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Profile of Dance Artistes

Shobana Chandrakumar

Actress & Dancer

Shobana Chandrakumar (Malayalam: ശോഭന), commonly known as Shobana, is an exponent of the Bharatanatyam dance and was a leading actress of Indian motion pictures. She was born into a Malayalam speaking family from Kerala, India. Shobana is the niece of the Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, all of whom were renowned for their skill in classical Indian dance. the veteran actress Ms Sukumari is an aunt from the paternal side .

Shobana acted for the first time in a leading role in the Malayalam motion picture April 18 in 1984, directed by Balachandra Menon. She also acted alongside the Malayalam actor Mammootty in the film Kanamarayathu (1984). Shobana won her first National Film Award for Best Actress from the government of India in 1994 for her performance in Fazil's Manichitrathazhu. She received a second National award for best actress in the year 2001 for her role in an English language film Mitr, My Friend, directed by Revathi. Shobhana is an accomplished dancer of Bharatanatyam. She did her dance training at the Chidambaram academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her guru is the legendary Bharatanatyam dancer Chitra Visweswaran Shobhana is famed for her Abhinaya, a pivotal element in Bharatanatyam.[1] She performed in Kuala Lumpur before the King and Queen of Malaysia.[2] Shobhana's skilled execution of dance movements and her extraordinary beauty has led many people to consider her as the most beautiful South Indian actress from the 1980s through the 1990s. She is often equaled to the curvaceous beauty of Indian sculptures.[3] Shobhana has founded a school for classical Bharatanatyam dance in Chennai- kalarpana. She was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai. In 1994, Shobana founded Kalarpana. The aim of Kalarpana is to organize annual festivals throughout India. Shobana is well recognized by her performance in the movie Rudra Veena (Telugu movie, 1988) with Chiranjeevi as a great dancer and Social reformer. This will include performances of nationally and globally known artistes to help raise funds that will be ploughed back into training talented artistes who are financially insecure. Under its umbrella, Kalarpana extend its support to the handicapped and the environmental movement. [4]

In January 2006, the Indian government honored Shobana with the Padma Shri award for her contributions to cinema and Bharatanatyam.[5]

Personal life

Shobana is the daughter of Dr. Anandam and the late Mr Chandrakumar, who was the brother of the Travancore sisters. She is single and is involved in her dance school as well her creative pursuits full time. Her very close friends from the industry are Revathy, Suhasini & Rohini. Famous actor and renowned dancer Vineeth is related to her.She has a penchant for make up & hairdressing and often tries her hand at hairstyling Kushboo, her co-artist whenever they acted together.


  • Sagar Alias Jacky Reloaded (2009)
  • Mere Baap Pehle Aap(2008
  • Apna Asmaan (2007)
  • Game (2006/II)
  • Makalkku (2005)
  • Maampazhakkaalam (2004)
  • Dance Like a Man (2003) (as Shobhana)
  • Mitr, My Friend (2002)
  • Sradha (2000)
  • Valliettan (2000)
  • Agni Sakshi (1999)
  • Kaliyoonjal (1997)
  • Kalyana Kacheri (1997)
  • Superman (1997)
  • Hitler (1996)
  • Aramana Veedum Anjoorekkarum (1996)
  • Kumkumacheppu (1996)
  • Suryaputrulu (1996)
  • Mazhayethum Munpe (1995)
  • Minnaminuginum Minnukettu (1995)
  • Sindoora Rekha (1995)
  • Vishnu (1994)
  • Commissioner (1994)
  • Manathe Vellitheru (1994)
  • Minnaram (1994)
  • Pakshe (1994)
  • Pavithram (1994)
  • henmavin Kombath (1994) (as Shobhana)
  • Manichitrathazhu (1993)
  • Maya Mayuram (1993)
  • Meleparambil Aanveedu (1993)
  • Pappayude Swantham Appoos (1992)
  • Ahankari (1992)
  • Hello Darling (1992)
  • Oru Kochu Bhoomikulukkam (1992)
  • Thalapathi (1991)
  • Rowdy Alludu (1991)
  • Rowdy Gari Pellam (1991)
  • Appula Appa Rao (1991
  • April 1st Vidudhala (1991)
  • Kankettu (1991)
  • Keechu Raallu (1991)
  • Ulladakkam (1991)
  • Kalikkalam (1990)
  • Alludugaru (1990) (as Shobhana)
  • Sasneham (1990)
  • Charithram (1989)
  • Innale (1989)
  • Kokila (1989)
  • Nari Nari Naduma Murari (1989)
  • Siva (1989)
  • Mukthi (1988)
  • Rudra Veena (1988)
  • Vicharana (1988)
  • Abhinandana (1988) (as Shobhana)
  • Aparan (1988) 
  • Dhwani (1988)
  • Idu Namma Alu (1988) (as Shobhana)
  • Janmandharam (1988)
  • Vellanakalude Naadu (1988)
  • Anantaram (1987) (as Shobhana)
  • Muvva Gopaludu (1987)
  • Ithrayum Kalam (1987)
  • Nadodikkattu (1987)
  • Vrutham (1987)
  • Rareeram (1986)
  • Ee Kaikalil (1986)
  • Nyayavidhi (1986)
  • Chaitnaya (1986)
  • Kshamichu Ennoru Vakku (1986)
  • Abhayam Thedi (1986)
  • Ente Entethu Mathram (1986)
  • Iniyum Kurukshethram (1986)
  • Kunjattakilikal (1986)
  • T.P. Balagopalan M.A. (1986)
  • Upaharam (1985)
  • Yathra (1985)
  • Ayanam (1985)
  • Ee Sabdam Innathe Sabdam (1985)
  • Anu Bandham (1985)
  • Thammil Thammil (1985)
  • Eeran Sandhya (1985)
  • Azhiyatha Bandhangal (1985)
  • Meenamasathile Sooryan (1985)
  • Vasantha Sena (1985)
  • Avidathepole Ivideyum (1985)
  • Enakkul Oruvan (1984)
  • Ithiri Poove Chuvannapoove (1984)
  • Kanamarayathu (1984)
  • April 18 (1984) (as Shobhana)
  • Mangala Nayaki (1980) (as Baby Sobhana)
  • Rakshana (1993)
  • Rendilla Poojari(1993)


National Film Award for Best Actress



Nargis Dutt (1968) · Sharada (1969) · Madhabi Mukherjee (1970) ·


Rehana Sultan (1971) · Waheeda Rehman (1972) · Sharada (1973) · Nandini Bhaktavatsala (1974) · Shabana Azmi (1975) · Sharmila Tagore (1976) · Lakshmi (1977) · Smita Patil (1978) · Sharada (1979) Shobha (1980) ·


Smita Patil (1981) · Rekha (1982) · Shabana Azmi (1983) · Shabana Azmi (1984) · Shabana Azmi (1985) · Suhasini Mani Ratnam (1986) · Monisha Unni (1987) · Archana (1988) · Archana (1989) · Sreelekha Mukherji (1990) ·


Vijayashanti (1991) · Moyola Goswami (1992) · Dimple Kapadia (1993) · Sobhana (1994) · Debashree Roy (1995) · Seema Biswas (1996) · Tabu (1997) · Indrani Haldar / Rituparna Sengupta (1998) · Shabana Azmi (1999) · Kirron Kher (2000) ·


Raveena Tandon (2001) · Tabu / Sobhana (2002) · Konkona Sen Sharma (2003) · Meera Jasmine (2004) · Tara (2005) · Sarika (2006) · Priyamani (2007) Umashree (2008) ·


Dance Schools


  • Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, USA, Institute of Indian Culture - Institute of Indian Culture USA. Offers training in Bharata Natyam Kathak folk dances as well as vocal music and Indian culture to children

  • Dance schools in USA -Classical Indian dance and music of different genera -- South Indian, North Indian, classical, Hindustani, Carnatic-- are taught in schools and academies across the US.

  • fitness daily -Natyantharanga, an institution dedicated to the development of Bharathanatyam and other classical dances of India, was established by the parents and Guru of the ace Bharatanatyam Dancer Mrs Shubha Dhananjay, in 1986. When "Natyantharanga", which means a journey trying to explore the "Antaranga" or the most interior arenas of the divine art form, was established it was destined to touch great heights purely due to the strong commitment with which it was established.

  • Kala Chhaya Homepage -An institute founded in the year 1965 by Smt. Prabha Marathe - to bring the rich heritage of North Indian Classical Dance form Kathak.

  • Kala Sadhanalaya -A dance institution dedicated to the training and performance of Bharatanatyam in the Melattur style in Chennai India.

  • Kala Vandana Dance Center -Kala Vandana Dance Center, a premier dance institute in California, imparts instruction in the theory and performance of Bharatanatyam in the Kalaksherta style and tradition. Classes are designed for children, teenagers, and adults-- from beginners to post-graduate students.

  • Kalasamarpana Foundation -The Kalasamarpana Foundation was started in 1969. Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, two major classical dance styles of South India and vocal music are being taught here.

  • Mamata Shankar Ballet Troupe -Mamata Shankar Ballet Troupe is a Calcutta based dance institute engaged in teaching and performing choreographic presentations on various contemporary themes and folk forms.

  • Natya Dance Theatre (NDT) -The purpose of the Natya Dance Theatre (NDT) is to serve as an agent of cultural preservation, presentation and exchange. NDT seeks to sustain and develop the traditional art forms of India through the teaching and performance of Bharata Natyam for audiences of all backgrounds.

  • Natya Nilayam and Radha Ganesan -Radha Ganesan is the director of Natya Nilayam, a Bharata Natyam school of dance, in Potomac, Maryland, USA. Radha has been trained in the traditional Tanjore style of Bharata Natyam under the guidance of Guru Mahalingam Pillai of Rajarajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir, Bombay, for more than 20 years.

  • Practitioners and Gurus of Bharata Natyam -A site which information on Gurus Institutions and Practitioners of Bharata Natyam worldwide.

  • Purvi Sheth -She is a Leading Bharatnatyam (dance) artist, Director of Srujan (School of Dances), and T.V. artist. Purvi Sheth has performed in, Leicester, Londan and in some other cities of India.

  • Ragamala Music and Dance Theater -Ragamala Music and Dance Theater's work provides a bridge between cultures both ancient and modern, exploring a unique style of living poetry for the stage. Rooted in Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form from southern India, Ragamala blends dance, music, and poetry. Old forms are used in new ways to honor the past, celebrate the present, and inspire the future.

  • Saundaryalahari School of Dance -Saundaryalahari School of dance is a Kuchipudi dance school in Chennai.

  • Savithri Arts Academy
    Internationally acclaimed classical dancer Dr. Sinduri Jayasinghe is the Founder, Director and Guru of Savithri Arts Academy which was established in 1997. Specializing in Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi, folk dances of India and Sri Lanka, they offer Karnatic and Hindustani musical courses as well.

  • Shree Bharatalaya -Shree Bharatalaya came into being in 1970 following an initiative jointly taken by K.Soundararaja Iyengar, Sudharani Raghupathy & Madurai N. Krishnan.

  • Shree Bharatalaya -Shree Bharatalaya came into being in 1970 following an initiative jointly taken by K.Soundararaja Iyengar, Sudharani Raghupathy & Madurai N. Krishnan. This is a unique institution of learning for classical Bharatanatyam dance and classical music


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