Lakshmi Ramaswamy
Bharatanatyam Dancer, Tamil Nadu, India

Biography

Smt. Lakshmi Ramaswamy has carved a niche for herself in the genre of Bharatanatyam as a performer, teacher, choreographer and researcher. A senior disciple of Smt Chitra Visweswaran, Lakshmi has also trained Karanas under Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Abinaya from Smt Kalanidhi Narayan and Tamil texts from Dr S Raghuraman. Apart from her Masters degree in Commerce (M Com), She also holds M A (Bharatanatyam) from the University of Madras, where she has submitted her Ph. D thesis under guidance of Dr M Premeela Gurumurthy. To her, ‘learning’ is a life long journey.

Her dance school Sri Mudhraalaya was started with an objective to take forward classical arts to the next generation, Lakshmi started teaching in a small way with three students. Today, Sri Mudhraalaya it is a registered society with satellite institutions headed by her students, Gnana Mudra, Purna Mudra, Chandra Mudra, Dhyana Mudra and Vijaya Mudra in different parts of Chennai. Sri Mudhraalaya offers group and individual sessions as: holistic training in practical dancing, theory and exercises, nattuvangam, stage craft, stage management, stage presentation, production assistance, lighting, choreography and teachers training. Scholarship to outstanding students, ‘Suvidhyaarthi’ has also been instituted last year.

As a teacher, she has served in the capacity of senior teacher in her guru’s institution, ‘Chidambaram Academy of performing Arts’ for more than a decade. She then she started, ‘Sri Mudhraalaya’ where she imparts training to interested youngsters. Started in a small way with three students, today this institution has many students who are not only performers, but are also teachers in their own right and conducted arangetrams of their students. Lakshmi is also Guest Faculty for M A Bharatanatyam Course in the Music Department, University of Madras. Her students have won many competitions, National scholarship and acknowledgement of Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram. Lakshmi has also conducted workshops in the US and Canada.

Shows & Major Performances

Lakshmi is an ‘A’ grade artist of Doordarshan, empanelled artist of ICCR (India Centre for Cultural Relations) and the SZCC (South Zone Cultural Centre). She has to her credit numerous solos and group performances in National and International festivals and in prestigious sabhas. She also has many Television appearances to her credit. As a performer she has travelled widely, that includes countries: U S A, U K, Canada, France, Arab countries, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Scholarship and fellowships:
Lakshmi has received fellowship from the Music Academy, Chennai for her Ph.D work. Earlier she received the senior scholarship offered by the Department of Culture, Government of India. She is also a recipient of Fulbright fellowship (given to scholars of different countries by the Government of U S), for Arts and Culture management studies. She was attached with Golden Gate University, San Francisco for this fellowship, in the year 2000.

As a Choreographer:
Apart from the traditional units like alarippus, jatiswarams, shabdams, varnams, kirtanams, padams, javali-s and kavutuvams, her choreographic works that have crossed 120, also include unusual works like, pudu-kavidai, pallu and madakku. She has special interest in Classical Tamil works, and has brought many such sangam age poetry as dance units. Other than individual dance units as above, she has also done duet choreography works, group productions, thematic arangetrams, thematic solos and solo dance theatre. Her neo-classical work, ‘Sculptor’s Dream’ was judged the best in IDA festival, 2002. Lakshmi has received production grant four times, from the state government and has brought rare Tamil works to the dance ‘stage’

Papers, Lecture-demonstrations:
Lakshmi has presented papers in many seminars and conferences that include: Paper presentation for Semmozhi Maanadu (International Conference for Classical Tamil); ‘Dialogue through dance’ for Urbaniana University, Rome and ‘Methodology for institutional teaching in dance’, Madras University. She has also done Lecture-Demonstrations in Sabhas of Chennai and in Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

Her contibution to Print Media:
She has been contributing articles regularly in art magazines and reviews of performances in news papers. She has translated book, ‘History of Tamil’s Dance’, by Dr S Raghuraman and has co-authored book, ‘Natana Kalaichol Kalanjiam’.

Academic associations:
Other than her association with the Madras University, Lakshmi has written lessons for MA dance course in Annamalai university, is consultant for Alagappa University and examiner for a couple of institutions and regional selection committees.

Productions

Thematic Solos
Arpudam, For Narada Gana Sabha on rasa ‘adputa’
Harom Shivom, Compositions of Papanasam Sivan
Thedal, Compositions that reflect, ‘search’
Prema & Prema-pasa, Compositions on ‘love’ in various facets
‘Aalavathu Eppadiyo’ (Solo theatre), Stories of four Saiva saints
Pibhare Swati rasam, Compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal
Jagam nee! Aham nee!, Mother Goddess as Mahisasura mardini
Shanmadham, Six streams of devotion in Hindu belief
Madhuraadipathe Akilam Madhuram, Compositions on Lord Krishna
Guham Sadhaaham Saranam Prabathye, Compositions on Lord Muruga
Sri Gurave Namaha, Concept hailing, ‘Guru’
Tharu, Traditional and modern compositions
Tridhara, Devotional, Traditional and Court traditions
Manoranjitham, Different types of ‘Favourites’
Suka-Hamsa-Mayuraaha, Compositions with peacock, swan and parrot
Bhairavi-Ranjani-Priya, Compositions in such ragams
Aasha, Compositions that reflect, ‘desire’
Vaishnavam, Compositions on Lord Vishnu

Duet Choreography
Swagatham Krishna, Compositions on Lord Krishna
Harom Shivom, Compositions of Papanasam Sivan
Kishkinda kaandam, Ramayana by Ezuththaccan (Malayalam)

Full-length Productions
Silambu Vidu Thoodhu, Message through the ‘anklet’
Jagam nee! Aham nee!, Greatness of Mother Goddess
Sangamum Sangamamum,  Sangam Age poetry in Tamil, Nattrinai
Tirumalai Aandaver Kuravanji, Kuravanji Literature, 17 CE
Kaalandho’rum, Dance through the Ages, in Tamil literature
Tiruvarangak kalambakam, Kalambakam on Lord Ranganatha, 16 CE
Aindhil Irandu, Sangam Age poetry in Tamil, Aingkurunooru
Puranaanooru, Sangam Age poetry in Tamil, Puranaanooru (This production won the best group productionaward from Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha)

Address: G 1, N S Flats, 19/4 East Ellaiamman Koil Street, Kottur, Chennai 85;

Ph:+9144.2442.2332

email: lakshmirramaswamy@yahoo.com

Awards & Recognitions

Yuva Kala Bharati
from Bharat Kalachar
Balasaraswathy Endowment Award
of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha
Nritya Vidhya Ratna
from Sarasaalaya
Natya kala Vipanci
from Vipanchi
Kalacharya Siromaņi
Best Guru Award by VDS Arts Academy, for the year 2009.
Acknowledgement from Tamilnadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram
in their scheme for upcoming artists in different cultural fields.
Golden Medal
won it twice in Youth festivals during her college days
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