Shobana

Exponent of Bharatanatyam

Shobana is a name that immediately conjures the notion of “art in its highest creativity, commitment and concept.” A true master of her craft unsurpassed in her contribution across various traditions from commercial film, to live theatre, music direction and especially Indian classical dance- Bharatanatyam, Shobana is an icon of Indian culture.

Born into a family of legendary dancers, the Travancore sisters, Lalitha Padmini and Ragini, Shobana’s passion was honed by the illustrious Bharatanatyam exponent Padmashri Chitra Visweswaran, the direct disciple of Nattuvanar Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai –  Stalwart of ‘Vazhuvoor Baani’. She embodies the traditional values and the appropriation of innovation in her dance. A true delight to the term “poetry in motion”, the fluid grace of Bharatanatyam is Shobana’s individual style. This dance form which has roots in cosmic geometry is exemplified in her practice and performance. Her movement represents the body in dance as a medium of observing the divine dimensions and relationships written in ancient texts as the veritable circle of cosmic geometry. This can also be seen in Leanordo da Vinci’s depiction of “uomo universalis”, where the perfect human form inside a circle represents the culmination of God’s imaginative creation.

Oman Times

‘Mastery over the idiom reaches out to the general public’

The Hindu

'Always in control, during nritta or abhinaya interludes, whether in each movement or just waiting to underline the gap beats. Isn't she after all the most naturally talented of her generation?'

225

Feature feature films

3000

live performance

600

Students students

160

Class awards

A few notable dance & music collaborations are with below maestros:
  • Ustad Zakir Hussain
  • Vallayapatty Subramaniam
  • Vikku Vinayak Ram
  • Dr. Padma Subramaniam
  • Dr. Sonal Mansingh
  • U. Srinivas
  • Ganesh Kumaresh
  • Amaan and Ali Bangaash
  • Shivamani
  • Bickram Ghosh
  • Bombay Jayasree
  • Abhishek Raghuram
  • A R Rahman
  • Ranjit Barot
  • Taufiq Qureshi

MAJOR HONORS/ TITLES

Padma Shri Conferred by the Honorable President of India Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam 2006
Kalaimamani Conferred by Government of Tamil Nadu 2011
Kalaratna Senior fellowship from Sangeeta Nataka Akademi 2013
Honorary Doctorate (PHD) Conferred by The Vinaya Mission University, Salem 2018
Honorary Doctorate (PHD) Conferred by Dr. MGR Research University, Chennai 2018

 

State Awards Conferred ‘Kalaratna’ Senior fellowship from Sangeeta Nataka Akademi by the governor Sheila Dikshit- Kerala State 2013
Conferred ‘Kalaimamani’– Tamil Nadu C.M Karunanidhi 2011
Conferred ‘Best Actress’ – Manichitrathazhu – Kerala State 1993

 

National Awards Conferred ‘Best Actress’ by the Honorable President of India Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam 2002
Conferred ‘Best Actress’ by the Honorable President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma 1994

 

International Awards ‘AMMA Award’ for Excellence – Malaysia 2002

 

ACHIEVEMENTS IN FILMS

Prem Nazir Award for excellence Thira 2013
Best actress – vanitha Thira 2013
Best actress – Jai Hind TV awards Thira 2013
Kashmir to Kerala social foundation Life Time Achievement 2013
Best Actress Film Fare Thenmavin Kombathu 1994
Women of the Year 1994
Kumudam lux Award Manichitra Thazhu 1994
National Award Manichitra Thazhu 1993
Best Actress Kerala State Manichitra Thazhu 1993
Nana Popular 1995
Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Cinema Malayalee Club 1995
Sriram International Excellence Award in the field of Cinema 1995
Best Actress Film Fans Sindhoora Rekha 1995
Cinema Express Mazhayethumunbe 1995
Best Actress Film Fare Innalae 1990
Best Actress Film Fare Ayiram Kanugal 1986
Best Actress Cinema Express Rareeram 1986
Nana Gallipol Best New face Award April 18 th 1984
Film Critics Best New Face Award April 18 th 1984
Best child Artiste Award Mangala Nayaki 1979 (Devar Virudhu)

‘Winner of TARA RANI the Best Actress Award for the past twenty five years of Malayalam cinema.- Malayalam Manorama.’

 

AWARDS FOR THE CONTRIBUTION IN VARIOUS ART FORMS

 

“Ganasaraswati Mahotsav” Kishori amonkar 2017
“Kala Ghoda Fest Mumbai” Mumbai 2016
“Global Achievement for performing arts” AMMA 2015
“Life Time Achievement Award” Kartik fine arts 2015
“Kalaratna” Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi 2013
“Bharata Kala Ratna” Trinity arts festival 2013
“Nrithya Kala Nipuna” Mylapore Fine Arts 2012
“Arch of excellence” All India achievers conference 2012
“Kalaimamani” Govt of Tamil Nadu 2011
“Nrithya Choodamani” Sri Krishna Gana Sabha 2007
“Grade A TOP” National Doordarsan Kendra 2000
“Nadana Mamani” Kartik Fine Arts 1997
“Bharata Kalaratna” Bharathalaya 1996
“Yuva Kala Bharathi” Bharat Kalachar 1995
“Natya Jothi” Indian Fine Arts, Australia 1994
“Natya Ratna” Deccan Fine Arts, Secunderabad 1992

PERFORMANCES TO NAME A FEW IN THE FIELD OF DANCE

 

Year Performances
2020 Khajuraho Dance Festival (in Madhya Pradesh)
2017 Ganasaraswati Mahotsav ( in Pune)
2016 Kala Ghoda fest’ (in Mumbai)
2015 FIPIC – Presence of Prime minister of India Dr Modi.
2014 Closing ceremony of 45th National Games (in Trivandrum)
2013 Opening Act in International Film Festival (in Goa)
2013 Opening Act world Chess championship (in Chennai)
2012 100th Year celebrations of Indian cinema (in Chennai)
2012, 2011, 2010 Times of India All India Circuit
2006 The Music Academy (in Chennai)
2006 Musee Gimme, festival of Asian arts (in Paris)- 2006
2006 Masters of percussion-‘ Rhythm Sticks festival’ (in London)
2003 The Cleveland museum festival of Tanjore bronzes (in Cleveland)
1998 Duet with Oddissi exponent Dr. Sonal Mansingh at the opening of The International Film Festival ( in Delhi)
1999, 2001 , 2003 The World Music Institute ( in NYC )
1992-Present The ‘Soorya festival’ (in Trivandrum )
1997 Presented with A.R. Rahaman in Micheal and Friends – (in Germany)
2000, 2002, 2012 ‘Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav’  presented by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (in Pune)
2000 Hampi festival’  (in Karnataka)

Choreography on feature films-

Choreographed and shot classical dance sequences in 4 feature films revolving around the classical art form. Two of them won the national film awards in respective years.

  • Dance Like A Man – 2004, directed by Pamela RooksNational Award
  • Manichitrathazhu – 1993, directed by FazilNational Award for entertainer
  • Ravan – 2009, directed by Maniratnam
  • Kochadaiyyan – 2012, Rajinikanth starrer directed by Soundarya

An accomplished female Actor-

The realization that working in a film set was a creative and peaceful process, as opposed to a chore, led her to pursue a career of a child actor at the age of nine. She was featured in films Mangala Nayaki, Bhakta Dhruva Markandeya, winning the best child actor award in 1979.

The veteran Tamil film director K.Balachander recognizing her potential, cast her as the female lead in the film ‘Enakkul Oruvan’ opposite Dr. Kamalhaasan.

Shobana simultaneously worked in the Malayalam film ‘April 18’ – The Malayalam film other than being a commercial success brought her recognition for her sensitive portrayal of a young housewife. Her following films were a commercial success and there was no looking back.

She went on to act in 225 feature films in both Commercial and Alternative cinema- 6 Indian Languages, among them the popular ones were

  • April 18 – Balachandra Menon
  • Kanamarayath – I V Sasi
  • Ithiripoove Chuvanna Poove – Bharathan
  • Innale – P Padmarajan
  • Vasthuhara – G Aravindan
  • Anantharam – Adoor Gopalakrishnan
  • Yaathra – Balumahendra
  • Manichitrathazhu – A M Fazil
  • Thenmavin Kombath – Priyadarsan
  • Pakshe – Mohan
  • Mitr, My Friend – Revathy
  • Makalkku – Jayaraj
  • Agnisakshi – Shyamaprasad
  • Rudraveena – K Balachander
  • Apna Asman – Kaushik Roy
  • Rowdy Alludu – Raghavendra Rao
  • Thalapathi – Mani Ratnam
  • Ithu Namma Aalu – K Bhagyaraj

CONTRIBUTION IN THE FIELD OF CINEMA

Language: Malayalam (1994-2013)

Year Title
1984 April 18
1984 Kanamarayathu
1984 Ithiri Poove Chuvanna Poove
1984 Alakadalinakkare
1985 Avidathepole Ivideyum
1985 Vasantha Sena
1985 Thozhil Allengil Jail
1985 Akkacheyude Kunjuvava
1985 Meenamasathile Sooryan
1985 Azhiyatha Bandhangal
1985 Eeran Sandhya
1985 Thammil Thammil
1985 Anubandham
1985 Ee Thanalil Ithiri Nerum
1985 Ee Shabdam Innathe Shabdam
1985 Ayanam
1985 Yathra
1985 Rangam
1985 Oru Naal Innorunaal
1985 Upaharam
1986 Udayam Padinjaru
1986 T. P. Balagopalan M.A.
1986 Kunjattakilikal
1986 Iniyum Kurukshethram
1986 Aayiram Kannukal
1986 Ente Entethu Mathrem
1986 Abhayam Thedi
1986 Kshamichu Ennoru Vakku
1986 Aalorungi Arangorungi
1986 Nyayavidhi
1986 Ee Kaikalil
1986 Padayani
1986 Chilambu
1986 Rareeram
1986 Meenamasathile Sooryan
1987 Vrutham
1987 Nadodikattu
1987 Ithrayum Kaalam
1987 Kalam Mari Katha Mari
1987 Anantaram
1987 Naalkavala
1988 Vicharana
1988 Vellanakalude Nadu
1988 Janmandharam
1988 Aryan
1988 Aparan
1988 Dhwani
1988 Alila Kuruvikal
1988 Mukthi
1989 Charithram
1990 Innale
1990 Iyer the Great
1990 Sasneham
1990 Kalikkalam
1991 Vasthuhara
1991 Ulladakkam
1991 Adayalam
1991 Kankettu
1992 Oru Kochu Bhoomikulukkam
1992 Naaga Panchami
1992 Pappayude Swantham Appoos
1993 Maya Mayuram
1993 Meleparambil Aanveedu
1993 Manichitrathazhu
1994 Pavithram
1994 Commissioner
1994 Thenmavin Kombathu
1994 Pakshe
1994 Minnaram
1994 Vishnu
1994 Manathe Vellitheru
1994 Sindoora Rekha
1995 Mazhayethum Munpe
1996 Minnaminuginum Minnukettu
1996 Kumkumacheppu
1996 Aramana Veedum Anjoorekkarum
1996 Rajaputhran
1996 Hitler
1996 Superman
1997 Kalyana Kacheri
1997 Kaliyoonjal
1999 Agni Sakshi
2000 Sradha
2000 Valliettan
2004 Mambazhakkalam
2005 Makalkku
2009 Sagar alias Jacky Reloaded
2013 Thira

Language: Telugu (1987-2006)

Year Title
1987 Rekha
1958 Shobha
1974 Krishnaveni
1976 Lalitha
1982 Bhaktha durva markandeya
1986 Vikram
1986 Vijrumbhana
1986 Hechcharika
1986 Marchandi Mana Chattalu
1986 Praja Prathinidhi
1987 Marana Sasanam
1987 Muvva Gopaludu
1987 Ajeyudu
1987 Trimoorthulu
1988 Rudraveena
1988 Abhinandana
1988 Manavadostunnaadu
1989 Kokila
1990 Neti Siddhartha
1990 Agni Sakshi
1990 Nari Nari Naduma Murari
1991 Rowdy Alludu
1991 Rowdy Gaari Pellam
1991 Appula Appa Rao
1991 April 1st Vidudhala
1991 Keechu Raallu
1991 Alludu Diddina Kapuram
1991 Minor Raja
1991 Manchi Roju
1992 Gangwar
1992 Hello Darling
1992 Ahankari
1992 Asadhyulu
1992 Champion
1993 Rendilla Poojari
1993 Naga Jyoti
1993 Kannayya Kittayya
1993 Nippu Ravva
1993 Nippu Ravva
1993 Rakshana
1993 Rowdy Gaari Teacher
1996 Surya Putrulu
1996 Paapa Kosam
2006 Asthram
2006 Game
2006 Uma

Language: Tamil (1996-1980)

Year Title
1996 Thuraimugam
2002 Mitr, My Friend
2012 Podaa podi
2014 Kochadaiyaan
1993 Sivarathiri
1991 Thalapathi
1991 Mahamayi
1990 Sathya Vaakku
1990 Mallu Vetti Minor
1990 Enkitta Mothathe
1989 Vaathiyaar Veettu Pillai
1989 Ponmana Selvan
1989 Siva
1989 Paattukku Oru Thalaiyan
1989 Sattathin Thirappu Vizhaa
1988 Idhu Namma Aalu
1988 Oray Thaai Oray Kulam
1988 Kaadhal Geetham
1988 Katha Nayagan
1985 Marudhani
1984 Enakkul Oruvan
1980 Mangala Nayagi

Language: Kannada (1985-1990)

Year Title
1985 Giri Baale
1990 Shiva Shankar

Language: Hindi (2007-2008)

Year Title
2007 Apna Asmaan
2008 Mera Baap Pehle Aap

Language: English (2002-2003)

Year Title
2002 Mitr, My Friend
2003 Dance Like A Man

WRITTEN, DIRECTED & CHOREOGRAPHED MUSICAL DANCE THEATRE

Year Category: Traditional
2018 BHAV – Tracing the history of performing arts through a musical
2005 Shyama – A classical dance drama which brings out the social evil of the dowry system largely prevalent in India and the obsession in society for ‘fair skinned brides’
2004 Nayika – featuring works of contemporary poets like Javed Akhtar, Dr. Hrudaya, and Kavalam Narayana Panikker on woman’s emancipation through arts.
2003 Sampradaya – Myth to Modernity
2002 Sur Taal Srinagar – Bharatanatyam to Hindustani Music
1999 Nrithyollasa – repertoire based on the Joy of Dance
2000 Navarasa – Dance Choreography to the violin concert of Sri Ganesh Kumaresh. Featured in the shows were Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayak Ram and Taufeeq Qureshi.
1997 Naadhamum Natyamum – visualizing Thavil maestro Vallayapatty Subramanian’s rhythm – much sought after program for its visual aesthetics and electrifying pure rhythm patterns in Bharatanatyam

 

Year Category: Contemporary
2006 Maya Ravan – 50 live shows worldwide
2011 Krishna – 100+ live shows across the globe
2016 Trance – 49 Live shows

 

Year Category: Indian Feature Film
2003

Dance like a man – directed by Pamela Rooks

(Winner of the national film award for the best feature film)

1993 Manichitra  Thazhu – directed by Fazil
(Winner of the national film award for wholesome entertainment  )
2010 Ravan – directed by Maniratnam
2012 Kochadiiyyan – Rajinikanth starrer directed by Soundarya.

 

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SOCIETY

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Sold out performances at…

  • The World Music Institute, NYC – 1999, 2001, 2003
  • The Cleveland Museum Festival of Tanjore Bronzes – 2003
  • Musee Gimme in Paris, Festival of Asian Arts – 2006
  • Masters of Percussion – ‘Rhythm Sticks festival’ – Royal Elizabeth Hall-2006
  • Presented with A.R.Rahman in ‘Michael and Friends’ – A charity concert held in Munich Germany 1997- with Michael Jackson
  • The production KRISHNA has toured and been presented in 102 cities, 50 of which have been to the international community
  • The production MAYA RAVAN has been performed in 25 cities globally
  • The production TRANCE (Present) has completed 40 cities in the United States of America 2018
  • Presently on the board of KERALA GOVT. for the service of the International Community in Arts
BETTERMENT OF NATURE / HUMAN RACE
  • Trance – Dancing Drums is a production acclaimed by audience and critics alike. It is now being commended for its subtle message of peace and togetherness of the global community at large
  • It draws parallels between different religions to say that all cultures predominantly advocate one and the same message – PEACE
  • The production has drawn rave reviews from ALL communities for its message of peace and harmony cloaked in an entertaining presentation
  • The vivid colors and histrionics of the artistes as well as mythologies and music belonging to different traditions is being lauded and drawing full houses all over the world
Music Videos
  • Kabhie Kabhie – featuring Mr. Amitabh Bachchan
  • Vande Matram – featuring Shubha Mudgal – Music A.R Rahman
  • Technology and Dance – shot for President Bill Clinton
Lectures demonstrations
  • Natya kala conference – 2016 – A multifaceted journey in Bharatanatyam
  • Natya Kala Conference – 2016 – Melody in Rhythm
  • Baani Festival – 2016 – Kalakshetra-Insight Lecture: Baani vs Individualism
  • Natyan Kala Conference – 2012 – Finding the modern in the traditional
  • Natyarangam – 2003 – Rhythm
Television and Advertisement
  • Brand Ambassador of Alpha One Builders
  • Double Horse
  • Jose Allukas Jewelry
  • MRF Vapocure Paints
  • Prince Jewelry
  • Kamilari
  • Pril
  • Mediker
TV Serials
  • Kadhakadhaiyam Karanamaam – Star Vijay – 2001
  • Needhi – Sun TV – 2003
On the Jury – Dance Reality shows
  • “Vanita Ratnam”– Amritha TV
  • “D for Dance”– Mazhavil Manorama TV
  • “Midukki”– Mazhavil Manorama TV
  • “Jodi No 1”– Star Vijay TV
  • “Ungalil Yar Adutha Prabhudeva”– Star Vijay TV
  • “Manada Mayilada”– Kalaignar TV

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