Born in Jaffna in the northern part of Sri Lanka on February 21, 1957, the classical vocalists and vina player Sivasakti or Sivashakti Sivanesan began her formal initiation into Carnatic music at the age of five with the composer and choreographer Yalpanam N. Veeramani Iyer. She later learned from N. Shanmuraratnam. Her studies eventually took her to the Tamil Nadu Government Music College in Madras where she her professors of music included the vocalists D.K. Jayaraman, Sandiyavandanam Srinivasa Rao and B. Rajam Iyer. Since 1984 she has been London-based. In 1992 she has composed the music for a dance drama called Gitagovindam. She is also a Bharata Natyam dancer and vocal teacher.
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