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

Professor Sharada Srinivasan is an archaeologist specialising in the scientific study of art, archaeology, archaemetallurgy and culture. She is associated with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India, and an Honourary University Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK.[1] Srinivasan is also an exponent of classical Bharata Natyam dance.[2]


Srinivasan obtained her BTech in 1987 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. After completing her master's degree at the University of London in 1989, Srinivasan continued to research South Indian bronze sculpture during her PhD at University College London, which she completed in 1995.[3]

Srinivasan was awarded a Homi Bhabha Fellowship,[4] during which time she visited the UK and USA as a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian, the Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Museum of Applied Sciences Centre for Archaeology (MASCA), University of Pennsylvania, Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian & Conservation Department, Freer & Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian, and presented papers at a 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.[citation needed]

In 2009, Srinivasan co-chaired the seventh Beginning of the Use of Metals and Alloys (BUMA) international conference in Bangalore. The proceedings were published in 2015 in the volume Metals and Civilizations, of which Srinivasan was co-editor.[5]

Srinivasan was co-investigator on a 2010 UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)[6] funded project with Professor S. Ranganathan and the University of Exeter's Dr Gill Juleff. The project was titled Pioneering Metallurgy: Origins of Steel Making in the Southern Indian Subcontinent.[7] She undertook further 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.[8]


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.[9]

She is also a 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.[10]

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.[11]

Sharada Srinivasan was conferred with the Dr. Kalpana Chawla State Award for Women Scientists 2011 instituted by the Government of Karnataka.[12]




  • ...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 ..[14]
  • ...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..[15]
  • ...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.[16]
  • ...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.[17]


  1. ^ "Professor Sharada Srinivasan". University of Exeter. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  2. ^ From Sharada Srinivasan's profile page on the official website of Leonardo Electronic Directory.
  3. ^ "Sharada Srinivasan". Leonardo Electronic Dictionary. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Homi Bhabha Fellowship". Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Metals and Civilizations: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Beginnings of the use of Metals and Alloys (BUMA VII)(NIAS Special Publication No. SP7-2015)". e-print@NIAS. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "UK India Education and Research Initiative". UKIERI. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "New research into origins of iron and steel in India". University of Exeter. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  8. ^ From Sharada Srinivasan's profile page on the official website of Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council.
  9. ^ K-Dance Website
  10. ^ Sharada Srinivasan performs Bharatanatyam At international conference on Southeast Asian Archaeology 1 September 2008 Leiden, Holland
  11. ^ Cosmic Ball- The Week, Nov8 2009
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Dr. Kalpana Chawla Young Women Scientist Awardees". Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  14. ^ From the leading Indian National Newspaper in English – The Hindu
  15. ^ From the leading Indian National Newspaper in English – The Hindu
  16. ^ The Sensuous and the Sacred – Article from Tamil Website
  17. ^ Doing the Cosmic Tango

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