Disciple of Guru Bandana Sen

Nrityavilash Suchandra Banerjee (Mitra) is one of the finest dancers of India today.

The form of Kathak finds its fullest expression, when Suchandra performs on stage. Her name has now become synonymous with the name of Kathak itself. The graceful danseuse was born in a cultured family of Kolkata. Her father Late Dr. Balaichand Mitra was a constant source of inspiration for her during her early traineeship. She has been groomed under the tutelage of Guru Bandana Sen. The maestro’s influence on her is profound. She is undoubtedly one of the most talented disciples of her famous Guru.

A Science Graduate and Masters degree holder from Kolkata University, Suchandra enraptures her audience with divinity and grace at the time of performance. She has also earned a reputation of having trained a good many dancers, some of them have been awarded with the National Talent Search Scholarship. She runs the school “Chhanda-Bandana” with absolute efficiency. She is also one of the directors of “The Nupur Dance Academy” in Kolkata – a school founded by Guru Bandana Sen.

Suchandra has already earned a lot of accolade from some leading institutions/organizations of our country. She is a recipient of the National Scholarship. Several prestigious titles like “Nritya Vilash” (from Swami Haridas Sangeet Sanmelan, Bombay in 1993), “Dev Nartaki” (from Geeti Apsara, Kolkata in 1986), “Sangeet Ratnashree”, etc. have been bestowed upon her by eminent personalities and institutions. She has received the award for “Outstanding Contribution” from “Dishari” organization in 1994. She was awarded Gold Medal by “Nikhil Bharat Sangeet Parishaad” and “Surer Maya Sangeet Samaj, Kolkata”. She has received the National Scholarship from “Government of India” in 1986. She had participated in “Inter-College Youth Festival Challenges Trophy” and was selected Champion in year from 1982-1983. She received the Best Dancer Award from “All India Critic Association”, New Delhi (P.T.I.)” in 1983. She is now a regular performer in National Progarmme of Doordarshan. She was awarded National A Grade Artist by Kolkata Doordardshan in 1987.

She has choreographed a good many compositions based on Kathak like “Varsha”, “Sagarika”, “Rhythm”, etc. She has choreographed special progarmmes on Holi, for Kolkata Doordarshan. She conducted workshop and seminar at Krishna Nagar and Ranghat in 1995 and Hasnabad (organized by Govt. of West Bengal) in 2000. She has given lecture demonstration at Rabindra Bharati University and at Hasnabad (organized by Govt. of W.B.) with Guru Bandana Sen. She assumed the role of assistant dance-director for plays like “Mahabidroho” directed by Sri Utpal Dutta in 1986 and “Ghera Tope” directed by Sri Ramaprasad Banik. Her directorial venture as a dance director was very successful in the play “Pannabai” in 1990 (staged by the famous actor, Aparna Sen), in telefilm “Padatik” and in film “Ananya” in 1992(acted by the famous Aparna Sen), in “Janmabhumi” (TV Serial, by Rupa Ganguly in 1996).

She shoulders the responsibilities of a judge in competitions sponsored by Doordarshan, Post & Telegraph, All India Nikhil Bharat Sangeet Parishad, etc. She acts as judge in different competition like Talent Search Scholarship for Cultural Resources & Training, New Delhi (Government of India) in 1998, Calcutta Doordarshan, Post & Telegraph, All India Nikhil Bharat Sangeet Parisah and Chatra-Yuba Utsab, WB (1996-1999).

Over the years she has performed at various prestigious functions in different states. She has participated in countless classical conference like Surdas Sangeet Sanmalan, Ragini Arunodaya, Giti Apsara(Kolkata), Sarat Chandrika (New Delhi), Kalker Kakakar (Bombay), Swami Haridas Sangeet Sanmelan and in different occasion (all over India) including Inaugural function of Agartala Dooedaeshan Kendra and National Programme of Dance (1998 to date) of Delhi Doordarshan Kendra. The crowning glory of her career was the solo performance in 1984, in Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s dance-drama, “Shyama”, where she impersonated all the characters in “Shyama” in Kathak form for continuous 2 hours. This can be truly regarded as a milestone in the history of Indian dance.

Suchandra’s secret of successful career is her strong determination, rigorous practice and ingrained aptitude for her art. Her performance is a connoisseur’s delight as well as an uninitiated’s joy. Kathak is her life and she has made Kathak lively.