Sheema Kermani

Sheema Kermani's Dance Company is an international touring group. They are available for group and solo performances in and out of Pakistan.

Sheema has her own Dance Company – it ccccomprises of her very well trained male and female dancers. The Company presents Folk Dances, Traditional Dances, Seasonal Dances, Classical, Contemporary and Modern Dance.

Solo performances on lyrics of great poets like Bulleh Shah, Ameer Khusrau, Meera Bai, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Group choreographies Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Odissi styles on poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, Allama Iqbal, Riaz.

Spectacular music- dance extravaganzas and Classical Ballets “Song of Mohenjodaro”, “Aaj Rung Hai” and “Raqs Karo”.

Sheema started training, at the age of fourteen, as a dancer with Mr. and Mrs. Ghanshyam (a couple from Calcutta, who had set up a centre for dance and music in Karachi), and she later joined their institute as a member of their staff and performing troupe.

Sheema Kermani was the only dancer in Pakistan throughout the years of General Zia- ul- Haq’s Martial Law, when dance came to be seen as an activity highly disliked by the state and the clergy. She stood up against great odds and continued with her efforts to establish classical dance as an art form and a profound medium of expression and communication.

After the general elections of 1988 when Benazir Bhutto came to power Sheema proceeded to India on an ICCR (Indian Council of Cultural Relations) scholarship to study dance. She lived in Delhi and studied the classical forms of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak dance from renowned Gurus- Leela Samson, Guru Mayadaur Raut, Aloka Pannikar and Ram Mohan. Sheema has been teaching classical dance since 1980.

She has produced a number of very committed students who are now part of her troupe and perform with her all over the world. Those hundreds of students who have come and gone have at least acquired a brief exposure to an art form that is dying due to hostility from fundamentalist quarters. She also gives many talks, workshops and lecture demonstrations on the history, significance, beauty and importance of this art form. Her efforts have helped in the awareness and acceptance of classical dance.

Sheema was the first Pakistani dancer to be invited to the prestigious American Dance Festi­val’s International Choreographers Workshop in 1989 held at Duke University, North Carolina.

Then in 1997 she was invited to the Hamburg Theatre Festival, and in 1999 to the Nandikar Festival in Calcutta. Sheema has performed in many countries of the world including China, Egypt, Indonesia, U.S.A, U.K, Germany, France, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Bahrain, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. Among her audiences have been personalities such as the Prince of Wales, the Queen of Thailand, the Palestinian Leila Khaled, Benazir Bhutto and Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis.

In 2006 she was invited by CND Paris for a presentation on ‘Dance in Pakistan’.

Sheema has done a great deal of research and written about dance as part of Pakistani culture rooted in the Indus Valley civilisation. This aspect of her work culminated in four major works, a classi-­cal ballet called “The Song of Mohenjodaro”, a unique experience of song, dance and music stating how dance was and is a part of our cultural heritage; “Aaj Rung Hai”, a tribute to Muslim musicians and dancers; a modern ballet entitled “Indus and Europa”, which is an attempt at evolving a unique style of her own; and “Raqs Karo”, a Contemporary Dance Performance based on the poetry of Fahmida Riaz, depicting the evolution of woman over the ages.

In 2005 Sheema Kermani was nominated as one of the “1000 Peace Women from across the Globe”, for the Nobel peace Prize.

Sheema worked as the Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Pakistan National Performing Arts Group, Karachi for five years till 2007. She researched and choreographed many traditional, folk and classical dances that have been performed all over the world by this troupe.

She has had international recognition. Her life and work has been written about in ‘The New York Times’, and also covered by BBC.

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For more about Sheema, please visit

Bhadra Chowdhury

The inherent potential of Bhadra Chowdhury as an exponent of Odissi dance was initiated into this field by her Guru Shri Suresh Kumar Khuntia. Bhadra belongs to the Deba Prasad Gharana of Orissa.

With her deft foot work, lyrical movements and a strong sense of ‘Taal’ Bhadra has been performing on a variety of spiritual, classical and secular themes at various cultural platforms. Also she she has received acclaim for her lively portrayal of emotions. Abhnaya is Bhadra’s forte.

As a solo artist Bhadra has been regularly performing at the invitations of government and non-government organisations to perform at state and national level programmes. She has performed in Kolkata, Bhopal, Pondicherry and Hyderabad apart from various venues in cities in Orissa.

Presently a final year student of ‘Classical Dance of Pracheen Kala Kendra’, Chandigarh, Bhadra is the recipient of National Scholarship from the Government of India. Very recently she was awarded the State Level Rajiv Gandhi Pratibha Purashkar’. She has received many other awards and honours throughout her dance career.

Bhadra regulalrly performs with the Doordarshan Kendra in Bhubaneswar.

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Our Group Members' Websites

Jan 3: "Ekalavya" Dance Festival


It gives us immense pleasure in inviting you, your family and friends to a day of classical dance extravaganza on occasion of "Ekalavya" Dance Festival being held on Saturday, 3rd January 2009, at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneshwar a humble endeavor towards bringing together young talent across the country in the domain of classical dance.

The programme would be attended by eminent dignitaries from various spheres of performing arts, critics and art-enthusiasts. The participating artistes would also be facilitated by the chief guests with the very first "Ekalavya Sammaan".

Your presence surely means a difference!

Warm regards,
Artistically yours,
Mirajur Rahman &
Saswat Joshi

Jan 14-16: Mukteswar Festival

The Mukteswar Festival, an Odissi extravaganza of 2009 will take place January 14 - 16 at the Mukteswar Temple in Bhubanewar.

Jan 8: Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Marga Darshan Purush Nrutya Utsa

"BHUBANESWAR: The city would host an exclusive festival with male dancers – Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Marga Darshan Purush Nrutya Utsav – from January 8 to 10 at Jayadev Bhawan"

January 10 -11: 7th Kalinga Mahotsav

Kalinga Mahotsav, a program of Martial Dance of India will take place January 10 and 11, 2009 at the Shanti Stupa, Dhauli, Bhubaneswar.

For more information, please visit the following links:

Jean Claire A. Dy

Jean Claire A. Dy would like nothing more than to retire in a bamboo house complete with the traditional Filipino “banggera,” standing on a cliff in some coastal community, with the sea breeze on her face and the sun on her back. But, since she’s not getting any younger and needing to save for that bamboo house, she is contented with dwelling in what she calls a “feminine elsewhere.”

Most of her waking hours are spent traversing different realities as a teacher, journalist, visual artist, travel writer, performance artist, creative writer, New Media evangelist, sometimes a fortune teller when her friends need sound advice, and even to some extent a fashion ethnographer. Just recently, she realized that all these roles lead to her being an interdisciplinary artist who is constantly trying to integrate/use New Media tools in her works.

She dabbles in anything New Media and is currently interested in integrating different art forms using New Media. (As “Interactivity” is her favorite word these days.)

She is currently working on her first collection of travel essays, her first solo exhibition of installation art pieces with birdcages as central material and her first set of solo performance art pieces.

Claire practices Yoga and Tai Ji and has studied a bit of Orissi and Bharatanatyam. Presently, she is interested in Contemporary Dance and Noise Art.

She dreams (honestly) of a better world (although she thinks Utopia is an illusion), where Patriarchy does not exist, where women and children do not have to bear the brunt of violence and war, where everybody can have same access to education and the basic human rights, where religion and all other Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) aren’t as powerful as they are. And so on and so forth.

But when her other lifetimes crowd in, Claire will willingly dust the sand off her toes, grab her back-pack and leave for another life less ordinary. Her life (in this lifetime at least) as she knows it, is surrounded with music, films, books, art, dance and loves.


Jean Claire A. Dy teaches Creative Writing and Media Arts courses at the University of the Philippines Mindanao in Davao City, where she also sits as Chair of the University Gender Committee and the University Committee for Culture and the Arts. Her University involvements also include a membership in the Interactive Learning Center Advisory Council.

Currently, Claire heads MindaNews TV, the convergence media component of MindaNews. She also serves as the Board Secretary of the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of m. Life and Living in Mindanao, a new lifestyle magazine about Mindanao with a nationwide distribution.

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Visits Since Sept 15, 2007