Shanta Rati Misra [Kathakali, Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam Exponent]
Shanta Rati Misra, brings to her dance a pure sense of aesthetics, bolstered by an acute intelligence. The physical features with which nature endowed her - a tall, lissome figure, expressive eyes and face contribute to the effortless beauty and grace of her dancing. Her footwork impeccable, her abhinaya beguiling and her sense of laya and music is excellent.
Born and brought up at Singapore, Shanta has lived in various cities in the world and is currently based in Mumbai. She is an exponent of Kathakali, Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. She has had the opportunity of being trained under some of the most eminent gurus of classical Indian dance like Sri Oyur Govinda Pillai, Srimati Kalanidhi Narayan, Padmabhushan Raja and Radha Reddy, Padmabhushan Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam.
"In each dance recital, Shanta displays Nritta, Nritya and Abhinaya with a lyrical magnificence, fluid movements and alluring grace casting an enduring spell on the audience."
Major Performances Abroad
- Performed in Adelaide Festival of Arts, Australia.
- Performed in Moscow, Kharkhov and Kursk, Russia.
- Performed and gave lecture-demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang, Malaysia.
- Performed in Singapore: Singapore Festival of Arts and all major cultural shows on stage and television and also represented Singapore on Cultural Exchange Programs.
- Choreographed many television and stage shows for charitable causes, and promoting Indian Classical Dance in Singapore.
- Conducted master-classes and workshops with professional dance and theatre companies in Baku, Azerbeijan.
- Performed in St Louis, New York, USA.
- 'New Directions in Kuchipudi' - performed for Sutra Theatre in conjunction with World Dance Alliance in Kaula lampur, Malaysia.
- Performed in Babylon Festival of Arts, Baghdad, IRAQ.
Major Festivals in India
- Khajuraho Festival of Dance, Madhya Pradesh.
- Elephanta Dance Festival, Mumbai.
- Sangeet Nitya Samaroh organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi.
- Nrityotsav the Sangeet Natak Akademy, New Delhi.
- Sahitya Kala Parishad in Delhi at the Sangeet Natak Akademy's 'Nrityotsav' in Bangalore.
- Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi.
- Kuchipudi Festival, Mumbai.
- National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai.
- National Gallery for Modern Arts, Mumbai.
- Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
- Udaipur City Palace, Rajasthan.
- 'Vastu Kaushal' organized by the Surabhi Foundation, New Delhi.
- Dance and Music Festival, Chennai.
- Dance Festival organized by Indian Trade Promotion Organization, New Delhi.
- Dance and Music Festival, Chennai.
- 'Nayikas in Indian Classical Dance' for Coho Art Walk and Friends on the Museum, Mumbai.
- Akashvani Award Ceremony Celebrations, Mumbai.
- Lec-dem series in schools and colleges on the principle of dance.
- Conceptualized, choreographed and performed 'Infinitely Achyuta', a programme based on Bhagavad Gita.
Innovations and Experiments
Performed in Babylon Festival of Arts, Baghdad, IRAQ. She was the only solo performer among 40 participating countries. The highlight of her recital was a special piece she choreographed called 'Confluence' to oud music, specially composed for her by the world reknown musicologist and performer Munir Bashir.
Conceptualized, choreographed, scripted and directed a dance and theatre production 'Writings on the Wall' using Chinese and Indian calligraphy and dance techniques blended with modern dance, premiered with a Singapore dance company in Singapore in January 1999. In this production she had developed the Devnagiri script into pictorial form and juxtaposed it with Chinese calligraphy in an ode to nature.
Commissioned to jointly choreogrphed and performed in 'Ashta Nayika', a project of Nehru Centre, encompassing all the seven classical dance styles of India in Mumbai, India. Commissioned by NASSCOM to do a show, 'where technology meets tradition' Shanta used the simple tools of classical dance - mudras, rhythm, Sanskrit shloka special written for the item called 'Connect'. The mood of the presentation was carried over to a ikebana floral arrangement that served as prop and as a metaphor.
Reviving the dance drama tradition of Kuchipudi - 'Bhama Kalapam' with spoken dialogue and sutradhar or story-teller for 'Swaralaya' in Kerala, India. Commissioned by Times of India (360 degrees) to do opening act for Filmfare South 2002, using Chenda-melam and Kalaripayattu of Kerala and using Indian classical and jazz dance vocabulary to blend the traditional with the contemporary. 'Rhythms in Motion' the juxtaposing of different textures of movement to weave new patterns and designs using 25 artistes in Chennai, India. Commissioned to do 'Designs in Dance' by Archeological Survey of India and Surabhi Foundation, drawing the parallelism between architecture, sculpture, painting and dance in New Delhi, India.
Commissioned to jointly choreograph and perform in four classical dance styles the immortal poem 'Madhushala', written by the late Shri Harivanshrai Bachchan for the Akashwani Award Ceremony. Presented paper on 'Sanskrit text in performing Arts of India, Shastra and Sampradaaya' at International Sanskrit Conference in celebration of the Golden Jubilee Birth Anniversary of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorm in Bangkok, Thailand. Interpreting contemporary poetry through Indian Classical dance for Coho Art Walk at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai India. Presented 'Heroines in Indian Classical Dance' for Friends of The Museum and Coho Art Walk and at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India.
- Awarded the Gold Medallion in 1990 in for her contribution towards Indian Culture and achievements in the field of dance.
- Felicitated for her experimental work in Arts by Trans-Asian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2000, towards contemporising the performing arts for the modern audiences in the attempt to increase the audience base.
- Awarded the 'Kala Shiromani' for her contribution to promote Indian Art and Culture by Sahyog Foundation in August 2002.
As a Film-maker
Researched, scripted and produced for TV
- 'Hamsanaama' series in Indian Miniature Painting
- 'Photography' - works of Raghubir Singh
- 'Asian immigrants problems' - in the tristate area of New York.
- 'Asian childrens' Outreach Program'
- 'Malavika Sarukkai and her Art'
- Researched, scripted, produced and directed 'And Miles to Flow' - a documentary film in 35 mm which was selected for the International Documentary Festival in 1998 and Mumbai International Film Festival in February, 2006.
- The film is a celebration of the kinship in spirit in the Asian Dance Theatre forms like Kathakali of India, Noh and Kabuki of Japan and Chinese Opera. The master-disciple relationship: one of the deepest human relationships, combining complete freedom with total surrender. The 'Yugen' or flowering of an artiste takes place in the soil and light of this relationship. Its depiction is an important preoccupation of the film.
Shanta Rati Misra Photo Gallery - click here
Apt 103, Daffodils,
56, Pali Hill, Bandra (W)