Sharada Srinivasan

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Dr. Sharada Srinivasan
Education University of London, (PhD, 1996)
School of Oriental and African Studies, London (M.A. Art, Archaeology, and Archaeometallurgy, 1990)
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (BTech Engineering Physics, 1987)
Alma mater University of London , School of Oriental and African Studies, London , Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Occupation Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies(NIAS), Bangalore
Known for Contributions in the field of Applications of scientific studies in art and Archaeology, Indian Classical Dance
Daughter of Indian nuclear scientist Dr. M.R.Srinivasan

Sharada Srinivasan, professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India, works in the field of inter-disciplinary scientific studies in art, archaeology, archaeometallurgy and culture and is also an acclaimed exponent of classical Bharata Natyam dance. She has a PhD. in Archaeometallurgy from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (1996) on the theme of Archaeometallugical and art historical studies on South Indian metal icons'.[1] Dr Sharada Srinivasan is a Lead Investigator on a prestigious UKIERI grant of British Council with Exeter University's Dr Gill Juleff and Prof Ranganathan on the project 'Pioneering metallurgy: origins of steel making in the southern Indian subcontinent'.[2]

After obtaining a Master's degree at the University of London, she joined the Institute of Archaeology University College London to continue the project on the characterisation of South Indian bronze sculptures. During the tenure of Homi Bhabha Fellowship,Srinivasan visited the UK and USA as a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian, the Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Museum Applied Sciences Centre for Archaeology (MASCA), University of Pennsylvania, Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian & Conservation Department, Freer& Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian, and presented papers at the Conference on Indus Archaeology, University of Wisconsin Madison and The Cost Committee Meeting on Ion Beam analysis in Art and Archaeology at Oxford organised by European Commission. She also undertook further original research on technical evidence for high carbon steel by ancient crucible processes and ancient high-tin Bronzes and the surviving groups in Kerala for manufacture of high-tin bronze vessels and mirrors and lost wax casting.[3] Sharada Srinivasan is co-chairperson of the prestigious international conference Beginning of the Use of Metals and Alloys, BUMA VII, 14–18 Sept. 2009, Bangalore.[4]

In this International Year of Astronomy the photo-montage exhibition 'Danse e-Toile: Nataraja et le Cosmos' curated by Sharada Srinivasan, scientist-dancer is featured at Alliance Française Bangalore Atrium. It explores cosmic sensibilities and the art, metallurgy and science of the Nataraja bronze and from the evocative lens of both the Bharata Natyam and French contemporary dance forms. It will be at Cité De L'Espace, Toulouse for the Festival La Novela as a prelude to an internet-streamed dance event between Sharada Srinivasan and K.Danse, France.[5]

She is also an acclaimed performing artist specialising in the South Indian classical dance of Bharatanatyam. She has performed and lectured at the Royal Asiatic Society, the Royal Academy of Arts, for the Chola exhibition, the International Academy of Astronautics, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, INTACH-Belgium, Nehru Centre, London, China Conservatory of Music, National History of Science Seminar, Hyderabad, University of Toyoma, Japan and others. She had a photo-exhibition in June 2008 at Alliance Française Bangalore entitled 'Cosmic Dance of Shiva' on art-science-dance perspectives related to South Indian bronzes and the Nataraja.[6]

Danse e-Toile: Nata-raja et le Cosmos (Dance of stars: Nataraja and the Cosmos) was the first ever live, internet-streamed interactive dance and music programme between India and Europe. The event was held in Bangalore on 17 October 2009 as part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. What made it more noteworthy were the creative choreography and the amazing synthesis of art, science and advanced technology.[7]

Sharada Srinivasan was conferred with the Dr. Kalpana Chawla State Award for Women Scientists 2011 instituted by the Government of Karnataka.[8]


Honors, awards, and recognitions[edit]

Research interests[edit]



  • ...Talking about cosmic dance she said: “It is a metaphor of movement. There is also a personal metaphor — creation emerging out of destruction. I use the dance of the cosmos or the dance of science to discover aspects of ancient art that art historians have not been able to find ..[9]
  • ...There are fascinating interfaces between art and science. I returned to dance because of science. Dance injects an element of normalcy where I can enjoy contact with human emotions while science has an alienating quality. Bharatanatya is liberating and constricting at the same time because of its set forms and structure. I would have found it very limiting had it not been for science. Now I see the dance form as an element of movement of art forms..[10]
  • ...Capra was certainly not the first in portraying the Nataraja as a universal metaphor for the interface between science,spirituality, dance and art. But he definitely helped the idea to catch on.[11]
  • ...There is also something a bit Jungian in the Nataraja imagery that it somehow holds out a positive message of hope for coming to terms with loss through artistic endeavours or through acts of dedication.[12]



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