Daughter and disciple of (Padmashri) Smt. Geeta Chandran, Sharanya has been learning Bharatanatyam from the age of four. She began learning both from her mother and Guru K N Dakshinamurthi and presented her formal solo debut performance, the Arangetram, in New Delhi in November 2001, at the age of 13. It is her continued passion to learn, invent and conceptualize new additions to the classical dance repertoire.
Sharanya is the Vice President of the Natya Vriksha, an organization aimed at the preservation and promotion of Indian culture and dance. She is an integral part of Natya Vriksha Dance Company as a senior dancer and choreographer. She also assists with cultural management, curating festivals & events and media outreach.
Sharanya is empanelled with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) as a solo artist and is also nationally graded by Doordarshan.
Sharanya has performed to diverse audiences in India and overseas across multiple festivals and forums – both as a soloist and in group choreographies as part of the Natya Vriksha Dance Company. Some of the choreographies she has been a part of are: Sivam, Pratidhwani, Seasons (Bharatanatyam performed to the western classical musical score by Tchaikovsky), Mythologies Retold, Sankriti and Awakening.
Some of her recent solo performances were for Natya Vriksha’s Young Dancers’ Festival (as part of the World Dance Day celebration in 2014), the multifarious Monte Music (and dance) Festival, Goa in 2014, Vasuki Natyashala’s Yuvanotsav young dancer’s festival in 2013, HCL Concert Series in 2012, Kuchipudi Dance Academy’s Vriddhi Dance Extraordinaire in 2012 and Guru Shovana Narayan’s Lalit Arpan Dance Festival in 2011.
Across the years, Sharanya has performed in several major group productions across India’s best festivals such as the Ananya Dance Festival, 16th National Festival of Creative Arts, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Taj Mahotsav, Sankatmochan Music and Dance festival, Ananda Mahotsav, India International Film Fest, Sharad Poornima Festival, Delhi International Arts Festival, National Choreography Festival and Pandit Birju Maharaj’s Sadhana Festival.
Sharanya has taken part in performances across the world, including at the Lincoln Centre in New York (as part of Incredible India @ 60 festival); for the Thai Cultural Festival at the Thai Cultural Centre, Bangkok; at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Indian Republic under the auspices of the Indian High Commission; the 8th World Hindi Conference in New York; solo dance recital at the Nehru Centre (London) and was part of ICCR’s dance tour to Australia (Nattuvangam) to name only a few. She also assisted in a Bharatanatyam workshop organized by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, London.
Sharanya has also extensively used dance as a medium for social change through message oriented performances - on important social issues such as gender inequality, Female Foeticide, drug abuse, peace and harmony. She has also been involved in several “Lecture Demonstrations” for SPIC MACAY to spread awareness of the arts across school children across Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Odisha and Rajasthan.
Sharanya enjoys teaching and engaging with young students at Natya Vriksha. Extensively trained in Nattuvangam, she supports Guru Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha through Nattuvangam (cymbals). She is also trained in Carnatic Vocal and is passionate about classical music.
In addition to her pursuit of her strong passion in the performing arts, Sharanya has an exceptional academic record, which exhibits her multi-dimensional personality. Having pursued her Bachelors in Economics from Delhi University’s prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, Sharanya completed her Masters in Development Studies from the London School of Economics & Political Science in 2010 as a fully funded INLAKS scholar.
Concurrently, Sharanya is a development and policy expert. She is the Policy Manager at J-PAL (the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) - South Asia, where she helps promote policy initiatives in the development sector. Sharanya was previously the Principal Consultant at the National Skill Development Agency, Ministry of Finance, Government of India (formerly the office of Advisor to the Prime Minister on the PM’s National Council on Skill Development). Sharanya was nominated to be part of the Global Shapers Community, a youth initiative of the World Economic Forum and was also the Curator of the New Delhi Hub of the Community in 2013-14.
Endowed with a sparkling stage persona, Sharanya’s natural flair for Bharatanatyam’s different facets of rhythm and expression make her a dancer to watch!
“She used her long arms striking diagonal lines creating geometrical patterns and the dynamic images displayed her command over nritta”
- Sunil Kothari, eminent critic and scholar