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Padma Subrahmanyam

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Padma Subrahmanyam
Born4 February 1943 (1943-02-04) (age 81)
Madras presidency, British India
Alma materEthiraj College for Women
Occupation(s)Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher and Author
Known forBharatanatyam
RelativesS. Krishnaswamy (brother)
Raghuram (nephew)
Anirudh Ravichander (grand-nephew)
Hrishikesh (grand-nephew)
Gayathri Raghuram (grand-niece)
AwardsPadma Shri (1981)
Padma Bhushan (2003) Padma Vibhushan (2024)

Padma Subrahmanyam (born 4 February 1943, in Madras), is an Indian classical Bharata Natyam dancer. She is also a research scholar, choreographer, teacher, Indologist and author. She is famous in India as well as abroad; several films and documentaries have been made in her honor by countries such as Japan, Australia and Russia. She is well known as the developer and founder of the dance form Bharata Nrithyam.[1][2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Padma Subrahmanyam was born to Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam, the Indian film director and Meenakshi Subrahmanyam on 4 February 1943 in Madras (now Chennai). Her father was a famous Indian filmmaker and her mother, Meenakshi was a music composer and a lyricist in Tamil and Sanskrit. She was trained by Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai.[1][2][3] She started teaching dance at a very young age of 14 at her father's dance school. She felt that there was a gap between history, theory and dance and started doing her own research.[4] She had her rangapravesha in 1956.[5]

She has taught in Monfort Rukmani Devi, Maharaja Aagarsen and various other schools in the years 2009 to 2011 and imparted knowledge to the children. Padma holds a bachelor's degree in music, a master's degree in Ethnomusicology, as well as a PhD in Dance under the guidance of Kuthur Ramakrishnan Srinivasan, noted archaeologist and a Padma Bhushan recipient.[6] Her PhD was based on the reconstruction of the 108 karanas, which are dance movements described in the Natyasastra.[6][7] She has authored many articles, research papers and books and has served as a non-official member of the Indo-Sub-commission for education and culture. She has designed the sculptures of the 108 sculptures of Lord Nataraja and goddess Parvathi in black granite for the Nataraja temple at Satara, an undertaking she took on bidding by the Kanchi Paramacharya. She has given lectures at various universities in southeast Asia, on the subject of cultural links between India and other countries.[1][3]

Padma Subrahmanyam being felicitated, at IFFI (2010)


Padma has received Padma Vibhushan in 2024, Padma Bhushan in 2003 and Padma Shri in 1981, which are among the highest civilian awards of India. During her dancing career, she has received more than 100 awards, including;[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d Narthki.com
  2. ^ a b c Webindia123
  3. ^ a b c Nrithyodhaya Website
  4. ^ Khanna, Shailaja (10 May 2019). "Padma Subrahmanyam on a new style of dance called 'Bharatanrytam'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Classically endowed". Deccan Herald. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b "The man who put Mahabs on the map". The Times of India. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Karanas – Common Dance Codes of India and Indonesia | IGNCA". ignca.gov.in.
  8. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2014". Kerala Tourism Department. Retrieved 29 January 2016.

External links[edit]