Abanti Banerjee, student in the Department of Dance (2015-17), S.N. School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad has been awarded the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship-Choreomundus 2017, in Dance-knowledge, practice and cultural heritage. She is the only Indian to have received the Partner country scholarship for her course this year. The programme is offered by a consortium of four universities internationally recognised for their leadership in the development of innovative curricula for the analysis of dance and other movement practices: University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA, coordinator), Clermont-Ferrand, France; Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; University of Szeged (SZTE), Hungary; University of Roehampton, London (URL), United Kingdom.
Abanti started learning Bharatnaytam from a very young age and even before started learning Hindustani Classical music. Her first performance was at the age of 3 in a drama. She did her schooling from Auxilium Convent School and was the president of the dance cultural club. She started performing in National Dance Festivals from Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) from a very young age. She has received the Nati-Binodini award from the Governor of West Bengal and has been honoured as a performer in various national stages in Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Puri, Kolkata, Hyderabad. She did her graduation from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in dance and joined University of Hyderabad as a Masters student and grew herself as a dancer under the tutelage of Prof. Pasumarthi Ramalinga Sastry garu.
She started dancing with the awareness that dance was much about performance but later on she grew her perception on Dance from a wider spectrum of Cultural studies, Anthropology and Sociology, the course in UoH, Department of Dance added to the awareness of dance to develop it into knowledge. She now wants to introspect the cross-cultural similarities and diversities of various dances and culture from the world to understand the reason behind existence of dance in every community and Diaspora as a part of their culture so that movement can be defined and understood in kaleidoscopic ways. This understanding if implemented in the pedagogical frame of dance studies will open various prospect and exposure to scholars of dance, she believes. She aims in bridging the gap between performance and knowledge in Dance, as a subject.
She has been an active part of SPIC MACAY and UoH Cultural programs and has compeered in many events in the university and outside stages like Shilparamam and Shilpakalavedika.