Shobha Subramanian

Hailing from a family of musicians Shobha Subramanian trained in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam styles from top gurus of India and learnt Carnatic vocal music from her mother and grandmother. A recipient of awards in India and in the U.S. for her performances, she has been highly acclaimed for her teaching and choreography skills where she effectively blends her knowledge of singing and dancing. Three-time winner of the Maryland State Individual Artist Award (with Governors Citation), Subramanian has been conferred the Pravasi Nrithya Nataraj award by the local Indian community in DC for her contribution to the arts. Under her leadership, Jayamangala, (501 c3 non-profit organization), a talented and dynamic group of dancers have performed across the DC metro area (like Kennedy center, Smithsonian and National Cathedral) and the East Coast. In March 2007 she organized a Dance Conference where leading artistes and scholars were invited to make academic presentations. Additionally, Subramanian has collaborated with artists across genres to create multi-cultural programs.

Shobha Subramanian began training in vocal and Bharatanatyam at the age of seven. Initiated into Bharatanatyam by Ms. Sundari Seshadri (Kittappa Pillai school) of Delhi and subsequently enhanced style by undergoing training under the world-renowned couple - the Dhananjayans. She maintains her dance through workshops with renowned dance gurus including Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar of Kalakshetra and B. Bhanumathi (Bangalore). She simultaneously developed an interest in the graceful enchanting Mohiniyattam dance of Kerala and took lessons from famous exponents Kalamandalam Usna Banu and Kshemavathi of Kerala. In addition, she is an accomplished singer having learnt vocal Carnatic music from mother and grandmother (disciple of Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar of Kerala).

Other Achievements:

  • Toured Helsinki and other cities of Finland in 1980."Nrithya Shivali" title awarded by Shivali Society, Bombay at their Young Dancers' Festival in 1989.
  • Three-time winner of Maryland Governor's Citation and Individual Award winner from Maryland State Arts Council, she was invited to perform a special tribute to 9/11 at the Millennium Stage in 2001 and repeat it at the Open House of John F. Kennedy Center, Washington DC in 2002.
  • Organizational grants awarded from MSAC for conducting dance festival, workshops, performances.As Dance Director of Jayamangala school, choreographed and coordinated several dance dramas like "Krishna Krishna Krishna", "Andal Kalyanam", "Ayyappa Charitham", "Living Colors", "Bhavayami Raghuramam" and "ShreeVinayaka" a collaboration with National Ballet dancers.
  • Presented several lecture-demonstrations at local schools like Mt. Vernon College (DC), Swarthmore College (PA), Haverford College (PA) and Univ. of Maryland. Guest lecture on Mohiniyattam as part of a course entitled "Religious and Cultural dances of India" at American University, Washington DC.
  • Presented several senior disciples in full solo debut concert (Arangetrams) for the past five years in USA.
  • Produced a documentary film on Bharatanatyam "Rhythmic Expressions" which was commissioned by a grant from Prince George's Arts Council in FY2001.
  • Composed music and choreographed dance for the English translation of the play NagaMandala (written by Girish Karnad) presented in November 2000 by St. Mary's College, Maryland.