Inside Asthana
Artistic Director
The Instructors
Performing Artiste

Ravi Shanker Rama Murthy

Ravi Shanker never thought learning dance will bring him a long way. This is story from a dancer, to choreographer, to an instructor to an artistic director.

After seeing his passion and enthusiasm in dance, In 2001, UPM approached Ravi Shanker to create club based on Indian dance. He started Putra Kalakshetra. “Kala” is arts and “ Shektra” mean venue in Shanskrit terminology. With proper dance modules, tailor made for semester system this club took shape. The first president was Ravi Shanker himself as well the instructor. He have brought this club to perform in various international events such as the International Tamil Film Awards, Insdian Film Festival , Global Indian Festival and more. A club is not enough, so Shanker took the extra initiative to present to UPM’s senate a proposal on Indian Dance Co Curriculum. After seven years of continous effort, UPM made Indian Classical Dance as a subject under the co curriculum unit in the year 2007.

When Shanker pursue his master in performing Arts in UM, he initiated the Swarna Malaya ( The Golden Malaya in Shankrit) club of performing Arts in 2006 with similar concept with UPM’s club. As well Shanker took over the already established Indian dance co curriculum in UM.

Being recognized by UPM and UM , Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia approached Shanker and this where Rasalaavanya ( The Beautiful Emotions) Club of Performing Art took the Centre stage in the year 2008. In July 2009, the university is offering Indian Classical dance as a co curriculum subject and Ravi is the one being the instrumental towards this development.

The biggest achievement is not Indian learning Indian dance, but the Chinese and Malaya and this is what is happening in all three universities where we get to see non Indian performing for Indian dance with complete Indian costume. From Odissi to Kathak, from Ramayana to Laila Majnu, the beautiful Indian Art is appreciated and learnt by more Chinese and Malay students. This also due to Ravi’s communication skill, method and the teaching style that the non Indians to take up Indian dance in all these universities

After quiting his job as Promotions Manager for Astro in January 2009, Shanker concentrates full time with his own dance studio. Asthana Arts is dance studio located, in promoting Malaysian dance, teaching and as a resource centre for young dance artists. Ravi Shanker works closely with Istana Budaya, Dua Space, Mr Wong Kit Yaw and Laksman of Akademi Seni Kebangsaan in producing events and shows.

He also initiated the Asthana Arts Young Performing Artist Fund to help dance student to learn dance on scholarship based, grant for performing arts students and help arts based projects by young artist. This fund was soft launched on 7th June 2009 at Global Indian Festival Midvaalley Megamall. Ravi believes even though, it is small dance studio, the assistance to students should be big and come from heart to arts. All future productions of Asthana Arts would be in the aid of Asthana Arts Young Performing Artist Fund

Besides all, Ravi Shanker has always been there through sweat and blood sustaining the teenagers to learn and acquire the knowledge of this Performing Art. He nourished the teenagers with much enthusiasm and devotion in acquiring this knowledge. He was understood to be a role model to all the teenagers in this era. He has devoted his life in bringing up the Art of Performing and pioneers it to the coming generations. Ravi Shanker’s effort is a 15 years effort in promoting arts. At the tender age of 16, his journey into dance never stopped till now.



In the sence of academic and co curriculum, Universiti Putra Malaysia acknowledges him in the Anugerah Naib Canselor. This is highest recognition in UPM. This due to his contribution towards developing Indian Dance, being active in Cultural Activities in varsity level and as well excels in studies. Among the notable activities that he have organized are The Cultural Exchange visit to The University of Chulalongkorn Thailand, The Cultural Exchange visit to University of Lima, Peru, Malam Eksplorasi Budaya Malaysia, The Rabindranath Tagore Cultural Event, A Night of Naatyanjaali – Indian Classical, Semi classical and Contemporary dance competition. Most of the events are either involves dignitaries, ministers or arts enthusiast.

In the year 2006, Ravi Shanker was 1st runner up in The Asian Youth Ambassador Dream Malaysia Most Outstanding Youth of The Award. This award gives recognition youths that have went through hardship and turbulence in life yet they outshines to achieve their dream in life. Ravi Shanker’s story of boy who excelled in dance, co curriculum, studies and as well building of his career in notable broadcasting company made the panel of juries to select him in that particular year

In the year 2009, Ravi Shanker was top 5 finalists for Cultural Achievement Category for The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award held at The Sunway Convention Centre.

The National Arts and Culture Unit of Malaysian Indian Congress, recognized Ravi Shanker in his effort for in community by selecting him as the recipient of Arts & Culture Award for the dance category for the year 2012

Star Education Fund has helped Ravi Shanker to fulfill his dream into Broadcasting when he was selected to study broadcasting at The Academy TV3. A RM20,000 worth of scholarship for three years study has boosted Ravi Shanker to well in his studies. This has made him to join All Asia Broadcasting Centre ( Astro) as a practical trainee in programming unit. He was later roped in to become the production Assistant then to Assistant producer in the Astro RIA such as the Nadi KL, Beat TV, Salam Bollywood, Akademi Fantasia and more. Then he was promoted as the Promotions Producer in Astro Hits.TV producing various video clips, commercials and snippets for the English Music Industry. Ravi Shanker is one of the pioneers for the development of Astro Hits.TV channel. Climbing the corporate ladder, as the Assistant Manager and then to Promotions and Marketing Manager for Era, Sinar and THR, Ravi Shanker expertise in organizing events and promotional campaigns in making the radio station more visible to the listeners.. Ravi Shanker left Astro in 2009 to concentrate with his passion, Dance.

Apart from Awards and Scholarship, Ravi Shanker is seen as dance educator and choreographer in the entertainment and performing arts Industry. He was appointed as the Judge for some of these events.

Astro Attaam 100 Vagai - Annual dance competition by Astro providing young Indian dancers as a platform to showcase their dance choreography and dancing skills. Ravi Shanker was the judge for the year 2006 and 2007.

Miss Malaysia India Talent Round – Miss Malaysia India is one of the established pageants for Indian girls who are Malaysian. Ravi Shanker was judging the talent round for the year 2007.

Feseni UM – Feseni or Festival Seni Universiti Malaya is an annual event organized by the Cultural Centre UM. Since 2006, Ravi Shanker has been the head of judges choosing the winner in the dance category

Festival Tari UKM - Similar to UM, this is another dance competition in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia which showcases undergraduates skill in dance. Ravi Shanker was the judge since 2007.

So far , Ravi Shanker have produced and directed 7 notable productions – Panchasunthara ( 2009), Varna (2010), Thirunangai (2010) , Mahakavi (2010) , Theeratha Taagam ( 2011) , Divas & Devas (2011) as well Naduvan ( 2012) .

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