Acclaimed danseuse Dr Padma Subrahmanyam to elucidate key concepts of Natyashastra

Gandhinagar: Exploring the earliest extant literature in the world of dramaturgy, the next two lectures in the fifth edition of the Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) elective course by the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) will explore Bharata Muni’s Natyashastra. Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, an acclaimed danseuse and devoted expert in the field of performing arts, will deliver two online lectures titled ‘Marga: The Unacknowledged Substratum of Performing Arts’ and ‘Deshis Imbedded in Marga on February 10 and 11, 2021, from 3:05 to 4 pm (IST).

Dr Padma Subrahmanyam is an exponent of Bharatanatyam, who has presented her art in prestigious national and international dance festivals across the world. She has done extensive research in the field of performing arts, especially on the Karana sculptures in the temples of Tamil Nadu, besides authoring several books on dance and treatises such as the Natyashastra. She is unique among dancers today for having incorporated outputs from her research in her dance compositions, thus crafting a distinct style in Bharatanatyam. She is currently President of Nrithyodaya, a leading organisation of the arts founded by her father K Subrahmanyam, and founder of Bharatamuni Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture located near Chennai. Dr Padma Subrahmanyam has won numerous accolades including the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan (2003), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1983), the Kalaimamani, and the Kalidas Samman. Dr Padma Subrahmanyam has also been elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for her contribution to Indian dance.

In her lectures at IITGN, Dr Subrahmanyam will discuss some key concepts of Natyashastra and how the much-discussed Marga and Deshi forms of performing arts are intertwined. Based on the study of Natyashastra text, the common Indian grammar of performing arts and literature is referred to as Marga in the post-Natyashastra period. Deshis are regional forms of performing arts, many of which are developed based on regional taste. Dr Padma Subrahmanyam has recreated the Marga in dance, showing its interrelation with Deshis.

The IKS course is open to students and anyone interested in India’s knowledge systems and cultural heritage. They can join the course for free by filling an online registration form on the website: All lectures will be livestreamed on IITGN’s YouTube channel.

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