Picked to be a princess

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As a child, Shubshri Kandiah looked to Princess Jasmine, from ‘Aladdin’, as a role model. Now the dream role is hers, writes Sally Clark.

Many student actors, dancers and musical theatre artists might fantasise about being plucked directly from graduation and cast in a lead role in a major musical, but that dream rarely becomes a reality. Musical theatre graduate Shubshri Kandiah, however, not only realised that dream when she was cast as Jasmine in the Australian production of Disney Theatrical’s Aladdin, but did so as a trifecta. On graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University’s musical theatre program in 2017, the 23-year-old simultaneously landed her first professional gig and her first lead role, playing one of Disney’s feistiest princesses in the stage adaptation of the 1992 animated Disney movie classic. The bonus? Returning to her home state of WA as part of the tour of this popular Broadway hit.

Growing up in Perth, Kandiah trained in classical Indian dance. Her mother was a Bollywood choreographer, so from a young age she had many opportunities to perform and dance in cultural contexts. After high school she trained in education but really missed performing so auditioned for Queensland Conservatorium’s musical theatre course. While still studying she performed in musicals such as Sweet Charity, The Life, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change and West Side Story. Prior to graduating, she performed the role of Ayah in Opera Queensland’s The Pearlfishers at QPAC and was a featured vocalist with the Queensland Pops Orchestra, appearing in “An Evening with Liz Callaway”,
and even performing a duet with Callaway. . . .

This is a sneak preview of an article in the October/November issue of Dance Australia. Look out for your copy in your favourite retail outlet or subscribe here.


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