Mr. McCarthy is Head of the Department, Performing Arts & Languages and Director, Performing Arts, at Ashoka University. He is a dancer, musician, instructor and choreographer who started learning piano at age-5 and went on to the University of Michigan (School of Music) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He later studied Bharatanatyam at ‘The Way of the Dance School’ in Berkeley, California which paved his journey to India where he initially studied with Subbaraya Pillai (Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam) in Chennai and subsequently with Leela Samson (Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam) at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (New Delhi). He also studied Sanskrit poetics and grammar with Gopal Krishna and Carnatic music with Shyamala Sundaram.
Mr. McCarthy lives in New Delhi where he gives piano lessons and has taught Bharatanatyam at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra since 1990. He has performed extensively as a soloist in Bharatanatyam, choreographed many ensemble works and also appeared alongside many dancers trained by him. In 2012, along with film director Sandhya Kumar, Mr. McCarthy made a national award-winning film on South Indian courtesans with a grant from India Foundation for the Arts. He received the Nartaka award for life-time achievement in Bharatanatyam from Natyanjali Trust, Chennai (2017).