Indian Classical Arts Mentorship Grant


The Serendipity Arts Classical Arts Mentorship Grant offers financial support to practitioners in the field of Indian Classical music and dance who wish to train under a mentor for a period of six months. The model for training follows the traditional teacher-student (Guru-Shishya) format of knowledge transmission and practice whereby the student learns and resides under the tutelage of the mentor for the period of their education.  The goal of the grant is to facilitate the enhancement of the applicant’s practice either through further pursuance of their discipline or through the acquisition of allied art practices and skills within the Indian Classical music/dance traditions


May 22, 2023 at 11:59 pm IST


The Grant Amount must be utilised within a period of 12 months with a minimum of 6 month mentorship period.


3 participants


  • Grant Amount of up to  INR 1,00,000 /-  subject to tax deductions.
  • The Grant can cover costs for travel, stay, accommodation, fees. Additional expenses, over and above the Grant Amount would be borne by the Awardee.


  • A formal educational background is preferred but not mandatory.
  • Learning and/or practising the art form for a minimum of 7 years.  
  • Details of the Mentor are required to be submitted while applying for the Grant. 
  • Age: up to 35 years as of Open Call date. 
  • Applicants must be Indian nationals with an Indian bank account. 
  • Applicants who are beneficiaries of other scholarships/ grants in the field of music or dance during the tenure of the Grant are also eligible. 
  • Students of the Jury members are not eligible to apply. 

Application Requirements

  • Submission of a completed Application Form.
  • Applicants are required to submit a video of themselves in practice/ performance (maximum 20 minutes).
  • A short bio (Maximum 250 words).
  • Resume/CV (to be uploaded).
  • Letter from the Mentor/Guru verifying the mentorship, proof of practice and accepting the norms of the Grant.
  • A detailed budget break-up must be submitted along with the application.

Timeline and Process of Selection

  • The deadline for applications is May 22, 2023.
  • The Grantees will be selected by a Jury.
  • The Grantees will be announced in May 2023.


Aneesh Pradhan

One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of the illustrious tabla maestro Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several awards such as the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’ (1998) for music direction to the Marathi play ‘Tumbara’ directed by Sunil Shanbag, the Vasantotsav Award (2012) instituted in memory of the eminent vocalist Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013) instituted in memory of G.L. Samant by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune. A popular performer at most prestigious concerts and festivals in the country, Aneesh Pradhan has also travelled widely and performed overseas at major events. He has recorded prolifically for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists. Apart from his work with art music, Aneesh Pradhan is also a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations both in the capacity of performer and composer. He is keen to push the envelope in experimenting with sound and music through his composition for film, television, theatre and dance projects. Aneesh Pradhan has been awarded the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair in Indian Studies at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. Aneesh is the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd, an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal. He also co-curates an international music festival called Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India.

Aruna Sairam

Padma Shri awardee, Sangita Kalanidhi Aruna Sairam, represents one of South India’s richest lineages of Carnatic classical music having studied Music first from her Mother Rajalakshmi Sethuraman and later from the legendary T. Brinda, the sixth generation Master of a long lineage of Women Singers who adorned the kingdom of Tanjore. Aruna is acclaimed as one of the most illustrious voices of South Indian Music, while also acknowledged as a composer, collaborator, mentor, humanitarian, and speaker. Aruna’s voice, a rare blend of resonance and range, has an unusual timbre which gives it uniqueness. Listening to her music, the listener finds deep, pure emotion and a soulful connect with her renderings, transporting them to a sense of unity with the universe. After her outstanding concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, she was hailed by critics as the ‘New Queen of Soul’, up there with Aretha Franklin. Her music has drawn both scholar and layman, making her one of the most unique musicians of her time.

Vidushi Geeta Chandran is synonymous with Bharatanatyam the classical dance that she has practised for decades since her journey began at the age of 5 under the tutelage of her first Guru Smt. Swarna Saraswati who hailed from the traditional Daasi Parampara. Since then, her dance voyage has embraced intense learning under several stalwart Gurus. Yet, Geeta has imprinted Bharatanatyam with her unique personality where delicate shades of abhinaya are offset by extremely challenging nritta sequences. Her vast knowledge and training of Carnatic music further imbues her dance with a unique flavour. 

In Manipur, dance is not just a form of art, but a way of life. Dance is a medium of expression, which is closely interwoven with the social fabric of the Manipuri society, and therefore it is impossible to study one without the other.
Priti Patel has through her efforts tried to preserve the essence and authenticity of Manipuri Dance through her system of instruction, performance and research. She was initiated in the art of dance at an early age by the legendary Guru Bipin Singh and the Jhaveri Sisters. Though she excelled as a danseuse, her quest for mastery and perfection made her go deeper in the study of this art form, and this made her go to other Masters and Gurus in Manipuri.

In order to take this art form forward she established Anjika-Centre for Manipuri Dance and Movement Therapy in Kolkata and Imphal. This facilitated training in classical Manipuri Dance and presenting path breaking choreographies all over the world. This is an unique Centre of Dance with a dual curriculum. It is a centre for Manipuri Dance and a centre for Movement Therapy for the disabled.
Dance with the disabled began at The Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy in 1990. She developed an unique system which through medium of dance uplifted and motivated the body, mind and spirit.

Priti Patel has received numerous awards of which the most prestigious being the Sangeet Natak Akademi award from the former President of India, the Late Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Raza Foundation Award, Mrinalini Sarabhai award, Uday Shankar dance award etc. for excellence in Manipuri Dance. She is also a Fulbright Fellow and has served on numerous committees of Ministry of Culture, Government of India,Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Prasar Bharati.


Akash Mallick

Akash Mallick is a well-known performer of Marga Natya, a system of Natyashastraic performance, who received his training under Shri Piyal Bhattacharya. Akash is associated with Chidakash Kalalay Centre of Art and Divinity, Kolkata, where he pursues further training in Marga Natya. He has received the Junior Research Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, and has performed in several major festivals in India and abroad.

Kankana Singh

Kankana Singh is an established Manipuri dancer who learned the craft under the tutelage of the acclaimed Guru Bipin Singh and Guru Kalavati Devi. Currently she is associated with Manipuri Nartanalaya where she is undergoing advanced training under Smt. Bimbavati Devi.

Noopur Gadgil

Noopur Gadgil is a Hindustani Classical Vocalist trained in the Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur Gharanas under the able guidance of Pandit Madhukar Gajananrao Joshi for more than 20 years. She has performed at NCPA, Pune Festival, Chandigarh Festival, Raza Foundation, and Serendipity Arts Festival.

Terms & Conditions

  • The selected artists are required to share fund utilisation documents as and when required by Serendipity Arts.
  • The Grantees will be required to sign a Letter of Agreement to complete the selection process. 
  • The responsibility for securing a Mentor and entering into an agreement with them for the duration of the grant is the sole responsibility of the applicant. 
  • The applicant must not be a student of any Jury member.
  • The Grant amount will be released in two instalments: 
    the first instalment will be released upon signing the Letter of Agreement, and the second instalment will be released upon submission of the first report and Fund Utilisation Certificate after the first three months.
  • The Grant must be utilised within 12 months of receiving the funds. 
  •  The Jury’s decision as to whether an applicant has met all criteria is final and not subject to any appeal for reconsideration. 
  • Incomplete or incorrect applications will automatically be disqualified. Please read the application guidelines carefully.
  • The final decisions take into consideration the overall quality of each application in relation to all the others. Serendipity Arts supports applicants from diverse cultural, ethnic, and sexual backgrounds.
  • The Grant amount will be subject to 10% TDS deduction and GST deduction (if the applicant holds a GST-registered account).


  • The Grantees are required to submit a written report (within 500 words) every two months on the experience and progress of the mentorship. 
  • The Grantees must also submit a final written report (within 1000 words), along with photo and video documentation, on the experience and learning acquired over the period of the Grant. This report could include a section of feedback from the Mentor as well, if they are so agreeable. 
  • Audited Fund Utilisation Certificates, as per the specified format and timeline, must be submitted by the Grantees to Serendipity Arts.


  • If I am residing in the same city as my Mentor/Guru, am I eligible?
    Yes, you will be eligible to apply.


  • Can I apply for the Grant to continue to support my training under my current Mentor/Guru?
    Yes, you can apply to continue learning under your current Mentor/Guru.


  • Can the mentorship be carried out through online mode?
    No, the Grant is intended to support and encourage in-person models of knowledge sharing and training.


  • Does my Mentor/Guru have to be residing in India?
    No, your Mentor/Guru can be residing overseas as well.


  • Does my Mentor/Guru need to be affiliated with any institution/organisation?
    No, the Mentor/Guru need not be affiliated with an institution or organisation and can be teaching independently.


  • Do I have to complete the entire period of 6 months in one stint?
    No, you need not complete the Grant in one stint. You need to complete a minimum of 6 months of mentorship within a year.


  • If I turn 36 after the open call announcement, am I eligible?
    Yes,  if you are 35 years or below  as of April 10, 2023.


  • If I want to learn at an institute rather than train under one Mentor/Guru, will I be eligible?
    Yes, you are eligible to be enrolled in an institution.


  • Can I be enrolled in a University/School or be working in a part-time/full-time job during the Grant period?
    Yes, that is alright.


  • Can I apply for the grant if I am already learning and performing under a Mentor or at an institute? 
    Yes, this does not hinder your eligibility to apply for the Grant.


  • Can I apply for this Grant to learn a new/allied art form that will develop my practice?
    Yes, you can apply as long as it is an Indian classical art form.


  • Will I be eligible if I play Indian classical music on an unconventional instrument, for example Hindustani Classical music on the Saxophone? 
    Yes,  as long as the art form being taught and practised is categorised as Indian Classical.


  • Can I use the Grant fund towards the purchase of instruments/ costumes or such expenses which are related to my practice?
    Yes. However, the details of the expense must be listed in the budget break-up you will submit
    as part of your application.

  • I cannot access the application form. How can I apply?
    If you are unable to access the application form, please write to [email protected]. Please make sure to add the name of the grant clearly as the subject line.
  • Can I fill out the google form in Hindi? 
    Yes, we are accepting responses in English and Hindi.

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