Baladevi Chandrashekar

Workshop Overview:

A comprehensive overview of the development of popular performing arts culture, theater and dance from the treatise Natya Shastra.

Articulation of classical theater and dance in accordance with the practice delineated in the authoritative treatise Bharata's Natyashastra - "science of drama."

Practical understanding of the transformation of traditional arts in the modern era as well as the impact of contemporary, post-modern motifs and other global trends.

Analyze its scope, taking into account every aspect of theatrical relevance, including theatre architecture, costumes, make-up, properties, dance, music, play construction, poetic compositions, grammar, formation of theatre companies, the audience, dramatic competitions, actor communities and ritual observances, to name a few.

Focus on refining, contemporizing and using the vocabulary and grammar of the Natya Shastra in terms of basic body stance and movement and emotion, language of gestures, steps and moves to connect largely with other world traditions.

Dance Performance

The workshop will be followed by an exquisite BharataNrityam dance recital by Baladevi Chandrashekar, an accomplished, much sought after dancer. Bala works on number of projects on South Asian Performing Arts, with various universities, raising the awareness of the rich traditional history of South Asia with respect to dance, literature, Art History, Music, Religious Studies and Anthropology. BharataNrityam is one of the oldest of all classical dance forms in India and described thus in the ancient texts: "It uplifts the dancer and the beholder to a higher level of spiritual consciousness." Bala’s performance clearly sets a style of great classicism, portraying the aesthetic beauty and choreographic styles of this dance form known for its grace, purity, tenderness and statuesque poses. Her performance will contain an incredible variety of components ranging from pure dance (Nrita) to mime, acting and expression (Abhinaya) and the unique component of Karanas (Temple Sculptures). The dance will feature the evolution of the classical style of dance, incorporating traditional music and western symphony music.

Bala Devi Chandrashekar – Profile

Bala Devi Chandrashekar is an Artistic Director and an acclaimed senior artist, choreographer and research scholar of Indian Classical Dance - Bharata Nrityam. She is the artistic Director of Shree Padma Nrityam Academy of performing arts Princeton NJ. Bala studies theater and dance from a cross cultural perspective. She practices a classicism that is always contemporary in interpretation and communicates across cultures.

Bala has been a consistent performer for varied audiences across the U.S. and abroad, making a significant mark on the concert platform. She is a panel artist with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has participated in recent intercultural and performing arts events as consultant and mentor and most recently was the recipient of grants from the N.J. Humanities Council, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Ohio State Council on the Arts. She was recently awarded by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for coaching students in exceptional artistic achievements. She is working with the Education Department of McCarter Theatre Center on the touring production of “The Arabian Nights” – on aspects of production, movement and puppetry, design research for costumes. She is also an active participant in some of the prestigious dance seminars and workshops. More recently she delivered a master class and performance of Bharatha Nrityam for the Department of Asian studies, Barnard College – Columbia University and International Center, Princeton University. She is involved in developing “Performing Studies” in collaboration with Theater and Dance, History, Philosophy, Linguistic, Anthropology and Music departments of various universities in the United States.

In addition to her artistic endeavors, Bala is an independent management consultant. She lives in Princeton with her husband and two sons.