Bala Devi Chandrashekar
Bharatanatyam Dancer, New Jersey, United States

Bala is a senior disciple of renowned dancer Dr. Padma Subrahmanayam. Bala Devi Chandrashekar, is a Professor of practice in Asian performing arts. Her approach is interdisciplinary, involving lecturing and research.
Bala Devi Chandrashekar is the Artistic Director SPNAPA Academy of Performing Arts a premier Arts Academy based in Princeton, New Jersey.

Bala’s career has been atypical, falling into two phases, one as a lecturer & researcher and a performer. As an artist she went on to perform as a soloist in developing her dance technique, and currently she works on number of projects on Performing Arts, raising the awareness of the rich history with respect to Dance and its religious and spiritual significance. Bala works on the study of movement technique investigating the relationship of the archive and the repertoire, from an interdisciplinary domain. Bala’s focus on Lecture and research blends seamlessly with her concert platform. Her lecturers incorporate the core architectural components of ancient temple sculptures – Karanas, governed by artistic laws of value bridging disciplines together and reducing the hazy scope. She has participated in numerous lecturers, intercultural, religious and performing arts events as a faculty, consultant and mentor and is the recipient of several prestigious grants from several state and private foundations including the NJ Humanities council, Texas commission on the Arts and Ohio State Council on the Arts.

Shows & Major Performances

Performances, Lectures and workshop:

• 2012 - June - Featured performance and Judge - Zalak 2012.
• 2012 - May - Fund Raiser - Villanova University
• 2012 - April - Featured performer at India Festival - Taalsadana
• 2012 - Jan - Released dance DVD - "Margam" based on legendary singer ML Vasanthakumari.
• 2011- Dec -Performed 2 concerts at world renowned Music and dance season in India.
• 2011- Oct - Lecture Dem- Grounds For Sculpture, NJ
• 2011 - Sept - Lecture and workshop – AVG, Saylorsburg, PA. Theme - “We are all one”.
• 2011 - Feb - Performed at the event " This is Princeton", Richardson auditorium, Princeton, NJ.
• 2010 - Released a DVD - Magnum opus - Nandanar Charithram - sold over 2500 copies till date & rated as one of the best dance dvd's produced.
• 2006 – To date – Artist in Residence – Carl A Fields Center, Princeton University.
• 2010 – Feb – to date – Workshop on Movement and Yoga – Forbes College, Princeton University..
• 2010 – Jan – To date - Carl Fields Center, Princeton, University – Dance workshop and classes.
• 2009 – 2010 – Performed 4 concerts at the world famous Madras Music Season- 4 prestigious venues in India.
• 2009 – Oct - Vassar College – Lecture cum demonstration. Religion Dept. – Dance as Yoga.
• 2009 – May - Princeton, NJ - Performed Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s “Nandanar Charithram” with Top rated musicians led by leading scholars
• 2009 – May - Metropolitan Museum New York City – Asian Heritage Week.
• 2009 – April - Performed at the Annual Fund Raiser for Cleveland Aradhana.
• 2009 – April - Johnson & Johnson, New Jersey – India Week
• 2008 – 09 Chennai Music Festival – India – Performed at 5 prestigious venues.
• 2008 – September - Wheaton Arts Center –New Jersey
• 2008 – July – New Jersey - "Rhythm & Strings".
• 2008 - Movement consultant for McCarter Theater, Princeton, New Jersey & Yehuda Hyman's "The Mad 7”. As a part of the IN-Festival at McCarter theater.
• 2007, Bala was appointed by The Governor of New Jersey as a Board member to the New Jersey Governor’s School Board of Overseers
• 2007 – October – Columbia University, NYC – Lecture and Workshop.
• 2007-April-The Cleveland St. Thyagaraja Aradhana Committee, Cleveland, Ohio in their 30th Anniversary celebrations conferred the prestigious title of “Nritya Seva Mani”.
• 2007 - Symposium with Princeton Historical Society 27th Jan’07 Funded NJ Humanities Council- Focused on South Asian performing arts and works of Great philosophers by Bala Devi Chandrashekar Professor of practice and Artistic Director, with participation from scholars from other disciplines such as Cultural anthropology, History, philosophy, language and literature and Art history. The program had two phases, one towards scholarly discussion and the other to the actual performance. The panelists included Prof. Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Professor of Asian Studies, Mount Holyoke College - specializes in Sanskrit and Tamil literature, Hinduism, and South Indian cultural history and classical music. Patricia Mayer, Professor, and chair of the Department of Dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
• 2005 - Visiting Faculty – Lecturer, Department of Dance - Mount Holyoke - Feb 2005 to May 05, Spring Semester.
• 2005 - Education Department of McCarter Theatre Center- As the Movement Consultant Bala, incorporated basic body stance and movement
and emotion, language of gestures, steps and moves to connect largely with the text in The Arabian Nights. Working on the touring production of “The Arabian Nights” ,Bala value added and guided on aspects of production, movement and puppetry, design research for costumes.
• 2005 - Lecture & Demonstration - Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures – Barnard College, Columbia University.
• 2004 - Lecture - Graduate students at U Penn, 2004
• 2004 - Freshman Seminar at Princeton University– Dance and World Culture, the fundamentals of classical Indian Dance, its practice and philosophy.
• 2004-03 - Graduate students – “New perspectives of performance and symbolism of sculptures” at Rowan and Rider University – 2003 &2004.
• 2004 - Master class and performance at Mount Holyoke College – fall 2004, sponsored by Dept. of Asian Studies in connection with the course on classical Indian literature and aesthetics. Translation of traditional dance form and the literary, scientific and aesthetic world in which classical styles are embedded.
• 2004 -Panelist at the Barbara Stoler Miller Conference – Barnard College, Columbia University. Contesting pasts, performing Futures, Nationalism, Globalization and the performing Arts in Modern South Asia.
• 2003 - Mason Gross School of performing Arts, Rutgers Univ & NJCH.
• 2003 - The workshop combined numerous aspects of South Asian Art, Philosophy and life with practical movement vocabulary. The workshop series introduced graduate students to the historical and philosophical connection of classical traditions to temple sculptures in particular and Asian culture in general.
• 2003- Master classes for graduate students at Temple University, Analysis of movement technique across different dance styles – African dance, classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz.
• 2003 - Research workshop and lecture demonstrations for Lotus Music and Dance, New York for graduate students of performing arts.
Academic Credentials: B.S, M.A. – M.Phil. and Post Graduate in Labor studies. University Rank Holder. Trained under the eminent, world renowned, research scholar and Guru Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam Ph D. List of Seminar publications
• “Indian Classical Dances as a Cultural Communication” – AACC Department of Dance – Mason Gross School of Performing Arts, Rutgers University & NJ Council for the Humanities.
• “Revival of Margi – The need of the hour” -The 2004 Barbara Stoler Miller Conference – Contesting Pasts, Performing Futures: Nationalism, globalization and the Performing Arts in Modern South Asia – Barnard College and Columbia University in the City of New York.
• “Arts in Community Life” – Lotus Music and Dance & Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artists and community’s collaboration.
• “The under-current of Margi in today’s Desis” - Mount Holyoke College Fall 2004, sponsored by Dept. of Asian Studies in connection with the course on classical Indian literature and aesthetics. Translation of traditional dance forms and how the literary, scientific and aesthetic world in classical styles is embedded. Natyashastric approach to body training and psychology of movement as Universal phenomena.
• “Experiencing the Cosmic energy through dance and movement Barnard College” – Columbia University.


Bala Devi Chandrashekar also serves as an Artist in Residence – Carl A Fields Center, Princeton University.



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