Cordula Sturm Dahal
Founder / Executive Director (LinkedIn)
Cordula Sturm Dahal is a fearless German Nepali-in-Training who has zigzagged her way around the world, believes chocolate is a basic food group, and treasures rectangular objects called books (of which she has over 60,000 and counting). A suitor once offered 2,000 camels for her hand in marriage, but alas, her heart was already taken, and still is…
Cordula has always practiced the art of writing and has kept a journal since the age of thirteen. Multilingual by training, she can – should the need arise – inconspicuously blend into virtually every region of the world. Her most memorable experiences were seeing the sun rise over the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt from a hot air balloon, and watching the sun set on Dreamland Beach in Bali. She is also very partial to getting lost in the alleyways of Fes, Morocco, and sailing on the Li River through the karst mountains of Guilin, China.
Mrs. Sturm Dahal’s religion is kindness. However, she also keeps track of all those karma missed for future reference, and although she trusts everyone implicitly, she still ties up her camel at night.
Co-founder / Artistic Director (LinkedIn)
Bhim (“Anil”) Bahadur Dahal is a transplanted Nepali who has been making music since he started keeping a beat with his mother’s kitchen pots and wooden spoons in the Middle Hills outside the Kathmandu Valley. He has choreographed original works in dance for stage and film productions for over twenty years. Professionally trained in India and Nepal, he specializes in rare Buddhist charya dances which are rarely seen outside of the Himalayan region.
When not teaching he may be found fiddling on his sarangi or playing the traditional madal while his next batch of chicken curry cooks in the kitchen (although his addiction to German Schweinebraten and dumplings is also well documented.)
He and Mrs. Sturm Dahal have crisscrossed the globe, but his favorite experiences still include drumming with Berber musicians in the oasis of Fint in Morocco, spending time with friends in the Austrian Alps, strolling through medieval towns in the south of France, and white water rafting in Bali, Indonesia.
Tasherit Sturm Dahal
Senior Dancer / Instructor / Choreographer (LinkedIn)
Tasherit Sturm Dahal has a Geography degree from the University of Mary Washington. Her wide-ranging interests include trekking to Mustang in the Himalayas, sailing Norwegian fjords, and exploring Egyptian tombs. She is dedicated to empowering women in vulnerable societies, and has gained admiration for her critical case study of Human Trafficking in Nepal. While there, she experienced, first hand, the destruction of the Great Earthquake of 2015 and this further concretized her desire to pursue a career in G.I.S. and public health.
Since the age of seven, Tasherit has been studying and training in four distinct styles of dance with her family in Nepal, India, and the U.S. She has also had the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading exponents of Kathak dance, notably the great Maneesha Sathe, protegee of Pandit Gopi Krishna, and Shambhavi Dandekar. Her artistic interpretations and technical ability have earned her numerous awards. Ms. Dahal’s spirited style of teaching make her a favorite with students of all ages.
Tasherit has worked in the fashion industry, both as a style consultant and professional model. In her spare time, she creates original art and may be seen chasing her (rather large) fluffy Goldendoodle, Coco Bear. Her lifestyle blog may be found at https://amindforchange.com/
Santoshi Dahal is our gifted wardrobe designer whose creations have brought beauty and style to our programs. Her perfectly fitted kurtas, saris, folk outfits, and costumes for our Himalayan performances are the delight of audiences. Santoshi’s experience and extraordinary sense of color and creativity make her indispensable to Utpalasia (and to Cordula).
She lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she owns a thriving business in Naya Baneshwor and regularly trains young apprentices in the art of tailoring.
Composer & Producer/ Artist in Residence (LinkedIn)
Visaic works as Utpalasia’s sound engineer for mixing and mastering performance items and producing original compositions.
A content marketing specialist, he also serves as our in-house visual artist, helping to create and prepare logos, graphic designs, and educational support materials for schools and museums. As our digital marketer, he creates content for programs, manages social media channels, and promotes community interaction.
Using his extensive background as a personal trainer, Visaic structures programs for increased core strength and extended stamina for our dancers and staff. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached through his site, visaic.io.
Software Engineer / Media Archivist (Linkedin)
Tarik is Utpalasia’s Great High Lama of the digital world, and the resident grammar gestapo. No minutia in any area is too insignificant to escape his discerning eye. An avid collector, he can often be found writing with one of his illustrious fountain pens and iridescent inks. He enjoys hiking (to very high and cold places) and traveling and photographing the world.
Mauri, the “Friend”
(In Memoriam, July 28, 2020)
Mauri, or “bee,” was our resident feline and ex-shelter rescue who came to dominate everyone at Utpalasia, which was, of course, her rightful place in the universe. She was a solo act, never to be equalled. We await her arrival in the next life, probably still stealing chicken legs and scarfing down the shrimp. (We never said she was a saint…)
Sennia is another rescue, a petite and shy bundle of fluff, who has the tiniest ‘miaos’ we’ve ever heard. Although she had to play second fiddle in Mauri’s hierarchy of Who’s Who, she is now becoming a boss girl in her own right. Maya, our parakeet, has her under 24 hour surveillance just to be on the safe side.
Boiz in the Hood
The youngest members of Utpalasia’s furious felines are Pakal (Mayan for ‘shield’) and Khety (named for an ancient Egyptian nomarch). They are inseparable brothers and live with their adopted human, Tarik, in Seattle.