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PROFILE SHARON LOWEN

Sharon Lowen is one of the most highly respected exponents of Odissi, Manipuri and both Mayurbhanj and Seraikella Chhau performing arts of India, known for her perfection of style, grace, and superb abhinaya. Her Odissi guru, Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra said of Sharon Lowen in 1986, after accompanying her 22 performance Festival of India-USA tour, “She is now one of my five best disciples who I can unhesitatingly recommend to represent the Odissi dance form anywhere in the world. Sharon has mastered the tradition.”

Over nearly 5 decades in India, Sharon Lowen has become an icon of what can be accomplished on the basis of merit and passion without reference to caste, community or nationality. She has shown audiences in India and abroad that maintaining the highest standards of authenticity in classicism can appeal to all members of society while contributing new choreography, teaching, lectures and writing that moves the tradition forward and gives it vitality for new generations. As a performing artist, scholar, teacher, writer and organizer, she has dedicated her life to improving the appreciation and understanding of Indian dance traditions, both here and abroad.

Since first arriving as a Fulbright Scholar in 1973 after completing an independent Honors BA in Humanities, Fine Arts and Asian Studies at the University of Michigan and an MA in dance with a minor in video production and photography, she has made India her karmabhoomi.

Sharon was featured in her real-life role in the best Telugu film of 1988, Swarna Kamalam, directed by K. Viswanath. As an American born Odissi dancer, her role in the film was to inspire the heroine to value her own Indian dance heritage. Sharon has received many awards and honors, including the prestigious Prime Minister s Acharya Narendra Dev Sarokar Samajic Samman by P.M. Chandrashekhar in 1991 and the Delhi Administration Parishad Saaman 1993 for Individual Contribution to Indian Arts. Besides performances throughout India and abroad, Sharon has performed, produced, done scripts and choreographed for film and television.

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