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Performance and Workshops by Sreelakshmy Govardhanan

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

We are excited to welcome Sreelakshmy Govardhanan to the Triangle, and to have an opportunity to share her talents with you.

Sreelakshmy Govardhanan is a renowned Kuchipudi dancer, choreographer, and researcher from Kerala, India. While strictly adhering to the robust sampradaya (tradition) of her Guru Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma, a doyen of Kuchipudi Yakshagana, Sreelakshmy has carved a niche for herself in the art world by creating a repertoire that is a unique amalgam of tradition and innovation. She has chiseled her art to unravel stories that hold a mirror to contemporary social realities while staying rooted in tradition. Sreelakshmy is the founder and artistic director of the Avantika Space for Dance--a centre for learning, performance, and research.

Sreelakshmy Govardhanan has been the recipient of many titles and honours such as ‘Kalashree’ from Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, "Nalanada Nrutya Nipuna," "Kala Ratna," "Singar Mani," Binfield Endowment from Narada Gana Sabha Chennai, Kalavaahini Trust Senior Fellowship, and Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award from Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi to name a few. She has captivated audiences at the most prestigious festivals and sabhas (venues) in India and abroad including The Madras Music Academy, Nehru Centre London, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Konark Dance Festival, Kalakshetra Foundation, Drishti Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival, and Kalavaahini Dance for Dance Festival.

Leela Foundation is proud to present Katha, a Kuchipudi Dance Performance, performed by Sreelakshmy Govardhanan. Join us for this beautiful performance on April 29, at 4 pm at the Durham Arts Council. Purchase Tickets Now!

Sreelakshmy Govardhanan is a renowned Kuchipudi dancer-choreographer who by her unparalleled grace, lightening footwork, and exquisite abhinaya (emotive ability) has carved an exclusive niche in the Indian classical art world. The joyous abandon and ingenuousness of her dance have left audiences enchanted in many of the most prestigious venues of India and abroad. While strictly adhering to the robust tradition of her Guru Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma, a doyen of Kuchipudi Yakshagana, she has created a repertoire that seamlessly blends tradition and innovation to address contemporary society. In this evening length performance, KATHA ("Story"), Sreelakshmy dances the myriad shades of life today through the stories of many mythical characters. She invites you to find the story within your own heart and travel with her to the place that is beyond all story.


Durham Arts Council PSI Theater:

120 Morris St, Durham, NC 27701

(PSI Theater is on the upper level of the Durham Arts Council building just beyond Semans Gallery)


Durham Centre Parking Garage:

300 W Morgan St

Durham, NC 27701

(This is Across the street from Durham Arts Center.

Parking free before 4pm most Saturdays)


Sreelakshmy Govardhanan's story-telling prowess makes her workshops/seminars highly sought after in India and abroad.

We are excited to host TWO separate three-day workshops by Sreelakshmy on April 26-28th, 2023. Take advantage of EARLY BIRD PRICING now until April 18th! Workshops are $250 per student (price goes up to $300 after April 18th.) Register now!

Kuchipudi Patashala Workshop 4:00 - 6:00 pm. (Open to Kuchipudi dancers with 3+ years training /Ages 10+.)

This workshop is an introduction to the movement artistry of traditional Kuchipudi. Students will be made aware of different aspects of Kuchipudi and explore the basic Adavus and Jathi patterns from the Kuchipudi sampradaya. A traditional Kuchipudi choreography by legendary Guru Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma will be introduced in this workshop. While imbibing the energetic and verve filled spirit of Kuchipudi dance, participants will also be initiated into the philosophy of traditional Kuchipudi.

Exploring the Gita Govindam Workshop: 6:15 - 8:45 pm. (Open to Advanced dancers of ALL classical dance styles, ages 14+) Registration is now CLOSED

The GITA GOVINDAM (Song of the Cowherd) is a centuries old Sanskrit poem by saint Jayadeva that brings to life the immortal love of Krishna and Radha. With its moving lyrics of the pain of separation and the intense joy of union, this epic poem has been a treasure for all Indian classical performing artists. The act of bringing to life any one of the "Ashtapadis" (set of 8 couplets) within this magnum opus continues to be a powerful medium of expressive evolution and mastery in an artist's journey.

In this unique workshop participants will travel through the performative, aesthetic, and philosophical aspects of the GITA GOVINDAM while immersing themselves in one beautiful ASHTAPADI from this great work. The expressive teachings of the workshop are rooted in the four aspects of Abhinaya (expression) delineated in the NATYASASTRA (sacred Indian treatise on dramaturgy): Angika (physical), Aharya (dress), Vachika (spoken word), and Satwika (innermost feeling).

Participants will learn to see the different layers of the selected "Ashtapadi" and understand the evolution of the character. By exploring body sensations, voice, breath, extent of gaze, feeling of energies around them, and engagement with gravity--dancers will be guided to invoke the full emotional and somatic experience of the character within themselves. Dancers will be challenged to break through the emotional, spiritual, and physical barriers that block the fullest flow of emotions within themselves. The workshop is intended to help dancers find/grow their own voice and create their individual narrative within the poem. Don't miss the chance to engage personally with SREELAKSHMY GOVARDHANAN in what promises to be an elevating and even cathartic workshop for dedicated dancers of all genres!

This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

The arts are back in North Carolina. The Spark the Arts grant promotes audience inclusion and reengagement in the arts.

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