Dr. Souraja Tagore is a classical Bharatanatyam dancer having over 30 years of professional performance experience. Through her discipleship and years of rigorous training under her Guru, Shri Abhoy Pal, Souraja has mastered the nuances and subtleties of artistic expression and the crucially demanding necessities of creative and intuitive movements in Bharatanatyam performance practice. She is also trained in the 108 Karanas.
For several years, Souraja studied the works of her illustrious ancestor, Rabindranath Tagore, as part of her doctoral research dissertation. Immensely moved by his writings on literature, thought, and the artistic traditions of India, she has aimed to integrate Tagore’s unique approach to dance within her training in a classical repertoire, thus reimagining Tagore Dance (Rabindra Nritya) for a contemporary audience.
An empanelled artiste of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), the Sangeet Natak Academi (SNA), and the West Bengal Dance Group Federation (WBDGF), Souraja has studied and explored how dance forms have evolved and are relevant in present times. She has been an associate artist in several traditional and experimental collaborations. She participates in and conducts dance workshops, dance appreciation courses, and lecture demonstrations for learners and art enthusiasts. Souraja is an external examiner for Calcutta University (English honours theory papers) and Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (MA dance, practical papers). At present Souraja is the artistic director of the Bharatanatyam dance institute 'Koothambalam', founded by Guru Abhoy Pal.
While working on her MPhil and Ph.D. dissertations, she had the opportunity to study and perform Tagore dance where her endeavor had been to incorporate the same into her artistic repertoire. Souraja enjoys learning, exploring, and sharing her artistic knowledge with artists and young learners. Her area of special interest includes literature and art analysis through which she attempts to produce and work on creative and experimental projects offering scope for her to explore ways by which dance, literature, and drama can intersect within other spaces of art and communication.
AWARDS | SCHOLARSHIPS
Graded artiste - Doordarshan, Kolkata;
National Scholarship - the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), New Delhi;
Gold Medalist - All Bengal Music Conference ;
Best Upcoming Dancer - Folk and Entertainment Section, Government of West Bengal (Lokranjan Sakha);
The Vivekananda Yuva Shakti Leadership Excellency Award;
First prize - West Bengal State Music Academy Dance Competition;
Gold Medal, Most Outstanding Performer - All Bengal Music Conference
SELECTED LIST OF PERFORMANCES IN INDIA
Nataraj Riturangashala organized by Sangeet Bharati Muktadhara- a unique program where Souraja, with her team of dancers from Koothambalam Cultural Association, performed to Tagore songs presented by one-thousand vocalists at The Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata.
Bharatanatyam performance - Classical Dance and Music Festival organised by Jalsaghar;
Bharatanatyam performance - Gundicha Dance Festival (ISKON);
Bharatanatyam performance - All Bengal Music Conference;
Bharatanatyam performance - Uday Shankar Dance Festival;
Performed in the production Ritu Laya Mala - a presentation of India's six classical dance forms, depicting the seasons, organized by 'Layavinas';
Performed in the production Navarasa Sangamam - a presentation based on the nine rasas, organized by 'Layavinas';
Conceived, directed, and performed - Infinite in the Finite: A Tagore Dance Production sponsored by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre;
Bharatanatyam performance - Doverlane Dance Festival;
Bharatanatyam performance - Kalamandalam Dance Festival;
Performed at multiple festivals organized by the West Bengal Dance Group Federation;
Performed 'Krishna Kirtanam' in the Geeta Govinda festival, organized by Utkala;
Bharatanatyam performance - Behrampore Dance Festival;
Performed the dual role of 'Kurupa' and 'Surupa' in Tagore’s celebrated dance drama, Chitrangada organized by ‘Daakghar’ ;
Performed as 'Prakriti' in Tagore's Chandalika organized by 'Daakghar';
Dance Appreciation lecture-demonstration, Rabindra Bharati University.
Bharatanatyam performance - International Dance Festival, Sangeet Natak Academi;
Collaborated with the Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in their short film on dance titled Anant under the direction of Rukmini Chatterjee;
Collaborated with the Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in their annual festival Connections;
Collaborated with dancers from the Opera of Paris and performed for the Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in their annual festival Connections;
Bharatanatyam performance - Heaven and Earth, an exploration of desire and passion through the world of Tango, Bharatnatyam, European classical dance and music, Indian classical music, and electronic music; Artistic direction Rukmini Chatterjee;
Bharatanatyam performance - India International Centre, New Delhi;
Bharatanatyam performance - 'Sadhana' – A Dance Festival organized by Kalashram, an organization of Pt. Birju Maharaj.
Conceived, directed, and performed Geet-O-Nrityanjali - an artistic venture exploring Tagore's thoughts on life and humanity at The Soorya Festival, Thiruvananthapuram.
VARANASI | LUCKNOW
Ganga Mahotsav - UP Tourism, Govt of Uttar Pradesh;
The Mahamrityunjaya Festival, Varanasi in memory of Pt Kisen Maharaj;
Lecture-demonstration on Tagore Dance and its relevance to Tagore literature - Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi;
Lecture-demonstration on Tagore Dance and its relevance to Tagore literature - Amity University, Lucknow.
Duet Bharatanatyam performance with Milan Adhikari - Vishakha Music and Dance Academy, Vishakhapatnam;
Bharatanatyam performance - Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Hyderabad;
Bharatanatyam performance - Centre for Cultural Resources and Training in collaboration with Shilparamam, Hyderabad.
Bharatanatyam performance - Mamallapuram Dance Festival, Government of Tamil Nadu.
Bharatanatyam performance - 'Shiv-Yin' collaborative project between India and China, Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa.
SELECTED LIST OF INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES | COLLABORATIONS
Collaborated with Rukmini Chatterjee for Rencontre/Meetings, a coming together of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, European ballet, North/South Indian classical music, and European classical music. She was invited to perform in France - Maison des Métallos (Paris), Théâtre Paul Eluardle, Prisne (Saint-Quentin en Yvelines), Le Carré (Château-Gontier), Centre Culturel Aragon (Orly), Théâtre du Nickel (Rambouillet), Centre Culturel Boris Vian (Les Ulis), Le Centre Culturel des Portes de l’Essonne (Athis-Mons).
Bharatanatyam performance in Aachen, Wuppertal, Kassel, Munster, Heidelberg, Nurnberg, Freiburg and Karlsruhe in Germany under the aegis of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), the D.I.G (Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft) and The Tagore Society Berlin.
Collaborated with Rukmini Chatterjee for Rencontre/Meetings, a coming together of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, European ballet, North/South Indian classical music, and European classical music. This production has since traveled from France to the Norwegian Opera, Oslo, and India.
Bharatanatyam performance for Shiv-Yin, a collaborative production of Contemporary Chinese and Indian Classical Dance. Shiv-Yin explored the concepts of male and female energies through the two distinct cultures. This production toured in China organized by the Sriram Centre, New Delhi, and the Beijing Dance Academy. The music for Shiv-Yin was directed by Bickram Ghosh and the artistic direction by Rukmini Chatterjee and Teng Aimin.
NOTE: For videos and reviews visit: https://www.sourajatagore.com/international-collaborations
PRESENTED | CURATED | DIRECTED BY SOURAJA TAGORE
Thakurbarir Sarodotsav, which includes the Ananda Mela, Ananda Utsav, and Ananda Jatra, is a unique event celebrated during Durga Puja in Kolkata. This autumnal festival, designed by Souraja Tagore, celebrates Bengali culture and society through poetry, music, and dance. It is held in one of the oldest buildings in Kolkata, The Prashaad. This was the ancestral home of Maharaja Tagore Jotindra Mohan. Art and culture have long been promoted and propagated on the grounds of this historic residence, built in 1884. Throughout its history, the Prashaad has witnessed a host of artists, performers, and occupational entertainers who have left behind a trail of memories embedded in its walls and pillars. This unique space is where Thakurbari displays the rich and textured aspects of Bengal's traditional arts. Thakurbarir Sarodotsav invites artists and art lovers to celebrate Durga puja differently - through art offerings rather than ritualistic puja. Become a part of the celebration this year and spread the message of love, music, and art.
For Thakurbarir Sarodotsav 2022 visit https://youtu.be/2txpejKfwHs
WORKSHOPS ATTENDED BY SOURAJA
ACADEMIC-ARTISTIC LECTURES | DEMONSTRATIONS DELIVERED BY SOURAJA
Souraja was invited by Daakghar, a premier Rabindra-sangeet institute in Kolkata, to deliver a lecture on Tagore and Christ on the occasion of 'Krishto Utsav' at the Jorasanko Thakurbari.
Souraja was an invited speaker at the Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China where she delivered a lecture-demonstration on Tagore and Indian Dance at the International Conference and Cultural Exchange Programme on A Dialogue of Traditional Dancers between India and China;
Souraja presented an audio-visual talk on Readings from the diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, titled " I am the one who dies when he is not loved...I am Nijinsky" in the International Online Reading session entitled 'Writing in Confinement' organized by the Department of English, The Bhawanipur Education Society College;
Souraja was invited to the National Education Summit held at Ahmedabad, Gujrat where she presented an academic paper on Tagore’s Nationalism: An assessment of Tagore’s translated essay with ‘Tagore dance’ through a modern perspective;
Souraja presented a lecture demonstration on A Contemporary Reflection on Rabindranath Tagore and the Aesthetics of Dance at St. Xaviers' College, Kolkata, in an event organized by Kalahrdaya.
SOURAJA'S ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS
Imagined Spaces and the Politics of Deception: A Comparative Study of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Tagore’s Tasher Desh in Theatre International: East-West Perspectives on Theatre, Vol.6, Amitava Roy, R.N.Rai, Subir Dhar, Tapu Biswas eds. ISSN NO: 2278-2036 TI
Performing Shakespeare Through Kathak; Pandit Birju Maharaj and Saswati Sen's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in GJECS - Literary Confluence- A Global Journal of English and Cultural Studies. Monsoon Issue Vol 1, July-December 2014. Edited by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee. Published by Authors Press. ISSN 2349-6509
On Reading Rabindranath Tagore's Translation of The Crescent Moon in Internationals Journal of Culture Studies and Social Sciences. Vol 1, No IV. Edited by Amitava Roy, Subir Dhar, Bryan Reynolds, Antony Johae, and Tapu Biswas, published by Avantgarde Press. ISSN 2347-4777
A Dancer’s Reflection on Rabindranath Tagore and the Freedom of Dance in International Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Science, Vol-IV, No-VII., Amitava Roy Antony Johae, Ronan Paterson, Bryan Reynolds, Subir Dhar eds. ISSN NO: 2347-4777
Nataraj – A Symbol of Harmony and Beauty in Nature in Colloquium, Journal of the Arts Section, The Bhawanipur Education Society College, Volume II, Dr. Suchandra Chakravarty, Prof. Ananya Banerjee eds. ISSN:2350-1251
Tracing the Mother-Child relationship in Tagore’s The Crescent Moon in International Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Science, (UGC approved Multi-Disciplinary Peer Reviewed Journal Sl. No. 49228) Vol-VI, No-IX. Amitava Roy, Ronan Paterson, Antony Johae, Subir Dhar eds.
Revisiting Rabindranath Tagore’s Nationalism: An assessment of Tagore’s translated essays through a modern perspective in International Journal of English Literature and Language Studies (IJELLS). Vol 4, Issue 1, April 2015. ISSN 2278-0742.
Realizing Gurudev: Reviewing Tagore’s Essays in ‘Sadhana’ through some popular Rabindra Sangeet in the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Science, (UGC approved Multi-Disciplinary Peer Reviewed Journal Sl. No. 49228) Vol-VIII, No-XI. Amitava Roy, Ronan Paterson, Bryan Reynolds, Subir Dhar eds.
NOTE: For more information on Souraja's academic interests, visit: https://sites.google.com/view/sourajatagoreacademics/home
YOUTUBE | PERFORMANCE LINKS
https://youtu.be/ZS3OAe2odJY Shiv Yin (4) Love
https://youtu.be/PURYTLmZUBI Shiv Yin (3) Playfulness and Desire
https://youtu.be/OKdYBqKwQCM Rabindra Nritya - Ektuku Choya Laage
https://youtu.be/Zooy7tEv_vQ Bharatanatyam Padam
https://youtu.be/7kz2e7mUZeo Rabindra Nritya- Nobo Anande Jaago
https://youtu.be/3EZm2O1GZtA Bharatanatyam Tillana
https://youtu.be/wKQBt5WZzXs Monomondiro Sundori
https://youtu.be/gL-ehhed0xo Dheere Dheere Prane Amar
For Souraja's YouTube channel visit: https://www.youtube.com/c/SourajaTagoreOfficial/featured
For more links visit https://www.sourajatagore.com/youtube-links
Conducted a two-day 'Online Tagore Dance Workshop' organized by Musicmeleti. The workshop was an artistic-academic program, exploring Tagore Dance, Tagore Literature, and Philosophy held on the 26th & 27th of June 2021
Conducted a two-day 'Online Tagore Dance Workshop', a program exploring Tagore Dance, Tagore Literature, and Philosophy on 15th & 22nd May 2021
Conducted a one-day workshop titled Elem Notun Deshe based on Tagore's 'Tasher Desh' in collaboration with Manoj Murali Nair
SOURAJA TAGORE PHOTOS