Mrs. Chetna Jalan
Chetna Jalan received her formal training in Kathak from the most renowned gurus of the Lucknow Gharana, Pandit Ram Narayan Mishra, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Pt. Vijai Shankar. Chetna’s mastery over Kathak and her innate understanding of other dance forms resulted in her selection as a jury member for the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, during the years 1985 and 1987. She was elected Vice-President of the Dance Committee for the International Theatre Institute, Unesco (The first Indian to have this honour) from 1985 to 1987. Chetna Jalan blends in her work all the unique qualities of an accomplished Kathak exponent.
Famed for the “abhinaya”, she brings to her dance, Chetna Jalan’s inherent acting talent received formal discipline at the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, and in Stanford University, where she did a course in Mass Media in 1969-70.
An innovative choreographer capable of fusing different styles, she is also a noted actress, having acted in numerous serious plays such as Chapte Chapte, Shuturmurg, Lahron Ke Rajhans, Evam Indrajit directed by Shyamanand Jalan under Anamika, and Dhong, Ek Pyala Coffee, Jag Utha Raigarh, directed by Badri Tewari with Sangit Kala Mandir, and Billi Chali Pahenke Joota directed by Walform Mehrin (Paris) with Dishantar (Delhi). She was in Guinea Pig directed by Rajinder Nath for Abhiyan (Delhi) and also Setzuan Ki Bhali Aurat an Anamika production. She has also acted with the eminent director Satyadev Dubey in Mashroom and Aur Tota Bola. Later she has acted in plays mostly directed by Shyamanand Jalan such as Girdhade, Evam Indrajit, Sakharam Binder, Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maan, Shakuntalam, Adhey Adhurey, Kanyadaan, Ramkatha Ramkahani and Madhavi and very recently in 2009 Bikhre Bimb with Rajinder Nath.
She has received critical acclaim for her performance in Padatik Theatre’s current play Atmakatha directed by Vinay Sharma.
During her acting career she has appeared in the film City of Joy directed by Roland Ross, and the Tele-films Pagla Ghora and Sakharam Binder for Doordarshan and The T.V. serial Krishnakant Ka Vashiyatnama all directed by Shyamanand Jalan.
She is primarily regarded as a world – reputed Kathak dancer and has been a guru to many accomplished Kathak dancers of today. Her performances have been critically acclaimed in India and abroad, and she had been invited to teach dance in the Ustad Ali Akbar Music College in San Francisco for a year. With her exposure to western dance aesthetics, Chetna Jalan has also been trained by Ronnie Sambik Ghosh (Graduate of The Hongkong Academy of Performing Arts) and other dancers from America on Pillates and Laban Movements.
She has been invited to perform at various International Festivals and Symposiums such as the prestigious Kuopio Dance Festival, Finland in 1989, and The International Dance Symposium in Seoul in 1992. She has performed in Kuopio, Lappenranta, Helsinki, Oslo, Birmingham, West Berlin and Hong Kong.
Chetna Jalan culminates all that she has absorbed in her unique career and has developed a course for dancers of all ages, a form where she uses movement using the mind and body connection.