(Last Updated on : 01-04-2015)
Sudha Chandra Sekhar symbolises the peak of purity and performance. She is addressed with "the all-time greats" of classical Kathak, Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi schools. Scrupulous in each portrayal and adhering to the purity of style, Sudha Chandra Sekhar has become one of those artists who merge versatility and artistry.
Sudha Chandra Sekhar's widespread experience dates back to 1943, when she first began her classical dance training in Manipuri and Kathak at the Rupatayan Institute in Bombay, India. She started to take trainings in Bharata Natyam in 1945 under the guidance of experts like Guru A.T. Govindraj Pillai, Sri Thiruvadamaradur Kuppiah Pillai, Guru T.K. Mahalingam Pillai, Srimati Karunambal, and Guru K. Kalyanasundaram, the renowned masters of the Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kalamandir. They trained her for many years in the Tanjore style, as passed down from the great Panchapakesha Nattuvanaar, Guru Kuppiah Pillai's own great-grandfather and the author of the Abhinaya Navaneetham, a thesis on Bharatnatyam in the language Tamil.
In the adolescent years, Sudha received the Government of India Scholarship for Advanced Training in Bharata Natyam, on the approval of the late, great pioneers of Bharatnatyam Srimati Rukmini Arundale (founder of Kalakshetra) and E. Krishna Iyer. From 1948 to 1967, Sudha Chandra Sekhar studied Kathak under Gurus Srivastava and Gopikrishna and Kuchipidi under Guru Korada Narasimha Rao of Elluru, Bharatacharya Sri Rama Acharyulu and Darpana Institute of Mrinalini Sarabhai, Ahmedabad. From 1967, Sudha Chandra Sekhar started to work as the artistic director of Hindu Temple Rhythms, a cultural and performing arts organisation, director and choreographer of Vidyanjali Dance Troupe of Michigan ensemble, as well as Cultural Ambassador and Ethnic Presenter for the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. In 1980-81, Sudha Chandra Sekhar underwent a short-term intensive course in Odissi under Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and a short four-month course in Kathakali under Guru Krishna Pannikar.
Sudha Chandra Sekhar is a dedicated dancer and a rare genius, who understands the art of Kathak at its best. She is very much active in the field and has shifted her activities from India to the United States and Canada. Sudha Chandra Sekhar has given over 5,000 performances in many regions of India and also abroad. She conducts classes for young aspirants and imparts theory classes for the adults who are interested in her art as well. During summer recesses Sudha Chandra Sekhar in consecutive years have conducted advanced dance camps and workshops, where students have intensive training and research opportunities. She has also imparted seasonal course sessions and independent study courses through Wayne State University, University of Windsor, Albion College and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Though a long-time professional, Sudha Chandra Sekhar has always helped various charitable institutions and temples to raise funds for commendable causes.
Besides, her regular dance activities, Sudha Chandra Sekhar is actively into social welfare causes. In May 1996, Sudha and her daughter Vidya broke their own world record in "72 Hours for the Heart", which was a 72-hour dance marathon in aid of the American Heart Association and Bharatiya Temple of Troy, Michigan.