Shobhana Chandrakumar was on born 21 March 1966, mononymously known as Shobhana.
Shobhana was born to Anandam and Chandrakumar, in Kerala. She is the niece of the Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, all of whom were renowned for their skill in classical Indian dance. The veteran actress Sukumari is her paternal aunt.
She is single and is involved in her dance school as well as her creative pursuits full time. Her very close friends from the industry are Revathi, Suhasini & Rohini. Famous actor and renowned dancer Vineeth is related to her. She has a penchant for make up and hairdressing and often tries her hand at hairstyling with Kushboo, her co-artist whenever they acted together. She adopted a girl child and named her Anantha Narayani.
Her Career :
She is an Indian film actress and Bharatanatyam dancer. She was among the popular lead actress in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada films during the 1980s and 1990s.
Shobhana made her début in the Malayalam motion picture April 18 (1984) at the age of eighteen.The movie was directed by Balachandra Menon. She acted alongside Mammootty in Kanamarayathu (1984). The same year she entered the Tamil film industry and acted in Enakkul Oruvan directed by S. P. Muthuraman alongside Kamal Haasan. In the subsequent years, she acted in many Tamil films. She acted with Rajinikanth in films like Siva and Thalapathi, the latter being directed by Mani Ratnam became a landmark film in her career.
Shobhana became a leading heroine in Telugu film industry too. She has to her credit of being the lead opposite Nagarjuna Akkineni, when he made his début in film "Vikram". Shobhana won her first National Film Award for Best Actress from the government of India in 1994 for her brilliant performance in Fazil's Manichitrathazhu. She received her second National award for best actress in 2001 for her role in the English language film Mitr, My Friend, directed by Revathi.
Shobhana is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. She did her dance training at the Chidambaram academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her guru is the legendary Bharatanatyam dancer Chitra Visweswaran. Shobhana is famed for her Abhinaya, a pivotal element in Bharatanatyam. She performed in Kuala Lumpur before the King and Queen of Malaysia. Shobhana's skilled execution of dance movements and her extraordinary beauty has led many to consider her as the most beautiful South Indian actress from the 1980s through the 1990s. She is often equalled to the curvaceous beauty of Indian sculptures.
Shobhana is well recognized for her performance in the movie Rudra Veena with Chiranjeevi. She was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai.
In 1994, Shobhana founded a school for classical Bharatanatyam dance in Chennai - Kalarpana. The aim of Kalarpana is to organize annual festivals throughout India. This includes performances of nationally and globally known artistes to help raise funds that will be ploughed back into training talented artistes who are financially insecure. Under its umbrella, Kalarpana extends its support to the handicapped and the environmental movement
Accolades and Awards :
In 2006, the Government of India honored Shobhana with the Padma Shri for her contributions towards the arts. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, for her performances in the films Manichitrathazhu (1993) and Mitr, My Friend (2002).
Her Achievements :
Shobhana, disciple of smt. Chitra Visweswaran, has performed with artists such as Ustad Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayak Ram, Sonal Mansingh and Padma Subramanyam. Shobhana branched out as an independent, performer and choreographer in her twenties.
Shobhana the institutionalist-She set up Kalarpana Trust in 1994 to impart training in all aspects of dance. Today, Kalarpana benefits 92 students, mostly girls from the poorer classes and extend its support to the handicapped and the environmental movement.