Romanee R. Kalicharran
Romanee R. Kalicharran, artist-scholar, explores performance and cultural theory academically and on stage respectively. New York born of Indo-Guyanese and Puerto Rican heritage she was exposed to the arts very early on. She began her training in the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak in 1986 under the late Gora Singh and later became the first female of Indo-Caribbean or Latino background to graduate from the East-West School of Dance under Pandit Satya Narayana Charka. She trained regularly with Kathak Master Pandit Birju Maharaj in N.Y. workshops as well as other masters. Her music education, vocal and harmonium began with Mohammed Yusuf, then Kinnar and Payal Seen at Sangeet Vilas. Romanee is also an artist of Bomba music and dance and trained in Puerto Rico under Angel Reyes and Tata Cepeda and in New York under Félix Romero. Along with dance and music she practiced Karate and Kung Fu extensively. As an advocate of dance literacy and the ‘voice’ of the performing arts, Romanee’s passion for archival history, creative writing, and performance analysis led to her certification in the Language of Dance© (Laban Motif Description) as well as New York State teaching license in dance. She holds a B.A. from Hunter College, majoring in English Language Arts and minoring in Theater; and a Masters degree from NYU in a one of a kind major: Interculturalism in the Performing Arts.
Romanee R. Kalicharran is the founder/director of Romanee & Co teaching Kathak, choreographic & intercultural studies, promoting cultural appreciation, critical thinking and creating a space for intercultural dialogue; revealing distinction and complete beauty in collaboration with artists from a range of disciplines such as Flamenco, Bomba, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Ballet,, Poetry, Drama, Break Dance, Video/Audio Media and more. Some of Romanee’s intercultural, multimedia, multidisciplinary choreographic & musical works include: “Look At Me” (Solo dance & spoken word piece highlights the idioms of Spanish, Guyanese Creole, English, and Sankrit chanting, Hindustani and Western classical music; A reaction and reenactment of plantation life, a common denominator in the countries of her heritage, “My Mourning Routine” (explores the extreme depths of loss using abhinaya and play on movement dynamics,” “Shiva Shakti: Soul Embrace (ballet /Kathak duet),” “Drums, Rhythm, Movement and Melody,(ancient dance and music traditions of Guyana, Trinidad & Suriname) and “Faith During Kalyug” (Tribute to survivors of Tsunami). She also collaborates live in concert with legends such as Manna Dey and Anup Jalota and has created presentation for numerous political leaders. Her acting roles have been colored by dance as in Women of the Mahabharat by Pritha Singh in which Romanee plays Kunti and performs Kathak.Kung-Fu. She played lead roles in dance-dramas such Who’s Who, Krishna Leela, Gangavataram, and other works of Guru Pandit Satya Narayana Charka. Her creative works have graced the stages of Apollo, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, Centro de Bellas Artes, High-Tech City, Symphony Space, and Asia Society to name a few.
Media acclaimed, Romanee is the recipient of countless distinguished awards and is the youngest to ever receive the Wordsworth McAndrew Award for her ‘contribution to Guyana’s cultural life.’ In addition to her worldwide performances, workshops, demonstrations, and lectures, she continues be a dance educator in Creative Kathak© at numerous arts organizations, universities, public and private schools as well as schools for children with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. She has developed a unique multicultural curriculum adaptable to all levels in a quest facilitate cultural inquiry, exchange and respect through this pedagogical approach. Dedicated to the preservation of dying art forms she is deeply involved in the investigation, documentation and presentation of traditional, folk, social, and ritual, songs and dances and the elders and masters who have maintained them. Her written works include the unprecedented, “The Ramifications of Interculturalism on Traditional Dance Forms:An Exploration of Kathak and Bomba,” and supplementary performance “Where Kathak and Bomba Meet in Me.”
Romanee believes raising consciousness of the artists’ voice and impact on society determines future artistic life. Constantly posing the query of tradition vs. innovation Romanee believes artistic work which finds harmony between these concepts is inevitably timeless.