Navtej Singh Johar is a dancer, choreographer and yoga exponent. He has formal training in Bharatanatyam at Rukmini Devi Arundale’s Kalakshetra, Chennai and Leela Samson at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi. As a yoga practitioner and master teacher, he is certified by the KHYF (Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation) as well as holds the Grand Parent Certification (500 hours) from the Yoga Alliance. He also has a degree in Cultural Anthropology at the Department of Performance Studies, New York University.
He has performed both nationally and internationally and has a number of international collaborations to his name with several prominent companies and choreographers, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, The Chandralekha Group, Leela Samson’s “Spanda”, Peter Sparling, Yoshiko Chuma, Alan Lommasson, John Shack, Justin McCarthy, Janet Lilly, Keith Khan, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Muzaffer Ali, Anna Birch, and Ben J Riepe and Kompanie. He has collaborated with composers Stephen Rush, Shubha Mudgal, as well visual artists Sheeba Chachi and Ravinder Reddy, and has acted in films by Deepa Mehta and Sabiha Sumar. Performance director of the Commonwealth Parade for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations, at London, in June 2002 he has also danced with the New York City Opera.
A Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee in Contemporary Choreography, his practice traverses freely between the traditional and the contemporary, twines critical theory, practice and social action, focuses upon the materiality of body, and attempts to challenge and disable the “idealisms” that inform our embodied practices as well as the envisioning of our body-insensitive Indian cities. Some of his full length productions are Meenakshi (2000), Sheer Fall (2003), Fana’a: Ranjha Revisited (2005), Dravya Kaya (2008), Mango Cherry Mix (2009), Grey is Also a Colour (2010), Charumathi Claire Singh (2012), Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (2012), Frenemies (2014).
Johar is a recipient of the Times of India Fellowship 1995, Charles Wallace Fellowship 1999 and a research fellowship at the “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, International Research Centre, Freie University, Berlin.