The highest civilian award of the Karnataka state government’s Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy carry a cash prize of Rs.25,000
Dr. Padmaja Suresh, a leading Bharatanatyam dancer and a prominent researcher of Natya and Tantra has been recently conferred the title ‘Karnataka Kalashri,’the highest civilian award of the Karnataka state government’s Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy . The award carry a cash prize of Rs.25,000
Born in Mumbai, Padmaja hails from a family of well-known exponents in Chakyar Koothu and Maddalam. She started training in Bharatanatyam from tender age of four under Kalamandalam Guru Rajalaxmi and later under Guru Kalyanasundaram. She is not only a renowned choreographer and teacher of Bharatanatyam, but also a widely published author and researcher with many articles and two books on Tantra and Natya to her credit. Padmaja has represented Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in some of her concert tours to over 32 nations and has presented her research findings in some of World’s prestigious conferences including World Sanskrit, Parliament of Religions, SNA Natya Shastra seminar.
She runs Aatmalaya Academy based in Bengaluru, conducts lecture demonstrations, workshops and dance training for over 3000 lesser privileged learners in rural Karnataka and other states. Padmaja has been honored at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by then President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam for her initiatives to make Bharatanatyam accessible to the lesser privileged.