Born into a family of dancers committed to the arts, she is the niece of the legendary classical dancers – Travancore Sisters – Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini. It is only natural that shobana followed their footsteps starting her training in Bharatanatyam at a very early age.
Later, under the guidance of the distinguished exponent in Bharatanatyam CHITRA VISWESWARAN, Shobana’s dedication to this art form was further honed kindling a commitment to reach beyond the ordinary. In 1984 after five years of intensive study at the Chidambaram Academy, Madras, she made her debut on stage proving her inherent gift as a fine dancer. Since then she has continued to perform to audiences of connoisseurs both in India and abroad. Her recitals abroad include the World Malayalee convention, in America in 1995, 1985. Shobana has also performed in Kuala Lumpur before the king and queen of Malaysia. Her dance tours have taken her all over U.S.A., Europe, the whole of South-East Asia and Australia.
Shobana has over the years performed in several of the Music and Dance Festivals in India. She has had the distinction of inaugurating the dance and music season in Madras 1992 at the Music Academy – the bastion of classical art. She has also performed at the nationally acclaimed Surya festival in Trivandrum, Kerala in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.
As a Bharatanatyam dancer Shobana is known for her fine dedication of this classical art form. She is particularly known for her abhinaya, clarity of line and strong rhythmic command of the idiom.
In 1994 Shobana founded KALARPANA with the intention of committing herself to the propagation of the classical arts. The aim of KALARPANA is to organize yearly festivals throughout India. This will include performances of nationally and globally known artists to raise funds that will be ploughed back into training talented artists who are financially insecure. Under its umbrella, KALARPANA would like to extend its support to the handicapped and the environmental movement. This work was initiated in 1994 by organizing a remarkably successful evening of classical music and dance under the title of ‘Bharatam‘.
The KALARPANA School of dance has grown in stature and the students have carved a niche for themselves in the field of dance.
Shobana who is presently teaching Bharatanatyam in Madras has distinguished herself over the years in the field of films as a noted actress. She has very recently won the NATIONAL AWARD for best actress of the year 1994 and 2002.