Shankarananda Kalakshetra is run by Ananda Shankar Jayant is a classical dancer, choreographer, scholar known for her proficiency in the classical dance forms Bharatanaatyam and Kuchipudi. Her 2009 TED talk is ranked among the top twelve Incredible TED talks on cancer. She is a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy and Kalaimamani Awards of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Kala Ratna Award of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honor of Padma Shri in 2007, for her contributions to the arts.
Ananda Shankar Jayant was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. She tells her personal story of not only facing the disease but dancing through it, and gives a performance revealing the metaphor of strength that helped her do it. With precision and sparkling grace, Ananda Shankar Jayant performs and teaches the classical dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. Both forms require long training and precise timing to express their essence -- and both forms, in Shankar Jayant's hands, are capable of exploring deep truths.
As a choreographer and performer, she uses dance to talk about gender issues (as in 1999's What About Me?), mythology and philosophy, setting these carefully handed-down forms of dance onto a modern stage. She leads the Shankarananda Kalakshetra school in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and is a scholar of dance and art, lecturing frequently on both throughout India and abroad.