Shobhana : Biography
Shobhana Chandrakumar (born March 21, 1970) is an exponent of the Bharatanatyam dance and a leading actress of South Indian motion pictures. She was born into a Malayalam speaking family from Kerala, India. Shobhana is the niece of the Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, all of whom, who were renowned for their skill in classical Indian dance. She has acted in over 150 movies in 5 languages.
Shobana is an accomplished
Bharatanatyam dancer who runs a dance school and has worked on
collaborative ventures with the likes of tabla maestro Zakir Hussain,
Vikku Vinayakram and Mandolin Srinivas. Mitr: My friend is Malayalam
actress Shobhana's first English film. She plays a self-sacrificing
housewife, who finds her own identity later. She have won the Best
actress national award in that movie. As a Bhartanatyam dancer, Shobana
is renowned for her fine dedication to the classical art form.
Shobhana 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). Shobhana won her first National Award from the government of India, for best performance as an actress in 1994. She was awarded for her stunning performance in Fazil's movie Manichitrathazhu. She bagged a second National award for best actress in the year 2002 for her role in an English language film Mitr: My Friend, directed by Revathi.
Shobhana is an equally accomplished dancer of Bharatanatyam, an elaborate dance from South India. She did her dance training at the Chidambaram academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her gurus included legendary Bharatanatyam dancers Chitra Visweswaran and Padma Subramaniam. Shobhana is famed for her Abhinaya, a pivotal element in the South Indian dance of Bharatanatyam. She performed in Kuala Lumpur before the King and Queen of Malaysia. 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 South Indian sculptures. Shobhana has founded a school for classical Bharatanatyam dance in Chennai. She was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai.
In 2006 January, the Indian government honored Shobana with Padma Shri title for her significant contributions to cinema and Bharatanatyam.