Smt. Shobha Koser is a great Kathak danseuse, perhaps the finest one in India. Her dance is an integral part of her presentations.
Launching herself as a full-fledged performer at the age of 15, she is indeed one of the rare devotees of this dance form. She has studied in minute detail practical and theoretical aspects of Kathak. Having learnt the intricacies of the Jaipur Gharana of Kathak from her Guru Kanhiya Lal, who himself was a worthy disciple of Nrityacharya late Guru Narayan Prasad, she also had the chance to polish her style from another established Guru of this Gharana, the Guru Kundan Lal Gangani. She was fortunate enough to have found in her husband late Guru Madan Lal Koser who was another great master of classical dances. Such disciple really went a long way in shaping her destiny as a dancer not just in India but abroad as well.
Nritta and Abhinaya bhava, which are the two most important facets of Kathak, have so well been integrated into her performer’s personality that Smt. Shobha Koser is able to execute these and other aspect of this dance form with utmost ease. This is primarily due to her devotion and passion for the dance which has ably imparted also to over a hundred of her disciples as the Head of the Dance Department at Government College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh. It is not without significance that her disciples are spread all over the world including the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Mauritius, Kazakhstan, Tashkent (Uzbekistan), etc.
Retired as Principal of Government Post-Graduate College, Mansa (PES-1), Smt. Shobha Koser has mastered every aspect of the Jaipur Gharana. She presents its facets like Taalas, Gats, Toras, Tukras, Paran, Chakkradar Paran extremely well to earn encomiums from the art critics. The subtlety of her footwork, portrayal of emotions through “Bhava”, graceful lyrical movements are only a few of the strong of her performances. She casts a magical spell on the audience as she appears to float as delicately as on the wings of a fresh, soft spring breeze while whirling with an astounding verve and vigour.
It is her infinite capacity to involve herself and the audience with the dance performance that has enabled Smt. Koser to reach the front row of Indian classical dancers in the most natural way. She has been engaged in the dissemination of ancient arts all over the world through Pracheen Kala Kendra, the premier and one of the oldest organizations of the country.
Smt. Shobha Koser has been decorated with the titles of Nritya Shree, Nritya Surabhi, Nritya Urvashi, Shreekshetra Nati, etc. She has also been honoured with the Amala Shankar Award, Pandit Manmohan Bhatt Memorial Award, the K. Lalitha Lifetime Achievement Award and the Critics Council of India (CCI) Award twice. The Chennai-based Madras Sangeet Natak Akademi has also presented her with Kala Shiromani Award. She has also been presented with Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Konark International Award, for her eminent position as a performer and the sound theoretical knowledge of Indian classical dances.
Besides being rated as a Top grade artist by Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan), Shobha is a prominent member of Advisory Bodies of different State Governments, reputed organisations and Universities in the matter of art and culture. Presently, she holds the dual charge of Treasurer-cum-Registrar of Pracheen Kala Kendra.