(Last Updated on : 26/07/2014)
At the tender age of eight, Shoba Natarajan has performed her arangetram under the able tutelage of legendary Kamala. On her first solo performances she received remarks like, "Captivating stage presence ... graceful movements ... excellent technique ... " etc which ideally depicts her talent. Today Shoba Natarajan is considered as one of the front most advocator of the Vazhuvoor Style, because of her touchy niceties of Abhinaya, form and footwork mastery and above all the absolute pureness combined with the poetic grace. All this made her performances an enamoring appeal.
Shoba Natarajan later on underwent a rigorous training in Bharatanatyam under the guidance of S. K. Rajaratnam. Shoba has also been a prominent Kuchipudi Dancer. She has learnt this traditional dance form, from illustrious Kuchipudi guru, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam has choreographed many dance dramas in which he took Shoba in the lead role.
Throughout the world she has received appreciation for her performances and especially for those Kuchipudi recitals that touched the soul of many audiences. She was conferred the titles by the Bharat Kalachar and Karthik Fine Arts, Yuva Kala Bharati and Natanamamani respectively. These titles are conferred to her in the year 1992 and 1994. Today she has been acclaimed for her elegant - articulating dance performances. Shoba Natarajan apart from being an eminent dance personality has also taken training on the Carnatic vocal music, under the expert guidance of Dr. B. Rajam Iyer and Dr. S. R. Janakiraman.
Shoba Natarajan has fetched the honor to be the first Kuchipudi dancer who was chosen for the tour to the USSR in the year 1984. With the troupe of Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, she has also toured the USA. Throughout the tour, her performances as 'Srinivasa' in the 'Srinivasa Kalyanam' dance ballet, left a remarkable impression on the audiences.
In the year 1986, she was invited to the USA to give her solo performances. At that time Shoba Natarajan has also conducted an in-depth Kuchipudi dance workshop at the Hindu Temple in Flushing, New York. The duration of the workshop was one month. After that she was invited to many other places around the world to give her performances. In the year 1987, she was invited to take part in the festival of India held in Manila in the USSR.
In the year 1992, she was included in the International Dance Alliance's Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum tour to the USA and Canada as a lead dancer. At the very recent time, she has given a recital during a solo dance tour of Finland and Estonia in the honor of 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The programme took place at the Savoy Theatre in Helsinki. Shoba Natarajan has also given noteworthy performances at the Music Academy in Madras, the Natyanjali festival at Chidambaram, Swati Tirunal festival in Kerala, Dussera celebrations at Mysore, Sangeet Natak Academy's Yuva Utsav in Kanpur, Ustad Allaudin Khan Ghungroo festival in Bhopal, and the Kalidas Samaroh in Ujjain.
'Nrityaranga' is a dance cooperative at Madras (currently known as Chennai) of which Sobha is a founder member. Her main aim is to teach and encourage her students towards the consecrated way of learning this art form. She is regarded as a skilled and experienced dance teacher who has also choreographed many group productions and dance drams. Shoba Natarajan has founded Samskriti, a non-profit institute. The institute was founded mainly for the promotion of Indian dance, music, and culture. She has been conferred many accolades. Some of them are: Master-Apprentice Fellowship from Illinois Arts Council to impart advanced training in Kuchipudi dance to student Sangita Rangala, 1997-98; North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Award for Choreography, 1995; Durham Arts Council Performers Award, 1994; Top Artiste grading from Indian National Television.