Anusha Fernando is a performer and teacher of Bharata Natyam, and the Artistic Director of Shakti Dance, a society whose mandate is to promote this ancient Indian Classical dance form through performance and training. Through her performances, group classes and private training, Anusha has contributed much to British Columbia and Vancouver. Audiences have been inspired, nourished and entertained by her performances. Other artists have enjoyed successful and stimulating collaborations with Anusha, and students have been able to build a strong foundation of traditional knowledge while discovering their unique dance expression. Her most recent productions include Body of Dance, (a work which utilized video, live music and dance to illuminate Bharata Natyam's traditional vocabulary), and two solo recitals, Krishna Plays and The Moods Of Love.
Anusha began studying Bharata Natyam in 1990 and graduated from the Jai Govinda Dance Academy in 1995. Upon graduation, Anusha continued training with Jai Govinda and began teaching and performing as a soloist and ensemble member. She has performed in group productions of Jayalakshmi Eshwar's Nadopasana (produced by Mandala Arts and Culture), Tales from the Ramayana (produced by Mandala Arts and Vancouver Moving Theatre) and Body of Dance (Shakti Dance), and was featured in Jamie Griffith's film, Dancing For The Gods. She was Assistant Teacher at Mandala Arts and Culture until 2003.
To deepen her dance practice, Anusha traveled to India in 1997 and began studying with Jayalakshmi Eshwar of New Delhi, India, who is her current teacher.
Anusha's years of private training with Jai Govinda and Jayalakshmi Eshwar have inculcated a deep appreciation of traditional training and repertoire. One of the goals of Anusha's work has been to make this rich tradition visible and meaningful.Currently, Anusha is exploring the texts of the Bharata Natyam tradition and relating her study of dance to her academic qualifications. With a BA from McGill University in Religious Studies and a Masters degree from UBC in Sanskrit, Anusha is well qualified to explore the manuscripts on which much of the traditional repertoire is based. Her hope is to bring to life the stories and philosophy of the Indian tradition and exemplify their timeless quality and contemporary relevance.