Monday, November 28, 2022

Aswathy Rajan

 Skilled In 

  • Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam & Bharathanatyam (With innate Performance, Technical & Theoretical Knowledge) 
  • Technical & Theoretical knowledge in the field of dance and its allied areas. 

 Alma mater 

  • Kerala Kalamandalam 
  • University of Hyderabad 


  • Guru Dr Anuradha Jonnalagadda (Kuchipudi) 
  • Guru Radha Sivakumar (Bharathanatyam) 
  • Guru Kalamandalam Rajalakshmi (Kuchipudi) 
  • Guru Kalamandalam Hymavathy (Mohiniyattam) 
  • Guru Kalamandalam Lathika (Mohiniyattam) 
  • Guru Kalamandalam Pushpalatha (Mohiniyattam) 
  • Guru Kalamandalam Preetha (Basic Lessons of Dance) 
  • Guru Jaimy Aluva (Basic Lessons of Dance) 

 Areas of Specialization 

  • Dance Education &Choreography 
  • Art Research &Art Criticism 
  • Performance Theory & Aesthetics 
  • Socio-cultural history of Dance 
  • Methodology and Ethics of Dance-Research 
  • Dance-anthropology 
  • Dance-psychology 
  • Neuro-cognitive Science of Dance 

 Educational Qualification 

  • Completed Ph.D. in Dance from the University of Hyderabad (July,2013-June,2019), Under the Guidance of Prof. Anuradha Jonnalagadda, on the topic, “Transformation of Mohiniyattam Tradition in Kerala: Cultural Milieu, Pedagogy and Practice”. 
  • UGC-SRF in Dance (Upgraded to SRF in Oct 2017) 
  • Qualified for UGC, JRF and NET in Dance (June 2015) 
  • Masters’ Degree in Performing arts (Dance – Kuchipudi) from Sarojini Naidu School of performing arts, Hyderabad Central University (2012). High First class with Distinction & First Rank with Gold Medal
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Performing arts (Dance-Mohiniyattam) from Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art & Culture (2009). High First Class. 
  • Masters in English Language & Literature, IGNOU (pursuing). 
  • Short term basic Yoga Course from District Yoga Association, Thrissur. 

Awards and Achievements 

    • UGC (University Grants Commission, India) -JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) in Dance. 
    • Gold Medallist (Nataraja Ramakrishna-Sarada Devi Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance) & First rank holder M.P.A. Dance, The University of Hyderabad in the year 2012. The First Keralite to receive this honour from the University. (It Was Conferred by the Veteran Historian & Academician Prof. Romila Thaper) 
    • Completed Eight years’ intensive Gurukula training from Kerala Kalamandalam and received the title ‘Kalamandalam’ along with the name. Kuchipudi Nritha Puraskaram by Kerala Kalakshetra, Angadipuram in 2017. 
    • Obtained merit scholarship from Kerala Kalamandalam for the Degree course.
    • Was Part of the Guinness Record breaking team that performed Mohiniyattam with thousand dancers at Kochi Inter National Stadium (2006). 
    • First prize in the quiz competition held in Kerala Kalamandalam in connection with Kerala piravi-celebrations-2007. 

Research Publications and Presentations 

  • Presented “Relevance of Dance in the dubious era of today’s cybernated-academe”. At the national seminar on significance of performing arts in educational institutions”, organized by Dept of Language and Culture, Govt of Telangana and Research Foundation for Devotional literary and cultural studies, Osmania University on 23rd March, 2019. 
  • Presented “Cultural values and Visual media: a peer-look upon the unsympathetic attitude of advertisements towards traditional performing art forms”. At National Seminar on Histories of Media and Performance: The Political, the Cultural, and the Deep Pasts’ organized by the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad on 14-15 March 2019. 
  • Presented “Different facets of Dance Behaviour: An Analysis.” at International conference on Mixed Methods Research (ICMMR-2019) At Kottayam organized by School of Behavioral Science, Mahatma Gandhi University on 23rd and 24th February, 2019. 
  • Presented “Status of Dance Education in Indian Academia Today: A study.” At National Seminar on Exploration of Theory and Praxis with Special attention on Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam Performances At Kalady organized by Dept. of Dance, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit on 20th, 21st, 22nd February, 2019. 
  • Presented “A Classical onslaught of Non-classical values / Transforming the un-Aryanized to Aryanized: A brief study upon the Vanished Tradition of Thiruvathirakali” At the 26th All India Conference of FOSSILS and National Seminar on Folklore At the University of Calicut, on 15th, 16th, 17th February, 2019. 
  • Presented “The usage of Traditional Art Forms in the Pedagogy, Practice and Performance of Contemporary Theatre”. At International Seminar on Creating the text of Theatre in Contemporary Drama At Periya organized by Dept. of Malayalam, Central University of Kerala on 6th,7thg,8th February, 2019. 
  • Presented “From ‘Text to Body’: Translating ‘Words’ into Codified-gestures”. At International conference and Seminar on Text and Performance Making At Thrissur organized by University of Calicut, School of Drama, Thrissur on 3rd,4th,5th January, 2019. 
  • Presented and published “Dance pedagogy in the digital age: changing contours of tradition.” in the two-day International Seminar (6-7 Feb 2018) on Dance, Music and Media, conducted by the Dept. of Music, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram. 
  • Published Analysing the right-side brain; a dancer’s perspective in the dance journal of Telugu University in March 2017. 
  •  Presented ‘Tagorian Nayikas in Indian dance scenario’ in a UGC sponsored national seminar on Performing arts organized by Department of Malayalam, Sree kerala Varma College, Thrissur.
  • Published ‘Vempatti Chinna Satyam- Kuchipudiyude porulum Chaithanyavum’ in KELI (Feb-March 2013) the official journal of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi. 
  • Published ‘Chau Nrithangal’ in ‘VINJANA KAIRALI’ the official journal of Kerala Bhasha Institute, Vol No. 44. 
  • Published ‘A monumental studies on Indian Art’ in Malayalam Literary Survey, English quarterly journal of Kerala Sahithya Akademi June 2013. 
  • ‘Swathy Thirunal- Vaggeyakalayude Sarga Vaibhavam’ in Sahithya Lokam, Malayalam bi-monthly journal of Kerala Sahithya Akademi Oct 2013. 
  • A talk on world dance day in All India Radio Thrissur, Broad Casted on 29th April 2013 Recorded on 26th April 2013. 

Performances Held 

  • Participated and performed in ‘Apas’- An Ode to water, a dance production directed by Prof. Anuradha Jonnalagadda (H.O.D, Faculty of Dance, U.O.H), at UOH, in connection with a UGC National Seminar on 3rd January 2014. 
  • Performed a dance choreography conceived & Directed by Veteran Dancer Padma Subramanian at Chowmahalla Palace, Andhra Pradesh in the year 2011 as a part of the Five day-workshop conducted by her. 
  • Performed with the Japanese National cultural dance troupe at Shilparam (Cultural Village), Andhra Pradesh on the14th of January 2012. 
  • Performed in Chandalika, a Kuchipudi dance drama choreographed by Sri. Vempati Chinna Satyam. The production was carried out by Prof. Anuradha Jonnalagadda in the year of 2011 at Rabindra Bharathi, Hyderabad as a part of the 150th birth celebrations of Tagore. 
  • Participated in a classical contemporary dance performance with the violin fusion of Sri. Ashok G. Gurjale. This piece was also choreographed by Prof. AnuradhaJonnalagadda.
  • Performed before the then President of India Smt. Prathibha Patel at the Legislative Assembly Hall, Trivandrum in connection with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Kerala ‘Niyama Sabha’ in 2008. 
  • Performed different dance recitals in connection with the Kairali-Swaralaya Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009. 
  • Participated in the Mohiniyattam dance performance based on Vallathol poetry held at Kalamandalam in the year2006. 
  • Performed Mohiniyattam at Kerala Kalamandalam in connection with the Platinum jubilee celebrations in 2006.
  • Performed Mohiniyattam at Thrissur in the cultural fest of Dooradarsan in 2006 & 2007. 
  • Performed Bharathanatyam in S.S Kalamandir, Kanjangad in connection with the monthly programme of the art forum, Kanjangad on 12thMay 2013. 
  • Performed for Kalamandalam’s Mohiniyattam Repertoire C D making in 2007.
  • Had been a part of numerous performance tours conducted by Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university for art & culture throughout Kerala and as well as many other places of India. 
  • Had performed Kuchipudi & Mohiniyattam widely in various temples, cultural Centers, Tourist Spots and stages of repute in and around Kerala. 

Workshops Attended 

  • Five-Day workshop on Natyasasthra guided by Dr. Padma Subramaniam in the year 2011 at Chowmahalla Palace, Andhra Pradesh. 
  • Workshop on International contemporary dance under the guidance of Paul Taylor’s International dance company in the year 2011 at The University of Hyderabad. 
  • Five-Day Workshop on Choreography guided by Guru C V Chandrasekharan on February 2012 at The University of Hyderabad. 
  • Five-Day Workshop on Choreography under the guidance of Guru Narasimhacharya in the year of 2010 at The University of Hyderabad
  • Practical workshop guided by Vedantam Rattai Sarma Garu in the village of Kuchipudi in connection with the Siddendra yogi festival-2012. 
  • Workshop on life and works of Annamacharya conducted jointly by The Department of Telugu and The Department of dance, The University of Hyderabad in 2012. 
  • Five Day Workshop on Natya Sastra By Prof. Pappu Venu Gopala Rao at Kerala Kalamandalam in July, 2013. 
  • Ten Day Dance workshop Rasavikalpam ( Kuchipudi, Kudiyattom & Kathak), organized by Keala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, at Regional Theatre Thrissur on August 2012. 
  • Two Day Workshop On Abhinaya Lead by Rajasree Varrier at Thrissur in connection with National Dance Festival organized by Kala Bharathi, Thrissur on April, 2013. 
  • Five Day Kathak Workshop lead by Smt. Parvathy Dutta at Natyaghriham, Thrissur, on June 2013. 
  • Five-Day Workshop on textual tradition of dance and music under the guidance of Prof. Pappu Venugopala Rao in the year of 2011at The University of Hyderabad. 
  • Five-Day Workshop on Yoga and kinesthetics guided by Prof. Pappu Venugopala Rao in the year of 2010at The University of Hyderabad. 
  • Three-Day Workshop on art and management under the guidance of contemporary performer Ramli Ibrahim in the year of 2010 at The University of Hyderabad. 
  •  Three-Day Workshop on Devadasi tradition under the guidance of Dr. Davesh Sonejiin the year 2010 at The University of Hyderabad.
  • Workshop on mohiniyattam by Dr. Kanak Rele conducted in kalamandalam in the year of 2009. 
  • Workshop on Kuchipudi by Dr. SwapnaSundari in the year 2007 at Kerala Kalamandalam. 

Workshops and Demonstrations conducted 

  • Conducted and lead a three-day workshop on “Understanding Dance as a Human Instinct and Behaviour from 29th December 2016 to 31st December 2016 at Thanal Campus, Kiralur on the basis of daily three hours in the morning sessions of the NSS Special Camp of DHSE NSS Unit No. 483, Sreekrishna HSS, Guruvayur. 
  • Conducted and lead a workshop on Kuchipudi and Art appreciation on 13th June 2016, Saturday as a part of the monthly “Vayojana Yuvajana Sangamam” organised by Thanal Charitable Trust at Thanal Campus, Kiralur. 
  • Conducted an intensive workshop on Kuchipudi on 30th April, 2017 at Angadippuram, organized by Nrityakalakshetra, Angadipuram. 


Excerpts from the Kuchipudi Recital presented by Aswathy Rajan at Mammiyoor Mahadeva Temple, Guruvayur on 30th September 2019.

Updated on  : 19th October 2019

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  1. […] As a lover of Kuchipudi, I would want to take all of your attention into their choreographic competence. There is a lot more choreographic lessons one could grasp from this duo. These days you get to see Kuchipudi in all different expressions. When I respect all these individual expressions, I humbly disagree applauding some of the most celebrated ones of this market-age. I see those ones only as a failing combinational model of choreography. It is no good to watch, the great ideas of movements, conceived and created by the gurus of yore, placing awkward. One has to understand the real trait of choreography before getting overwhelmed with such gimmicking market-ideas. Girish and Devi as a young dance-duo mark their signature in this realm. The thing reverberates in Girish’s Choreography is firstly the genuineness. The movement patterns he creates are not a mixture of any concepts already existed. But he (re)creates from the very base and extend the legacy of his school with fresh ideas and flow of grace. The bench mark of a good choreography could be the flow and uninterruptedness. (As said by our respected gurus, Movements have to flow from one to the other.) This dance-duo is blessed with such competence to make ceaseless movement-transitions and postural-designs of grace. Devi and Girish could be one of the true vehicles of Kuchipudi art tradition. aswathy rajan […]

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