Shobana Bhalchandra [Bharatnatyam Exponent]
Shobana Bhalchandra, is the youngest of the Trio sisters of Chennai, is an accomplished and professional artiste and instructor in Bharatanatyam. She, along with her sisters, were the first and senior most disciples of Dhananjayans, and have rigorously trained under them in the widely practiced kalakshetra style. Shobana, has also had an extensive training under padmabushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan, especially focusing on the evocative nuances of Bharatanatyam dealing with expression. Her tutors are maestros in their relevant areas of expertise.
Having had her initiation to this dance form at a very early age, Shobana has had the benefit of performing in all the major productions of her Gurus. She together with her sisters, had her Arangetramas early as in 1978, by which time she had already participated in over 100 stage performances. And though she was proficient in academics with a Degree in Arts and an M.B.A., she decided to take up dance as a full time career, devoting it most of her time and attention. To this end, she has also undergone formal training in Classical Music and Nattuvangam to professional standards, these being integral part of the art form.
Shobana is one of the well-established artistes in the field today, part of a small group of contemporaneous peers so recognized. She has wide range teaching and performing experience in this field. She has set up her own dance institution named "Thrayee", which now operates out of Chennai and Coimbatore in South India, having over 100 students. Her dedicated teaching has borne fruit with many of her senior disciples having performed their arangetrams themselves, and winning several awards and scholarships, apart from assisting as faculty in her classes. Several international pupils from countries such as USA, UK, Canada and Japan also learn in her school.
In addition to the teaching of theory and practice of Bharatanatyam,Shobana is also an accomplished performer and choreographer. She has given stage performances to enthusiastic response and acclaim at several prestigious forums in India and abroad. Her most recent and widely acclaimed production was a sols ballet "Meera", set to songs from the eponymous Indian film musical classic of 1945, conceived, choreographed and performed by her to raving reviews from critics and connoisseurs alike.
A friendly person loved by her students and liked by all, shobana focusses on moulding budding talent to professional standards of excellence, while at the same time pursuing her performing interests with selected challening themes that are meticulously researched and produced. She also keeps abreast of contemporary trends, and as a consequence, is frequently invited to conduct workshops, judge talent in competitions and provide lecture demonstrations.
Shobana has also conceived and choreogrophed several traditional, neo-classical and innovative dance pieces and repertoires, which include
- Pancha naayikaa- a dance ballet based on five mythological heroines. The lyrics were adopted from Tamil literature.
- Murali nrithya maadhuri- a dance feature based on the compositions of the music maestro Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna.
- Nrithya Bharatheeyam - Dances of India- Classical,Folk and Tribal
- Kurinji Pookkal - a dance feature based on Sangam Tamil literature.
- Penn- a modern ballet on women, with lyrics written by renowned poets Vairamuthu and Andal Priyadarshini
- Vanjiyum Kuravanjiyum - a ballet adapting Sangam literature
- Purandaradasa Mala - a complete repertoire based on compositions of Purandaradasa
- Lalitha Vijayam - story of shakti's incarnation as Lalithambika
- Thyagarasa - Selective compositions of Saint Thyagaraja in a Margam Format depicting the Navarasas
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