to perform to the delight of audiences, inspiring awe and appreciation for the art form, while honoring the past and molding future stars.


Provide a superbly personalized learning opportunity, irrespective of age, for lovers of art forms in a non-competitive yet socially aware state-of-the-art environment. Ensure students have fun while evolving into stellar performers enriching lives and instilling cultural awareness in communities for a better tomorrow as global citizens on Planet Earth.

Tribute to a Legacy

The Kairali Kalakendram is dedicated as a tribute to the legacy of Kalamandalam Sumathi, our patron and her single-handed contributions to Indian classical dance. A celebrated doyenne of Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi, she started her dance studies under the guidance of the legendary Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma and continued her advanced studies under the guidance of the renowned Thrippunithura Vijayabhanu.

She graduated in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam from the Kerala Kalamandalam School. Wanting to better her knowledge and skills, she enrolled for tutelage with Thanjavur Rajarathinam Pillai, a famously popular exponent of Bharatanatyam and later pursued Kuchipudi under the guardianship of Kalamandalam Susheela of Andhra Pradesh. She set up the Natyalaya School of Classical Dances at Perumbavoor in 1964 and teaches there even to this day.

My Story

Hailing from Perumbavoor, a suburb of Kochi in the Indian State of Kerala, I was brought up as the youngest and only daughter in a very close-knit family rooted in traditions and cultural ethos. Dad, (Krishnan Kutty) loves Indian classical dance, especially Kathakali and mom (Kalamandalam Sumathi) is a brilliant exponent of Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, and Kuchipudi. She has been teaching dance from our home-studio, "Natyalaya," long before I was born. Her rhythmic movements and the sound of her mutti or tattu kazhi (an instrument used to keep the beat in dance comprising a wooden plank and a stick) were perhaps ingrained in me even while I was still in the womb. With dad, mom and my brothers (Venugopal and Balagopal), egging me on, they say I started to dance even before I could walk!

I came to Dubai with my better-half Sharath, in 1994. I was instantly bowled over and mesmerized by the sights and sounds of this booming metropolis in the middle of the Arabian Desert where the future seemingly meets the past. Sharath, a seasoned UAE expat, helped me settle down very quickly. Very soon, I started working as a Radio Jockey with a local FM Channel and started enjoying my work and my new life here in Dubai. Even as an RJ I yearned to dance and encouraged by Sharath, after work I started teaching dance at home, beginning with two students, which very soon grew in number to about 30-40, including my daughters, Uthara and Keerthana.

Within a couple of years, prompted by a flood of requests for dance lessons, I set up the Kairali Kalakendram as a fully-fledged dance school at Ghusais, Dubai. It was around this time, encouraged by Sharath and the girls that I began my career in television and the movies. Thankfully, it offers unexpected opportunities to spend more time with dad and mom, as shooting locations are primarily in Kerala. Mastering the art of emoting is central to classical Indian dance. I believe this helped me take to acting like a duck to water, quite naturally, despite having started later than usual.

The joy of being able to see my children grow every day while still being able to do something I love is truly a blessing. Time is indeed precious when you have to manage your work and family life. Nevertheless, Sharath and the girls work with me in striking a perfect work-life balance by prudently spacing my overseas assignments. I am also blessed with a super-efficient management team at our centers who along with a diverse faculty from around the world keep the school running like clockwork, even during my absence.

I am proud to say that our centers today boast an average enrollment of over 3000-4000 students at any given time. We are instrumental in helping many people from all walks of life and of all ages rediscover their God-given gifts and realize their dreams. Dancing and teaching dance is my passion. It has even helped me overcome tragedies in my personal life, to a certain extent. Of course, entry into the world of Indian cinema has opened many a door for me in advancing Kairali Kalakendram on a global platform. A number of my friends in the Indian film fraternity including megastars, directors, writers, and choreographers have extended their unstinted support in expanding the scope of Kairali Kalakendram to include classes in acting, modeling, and etiquette. Classes in yoga and martial arts are on the anvil.

Currently, discussions are ongoing with reputed institutions worldwide for affiliations and academic partnerships to offer even better opportunities for our students. We are also speaking with local schools about integrating performing and visual arts into classrooms to support other curricula while simultaneously building students' art skills. Of course, we are affiliated with mom's 55-year old Natyalaya School of Classical Dances in India. She is my guiding light and dad my inspiration. Even today, prior to every performance, I seek their blessings. Sharath and the girls have my back at all times, lending me strength and clarity of vision in my every endeavor. "But we have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep," as Robert Frost so wonderfully put it!

On behalf of Team Kairali Kalakendram, thank you very much for visiting our website. We certainly look forward to working with you sooner than later.


Asha Sharath (Signature)

Our Milestones

Asha Sharath Kairali Kalakendram
Qusais - 2003
Asha Sharath Kairali Kalakendram
Sharjah - 2006
Kairali Kalakendram Performing Arts
Ibn Batututa Gate - 2010
Asha Sharath Kairali Kalakendram, Karama Branch
Karama - 2012
Asha Sharath Cultural Centre
Qusais - 2017
6. Asha Sharath Cultural Centre
Ajman - 2018
Asha Sharath Performing Arts
International City - 2018