Smitha Rajan, one of India's best and internationally acclaimed Mohiniyattam performers, is well known for the spiritual intensity that she brings to the stage. She comes from a very rich classical tradition, which spans more than three generations. She is the granddaughter of one of India’s finest classical dance performers, (Late) Guru Kalamandalam Krishnan Nairand the mother of Mohiniyattam, (Late) Guru Kalamandalam Kallyanikutty Amma. Smitha has been performing for the past 4 decades with at most adherence to the puritan classical tradition of Mohiniyattam which is well documented by her legendary grandmother. Natural learning opportunity Smitha received under her legendary grandparents had laid in her the unique blend of lasya (grace) and abhinaya (facial expression). Smitha got the rare opportunity to extensively travel along with her grandmother, assisting her during her lecture demonstrations and master classes conducted for Mohiniyattam. Her abhinaya and gestures were fine-tuned by the great Krishnan Nair himself which has tuned in her the ability to transform and enact multiple characters in this Ekaaharya (single costume) dance style as a solo performer.
Smitha started learning Bharatanatyam from the age of 4, from Smt. Kala Vijayan (her aunt, recipient of the SangeethNatak Academy Award) and performed her Arangetram in Bharatanatyam at the age of 5. Her mother, Smt. Sreedevi Rajan, (recipient of the SangeethNatak Academy Award) a renowned dancer and teacher, taught Smitha her first lessons in Mohiniyattam and Smitha performed her Arangetram in Mohiniyattam at the age of 6. Smitha also learnt Carnatic music from Professor (Late) Kalyanasundaramfor over eight years. She is a member of numerous cultural organizations and associated with many television networks in India and abroad. Well versed in Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi as well, since her early teens, her primary focus has been Mohiniyattam and commitment to the rich heritage handed over to her by her legendary grandmother.
Smitha is the artistic director of the institution, “Nrithyakshetra (Temple of Dance)," based in St.Louis, Missouri. Her students span across United States, Canada and Western Europe. Smitha’s artistic excellence as a teacher and performer is been illustrated across the western worlds for the past 15 years. With her wide teaching experience which spans more than 3 decades she has numerous students around the globe, many of whom are well known dancers in respective fields. Her pursuit for excellence in Mohiniyattam had brought to her numerous critical acclaims from well-known critics in NY Times and other prestigious publications. Smitha spends her time both in USA and India, and attends major dance festivals in USA and India apart from her world tours. She resides in Saint Louis, USA, with her husband, Mr. Jyotis Balasubramanian and her two children, Jaidev and Abinav.
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