Dr. Bisakha ‘Pia’ Sen, PhD, is tenured professor in the School of Public Health, UAB. While she is deeply committed to her academic life, Pia’s ultimate passion is Indian dance. She is the founder and director of Notinee Indian Dance and currently serves on the Board of the Alabama Dance Council. Pia was born in Kolkata, India. She started training in classical Manipuri dance under Guru Debjani Chaliha when she was 5 years old, and did her ‘dance graduation’ in Manipuri at age 14. After that, she decided to pursue Rabindranath Tagore’s style of classical fusion dance. She expanded her own repertoire by training with Guru Alokananda Roy in Odissi, and with Shanti Bose, Jayashri Mukherjee and Shubhasish Bhattacharya in classical fusion. She also started learning how to choreograph her own pieces.
Over the next several years, Pia performed many times on stage and television, frequently presenting pieces of her own choreography. She danced lead roles in several of the famous "dance dramas" by Tagore.In 1992, Pia moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. degree in economics. She remained active in dance, giving frequent solo performances and composing and directing large group performances. Two of her directed productions were performed at North American Bengali Conferences in Chicago and in New York. Pia also gave solo performances in Toronto, Canada, and in London, UK.In 2002, Pia accepted a position as faculty member UAB. Inspired by the thriving multicultural dance community in Birmingham, she decided to formally start teaching dance and create her own troupe. Thus, ‘Notinee Indian Dance’ was born in 2006.
Pia is deeply grateful to her dance gurus, to her parents Sugata Sen and Samindra Mohan Sen for their enthusiastic and loving support of all her dance endeavors, to her husband Sanjeev who is Notinee’s most enthusiastic cheerleader, and to the friends and supporters who have always been there for Notinee at every step of the journey.