The Epitome Of Grace: Bala Devi Chandrashekar
Bala Devi Chandrashekar
Qualifying Round Judge: New Jersey
McDonald's Dance USA Dance Season II (To be aired on ZeeTV starting June 15, 2018)
Bala Devi Chandrashekar is a Bharatanatyam exponent, research scholar, and a passionately committed teacher of Bharatanatyam. Bala is known for her distinct scholarly style and takes on subjects based on ancient texts, backed by intense research, collaborates with renowned scholars in the respective fields, carving messages from scriptures relevant to the contemporary world and actively presenting across the world. Bala Devi lineage is from a family of philosophers, literary scholars. Bala Devi is the great-granddaughter of Sanskrit scholar Shri Neelakanta sastrigal and niece of Swami Shanatanandapuri of Thiruvannamalai.
Bala through her classical dance strives to interpret ancient philosophical and spiritual concepts and presents in a classicism that is always contemporary in interpretation and communicates across cultures, All her production are accompanied by world-class music. Bala started her initial training under Guru Jayalakshmi Narayanan in Hyderabad and then went onto learning with Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam in Chennai. Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam has awarded the titles " Bharata Nrtya Seva Mani" and " Nrtyasali- completed course in 108 Karanas" to Bala Devi Chandrashekar, Extremely passionate about teaching, and as a Professor of Practice & as the Artistic Director of SPNAPA Academy of Performing Arts, Princeton, New Jersey, she imparts valuable knowledge to her many dedicated students. Bala constantly works on developing and perfecting the style that would be seamless and fluid while yet retaining the precision, power, and purity of line - typical of classical dance.
As a Professor of Practice, Bala is constantly developing “Performing studies” in collaboration with Theater and Dance, History, Philosophy, Linguistic anthropology and South Asian Departments of various Universities in the United States and served as Fellow and Artist in Residence at The Carl A fields Center@Princeton University. Bala is one of the few Bharatanatyam artists worldwide to have released seven critically acclaimed dance production based on her extensive research. They are Nandanar Charithram, MLV favorites, Krishna Arpanam, Uddhava Gita - Lord Krishna's last message, Tripura - Divine Feminine, Karna - Destiny's Child, Brihadeeswara - Form to formless through the eyes of a Devaradiyal. All of these works have been produced as DVD.
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