Sumitra Keshava

Sumitra Keshava

Dancer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Having made her Indian classical dance-debut (Arangetram) in 2006, Sumitra has been performing internationally as a solo dancer and with the Kalasri dance ensemble on various stages in theatres, museums, festivals and cultural events. To name a few: Kaserne Basel, Museum of ethnology – Cologne, Stadtcasino – Basel, Global Ethics Forum – Genf, KKL – Luzern, Museum Rietberg – Zürich, Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan – Chennai etc. At the age of five she started learning the classical Indian temple dance Bharatanatyam from her father D. Keshava with great passion and intensity. Blessed with growing up in an artist family Sumitra has followed her calling with disciplined training and devotion for the art. After completing successfully her bachelor in law in Basel in 2012, she continued her dance training in Chennai India. She attended courses and continued further training with distinguished dancers (Shanmugha Sundaram, Bragha Bessell) and nattuvangam (Girish Madhu, Nithyakalyani). And performed in Chennai, Bangalore and Mysore. Back in Switzerland she organized the dance and music production Moving Sculptures with a tour in Switzerland. In 2016 Sumitra created for the 40 years Kalasri jubilee the dance and music production Himalaya with D. Keshava and Anjali Keshava. In 2017 she choreographed with the Swiss dance award recipient Kilian Haselbeck the dance piece Symbiose, which they performed at the Theater Spektaktel Zurich, and the Theater Roxy, Basel. In 2020 she choreographed with her sister Anjali Keshava and the authors Ralph and Norwin Tharayil the production „zwei zu Zwei“. In 2021 she toured through Switzerland with the theater production Ajala, which she had created in collaboration with the author Donat Blum and her sister Anjali Keshava.

Sumitra received excellent reviews for her expressive acting talent and her sinuous dancing skills in India and Switzerland. Besides her passion for Indian classical arts she also has a repertoire of folk dances of different Indian regions and semi-classical Bollywood dances. Sumitra Keshava is teaching at the dance school Kalasri and conducts classes and workshops at the University of Basel, mus-e and Fastenopfer. She collaborates with Indian classical dancers and musicians, as well as with contemporary and ballet dancers. The Swiss-Indian dancer is regularly invited to India to present the famous and these days rarely seen Mysore Style of Bharatanatyam. Currently, Sumitra lives and works between Switzerland and India, combining her classical dance with music, Yoga and contemporary dance.

Selection of Performances and Choreographies

  • Diwali 2022 „Bharatanatyam ONLY“ Choreography / Production with D. Keshava, Anjali Keshava and Kalasri
  • 2022 Choreography / Production „Ajala“ Ein partizipatives Input- Stück über erneuerbare Energien mit Anjali Keshava und Donat Blum. Coproducer: Fastenopfer/artlink
  • 2021 Choreography / Production „Ajala“ Ein partizipatives Input- Stück über Klimagerechtigkeit mit Anjali Keshava und Donat Blum. Coproducer: Fastenopfer/artlink
  • 2021 Choreography/Production „zwei zu zwei“ with Anjali Keshava, Ralph and Norwin Tharayil. Coproducer: Kaserne Basel
  • 2018 Choreography / Production „Himalaya“ with the Kalasri dance company
  • 2017 Choreography / Production „Symbiose – Work in progress“ performing at Theaterspektakel Zurich
  • 2017 Choreography / Production „Irish Bharatanatyam“ with Andreas Habert (flute) and Christa Paulina Haussmann-Heer (Harp)
  • 2017 Psalm Festival Graz with D. Keshava, Anjali Keshava and the Musicensemble
  • 2017 Gala, Jerome Bel in Kaserne Basel
  • 2016 Choreography „Vreneli ab em Guggisberg“ accompanied by the Chor der Nationen, Swiss tour
  • 2016 Choreography/Production Himalaya with the Kalasri Dance- and Musicensemble, Swiss tour
  • 2016 NRJ Fashion Night, Hallenstadion Zürich
  • 2016 Feature length soloperformance with live music at the KJ Sarasa Festival in Chennai, India
  • 2015 Festival of India (40-years jubilee of the Indian assocsiation Switzerland)
  • 2014 «Moving Sculptures» Innovative Kalasri production with live musicians from India on tour in Basel, Luzern, Lugano, Bern, St. Gallen
  • 2014 Performance invited by the princess of Mysore for the Mysore kings Birthday in the contemporary dance theatre Alliance Francaise
  • 2014 Soloperformance «Death and Gender» in Leonhardskirche Basel
  • 2014 Museum Rietberg Zürich
  • 2014 Museum der Kulturen Basel
  • 2013 Performances accompany church services in protestant and catholic churches
  • 2012 Performance and interview in the Swiss TV SRF as an for Indian temple dance and bollywood dance («myzambo»)
  • 2012 Solo performances in Chennai, Bangalore und Mysore
  • 2011 Amerikannadotsava, North America Kannada Association, Bangalore
  • 2011 Global Ethics Forum, Geneva
  • 2011 50th Jubilee Fastenopfer, Swisslife Arena Luzern
  • 2011 Swiss Economic Forum Switzerland, Interlaken
  • 2010 Performance with the Chor der Nationen, Glarus
  • 2010 Museum Rietberg, Zürich
  • 2010 Leading role in the play Shakuntala
  • 2010 Kalasri tour «Pancha Bhuta» Luzern, Basel, St. Gallen, Bern
  • 2010 Performance in TV, India
  • 2010 Völkerkunde Museum, Köln
  • 2009 Kalasri innovative dance and music production «Pancha Bhuta» combining contemporary dance, Kalaripayattu, Indian folk and classical dance
  • 2009 Auftritt mit dem Chor der Nationen, KKL Luzern
  • 2008 «Skydance» Auftritt im Musical Theater, Basel, Olmahalle, St. Gallen
  • 2008 Dasara Festival, Mysore
  • 2007 Kalasri production «Bible stories»
  • 2005 Kalasri production «Feuervogel» (nach Musik von Igor Strawinsky)
  • 2004 TV performance, Switzerland
  • 2004 Arangetram Solodebut
  • 2003 Dance-Festival, Mysore
  • 2002 Kalasri production «Bhava, Raga, Tala»
  • 1999 Kalasri produktion «Navagraha» Sonne, Mond und Planeten
  • 1999 Kalasri produktion «Die Weibliche Gottheit»
  • 1997 Kalasri produktion «Die vier Jahreszeiten»
  • 1996 Asienfestival, Musik der Welt, Basel
  • 1996 Kalasri production «Die vier Tanzstile Indiens»
  • 1995 International dance festival in Mysore honoring the kings 70th Birthday
Anjali Keshava Tanzfest Basel 2015, Foto Brigitte Fässler
Anjali Keshava Tanzfest Basel 2015, Foto Brigitte Fässler

Choreographer, Yoga and Dance Teacher, Dancer, Musician

Dancer, Dance Teacher, Choreographer

Yoga and Dance Teacher, Dancer