Internationally reputed dancer Tanusree Shankar is the choreographer and the chief inspiration of the troupe bearing her name. Tanusree, who was trained for seven years under Amala Shankar, has developed a kind of choreography, which reaches out to audiences worldwide. Her choreography is not a combination of classical dances, but is outstanding and original, giving concrete shape to the music that inspires it and is based on the Shankar technique of “New Dance”, following the path shown by Uday Shankar.
As a choreographer, Tanusree has excellent credentials. She has handled the choreography for several prestigious international conferences, festivals and mega events, including the Asian Games, the Festival of India in the USSR, the Wills World Cup Cricket Championships, etc. She was specially commissioned to choreograph for the launching of Motorola Cell Phones and VISA cards in India. She was the chief choreographer for the Kolkata Karnival organized by the British High Commission and held for the first time in India.
She has choreographed for numerous fashion shows and films in addition to the ballets presented by her troupe. Her dance company has toured extensively to more than 40 countries, performing at prestigious theatres, such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., Epcot Center in Florida and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. She was selected 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.
Tanusree’s dances are mostly based on music by her husband Ananda Shankar, composer and populariser of world music, whose melodies perfectly complement his wife’s dynamic choreography.
In recent years, she has conducted Master Classes at premier institutions in U.S.A. like the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She has also conducted various workshops in Reading for the WOMAD Festival, Birmingham and Leeds in UK. Her troupe members have participated in the prestigious Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in 2001. She has interacted with various contemporary American and British dance companies and institutions, and is excited at the prospect of international artistic collaborations.
One of her recent productions, “Uddharan” (which means upliftment of one’s soul) won the award for the ‘Best Production” of the year in 2002 from the Government of West Bengal. Her recent production “Chirantan” (which means Eternal) has been choreographed on the poems and songs of Rabindranath Tagore, with narration / recitation by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. Her dance troupe has also participated in the prestigious “Asia Week” in Milan. Last year, the group performed in different cities in U.K., including the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. After their shows in Zurich and Geneva in March 2006, her troupe has returned from Monaco after presenting a hugely successful show at the Indian Summer Night in June 2006.
Tanusree designs the costumes for the shows. In the past, she has acted in several films and TV serials, including “Satyajit Ray Presents” and has resumed her film career with the film, ‘Hemanter Pakhi’ which received the National Award for the Best Regional Film for 2004. She has also acted in Mira Nair’s latest film “The Namesake”.