Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sheejith Krishna- dancer, choreographer, nattuvanar

Sheejith Krishna has concepualised and choreographed Pravaha, a Bharatanatyam theatre production, which will be showcased at the SIFAS festival of music and dance 2014. Details of Pravaha can be found elsewhere on this blog. He has earlier worked with SIFAS in 2012 when he choreographed Krishna Bharatham, based on Krishna’s role in the epic Mahabharat. Versatile Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer, consummate drummer and nattuvanar, Sheejith Krishna studied and taught at the Kalakshetra Foundation, the world-renowned institute for the classical arts in Chennai, India, for 21 years (1989-2010).  He was fortunate to learn Bharatanatyam, mridangam, and Carnatic vocal music there from such stalwarts as Sarada Hoffman, Vikku Vinayakaram and S. Rajaram.
At Kalakshetra, Sheejith starred in several landmark productions including Rukmini Devi Arundale’s celebrated six-part Ramayana series.  He choreographed and directed for the Kalakshetra Repertory in 2007 the innovative Masquerade, a Bharatanatyam adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's Man in the Iron Mask.  To date, he has choreographed over ten dance dramas, in addition to a range of solo performance items including main pieces, many of which have been absorbed into the Kalakshetra syllabus.
Winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi's prestigious Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2007) and the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's Yagnaraman Award for Excellence in Dance (2010), Sheejith now continues as lead dancer with the Kalakshetra Repertory while independently choreographing and performing his own works. He launched the Sahrdaya Foundation for the classical and contemporary arts in 2011 with a three-fold focus on education, performance and community outreach.
In 2010-2011, Sheejith worked with Oscar-winning director Ang Lee on the motion picture, Life of Pi, choreographing the film’s Bharatanatyam sequences and instructing the lead actor in the technique of mridangam. Sheejith has also collaborated with playwright-director Gowri Ramnarayan, on the critically lauded theatre productions Sarpa Sutra and Night’s End, which have been performed to critical acclaim all over India.

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