(Last Updated on : 21/11/2009)
Tanushree Shankar, the widely acclaimed dancer is the prime trainer and also the founder of the Tanushree Shankar Dance Company. She is one of the leading exponents of contemporary dance forms in India. She has evolved her own modern expression by blending the grace and beauty of traditional Indian dances with the soul of modern western ballet expressions.
Tanushree Shankar Dance Company follows the illustrious lineage as much by the folk and regional dance forms of India. Tanushree Shankar's late father-in-law the legendary Uday Shankar is regarded as a pioneer of modern Indian Dance who performed with ballet greats as Anna Pavlova. The dance styles of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company are extensively influenced by the rich local Indian traditions such as the "Thangta" (Manipuri Sword dance). The troupe of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company travels extensively around the world and the latest notable productions include "Uddharan" (upliftment of the soul) and "Chirantan" (The eternal) which is based on Rabindranath Tagore's music.
The Tanushree Shankar Dance Company brings forth a repertoire of dances and dance theater works set to the vibrant music of the prophetic artist, Ananda Shankar and other contemporary musicians. Their troupe members are all proficient dancers having performed both in India and abroad. Dancer and choreographer Tanushree Shankar is the artistic director of the company and ably conducts Master Classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance as well. Based on the creative style pioneered by the late Uday Shankar, Tanushree has developed a genre of choreography where the dances are presented in a theatrical manner, to reach out to audiences worldwide.
The style of choreography used in Tanushree Shankar Dance Company is not a combination of classical dances, but is outstanding and novel, thus giving concrete shape to the music and text that inspires it. Creative and modern-day themes are used, it is known in India as the 'New Dance'. The dances Tanushree Shankar Dance Company present are Indian in spirit, modern in presentation and universal in appeal. The students are encouraged to work in collaborative projects that help break barriers. Many presentations of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company are merged with those of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. This provides a great learning experience for the students, but also helps to create through the blending of two artistic worlds. Most of the dances by Tanushree Shankar Dance Company are based on music by the famous Ananda Shankar, composer and propagator of world music, whose melodies perfectly complement his wife's vibrant choreography.
The Tanushree Shankar Dance Company came up with a marvelous performance in the Tagore Centre UK, in September 2005. Each and every performances of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company are magnificent, sublime, truly rare and unique. Tanushree Shankar, who married Ananda Shankar the great musician in 1974, has the efficiency to understand the harmony between classical music and dance that later helps her to compose unique dance style that have both classical and western effects. Almost all the dances of this school are compositions on the Shankar Technique of New Age Dance.
The dancers of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company are trained to adapt the lyrical grace and mobility that are not shackled by the restraints of the conventional and the classical. The exotic, the blissful and the unearthly are supposed to be the sources of inspiration of the dancers in Tanushree Shankar Dance Company. Tanushree Shankar has choreographed numerous ballets as well as items for various major events, conferences, festivals, fashion shows and films. Tanushree Shankar has established herself as a leading choreographer with her dance troupe which she has toured broadly to more than 35 countries, performing at prestigious theatres like Epcot Center in Florida, Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.
The dance style of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company is creative and follows the path shown by the legendary dancer, Uday Shankar. The dance styles have a grammar as demanding as that of any other style. Tanushree Shankar and the students of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company has participated in several prestigious international conferences, festivals and mega events, including the Festival of India in the USSR, the Asian Games, the Wills World Cup Cricket Championships and so on. Tanushree Shankar was specially requested to choreograph for the launching of Motorola Cell Phones and VISA cards in India. She was also the chief choreographer for the Kolkata Karnival organized by the British High Commission and held for the first time in India. She was chosen by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India as the official choreographer for the National Folk Festival (Lok Tarang) held in New Delhi in January 2006. All the choreographed performances are done by her students of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company.
The troupe of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company has also participated in the prestigious "Asia Week" in Milan. They also performed several shows in the impressive Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. After their shows in Zurich and Geneva in March 2006, the troupe of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company has returned from Monaco after presenting a hugely applauded show at the Indian Summer Night in June 2006. Tanushree Shankar herself designs the costumes for the shows of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company. The complete package of Tanushree Shankar Dance Company shows are best known for their innovative ideas and styles of presentation all across the globe.