Dr. Padma Subramanium

Dr. Padma Subramanium
Accomplished BharataNatyam Dancer

Dr. Padma Subramanium is one of India’s most stunning and dedicated dancers. So vast are her contributions to India’s cultural scene that she has been described as ‘an institution in herself.’ Following her doctorate studies into the ancient treatises on dance, she dared to redefine the classical dance tradition, bringing it back to the teachings voiced by the ancient sages.

In theory, and in performance, she has demonstrated the once pan-Indian style of dance called Margi, which was lost and latently submerged in regional styles. She brings to light the flow and majesty of the 108 basic karanas [postures], which are usually depicted as static poses, dancing them as single flowing entity. She even reconstructed what she felt were missing karanas, and these have been included in the temple sculptres at Satara.

Twelve years later, on a visit to Indonesia, she came face to face with a 9th century sculptural version of ‘her’ work. Incredibly this has verified her research and more importantly given an Asia wide dimension to her claims that one dance tradition permeated the Indian subcontinent.

A deeply spiritual person, Dr. Padma thrills audiences with her dance of 70 verses from Lord Krishna’s Bhagavad Gita. She is a gifted composer and singer and works closely with her musicians. She has created, directed, and performed in a 13-part television serial on the subject of Indian dance. She directs her own dance studio, which provides free scholarships to underprivileged students. The hallmark of Dr. Padma’s creative genius lies in her fast footwork, gestures and expressive body work and leaps. She herself is now the subject of research projects and several films are made of her work.

In the middle of a hectic performing schedule, Dr. Subramanium still finds time to create new pieces of music and to dance. She also produce scholarly papers for the seminars she conducts world wide throughout every continent. Dr. Padma is the recipient of every award there is for the dancer in India, and she is the only dancer to have been given the highly prestigious Fukuoka Asian Cultural prize from Japan for her contribution to development and harmony in Asia.

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