Gaddam Padmaja Reddy
Reddy performing Kakatiyam in 2018
Born (1967-01-01) 1 January 1967 (age 57)
Pamarru, Andhra Pradesh, India
OccupationKuchipudi dancer
RelativesGaddam Ganga Reddy (father-in-law)
AwardsSee Awards

Gaddam Padmaja Reddy (born 1 January 1967) is an Indian Kuchipudi exponent and music teacher. She performs ballets on mythological themes and contemporary social issues. She choreographed Kakatiyam, a Kuchipudi visual dance form. She was conferred with Kala Ratna in 2006, India's highest art award–Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2015 and Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in the field of art for 2022.

Early life

Padmaja Reddy was born on 1 January 1967[1] in a Reddy family[2] to G. V. Reddy and Swarajyalakshmi in Pamarru, Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh.[3][4] She grew up at her grandparents house in Pamarru.[4] She later moved to Hyderabad.[5] Her family lived in Yousufguda. She was educated in St. Theresa School and then in Reddy College.[6] She graduated in Bachelor of Arts.[2]

Kuchipudi dance

Reddy trained in Kuchipudi from Shobha Naidu.[1] Reddy gained recognition for her performance in the roles of Satyabhama and Rudrama Devi.[3] In an interview, she said she wanted to perform on a unique topic rather than the mythological stories, which are in common occurrences.[2] She developed and performed several Kuchipudi dance forms that build awareness on contemporary social issues, some of which includes the ballets Bruna Hatyalu, Jagruthi, Vajra Bharati, Namaste India, Season of Flowers. Bruna Hatyalu condemns female foeticides–selective abortions of female babies, Jagruthi explores issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and Vajra Bharati tries to ignite the ethos of national integrity among people.[7][4][8][9] Apart from social issues, she performs in ballets involving mythology. Some of her mythological works include Bhamakalapam, Mahishashura Mardhini, Navadurgalu and Kakatiyam.[10][8]

She teaches Kuchipudi at "Pranav Institute of Kuchipudi Dance" academy, named after her son Pranav.[11][1]


Reddy performing Kakatiyam in 2018 in the character of Rudrama Devi

Reddy said in an interview that she wanted to develop a classical dance form that is based culture of Telangana. She developed Kakatiyam, a two-part Kuchipudi classical visual dance form based on the history and themes of Ramappa Temple, sculpture and dance forms during the period of Kakatiya dynasty. She said the dance concept was based on her research on the Ramappa Temple, Thousand Pillar Temple and Warangal Fort in formatting the dance form.[12][2] According to her, it is based on Nritta Ratnavali – a book written by Jayapa Senani, a military commander of the Kakatiyas, documenting the dance forms of 13th century.[4][8]

She performed the role of Rudrama Devi, queen of the Kakatiya dynasty.[13] The first part of the dance was performed in February 2017 and the second part was presented in December 2021, both in Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad.[12][14] According to Reddy, the split of the ballet in two parts was due to the vastness of the dance concepts documented in Nritta Ratnavali and only some of them were chosen due to "budget and feasibility".[15]

"I am just sowing the seed, nurturing and letting it grow is everyone’s responsibility. I consider the hurdles as my stepping stones and nothing would stop me from taking this art form to the people of Telangana."

 — Padmaja Reddy on her intentions about Kakatiyam[15]

Reddy said she plans to further study the book and present the dance concepts in future performances, which were currently omitted in the two-part play.[15]

Other work

Reddy worked as a member of National Tourism Advisory Council in 2012 and had been a member of the General Assembly of Indian Council of Cultural Relations.[3]


Reddy was conferred several honours and awards.[3] Prominent ones include the doctorate degree from Sri Krishnadevaraya University in 2005 and an honorary doctorate by Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam in 2022.[1][16] In 2006, she was awarded with Kala Ratna by the united Andhra Pradesh government.[17] She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest award in arts in India,[18] for her contributions to Kuchipudi in 2015 and became the first dancer from Telangana to receive the award.[19] Later in 2022, the Government of India conferred her with Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian award,[20] in the field of arts.[21]

Personal life

Padmaja Reddy married Gaddam Srinivas Reddy in 1988,[5] who is a son of Gaddam Ganga Reddy, former Member of Parliament and Member of the Legislative Assembly. They have a son, Pranav.[4] She resides in Begumpet, a neighbourhood in Hyderabad.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d "పద్మజారెడ్డికి నేడు మహిళా వర్సిటీ డాక్టరేట్‌ ప్రదానం" [Padmaja Reddy awarded doctorate from women's university today]. Andhra Jyothi (in Telugu). 11 November 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Anjali (12 September 2017). Kuchipudi Dancer Padmaja Reddy Exclusive Interview (Videotape) (in Telugu). iDream Telugu Movies.
  3. ^ a b c d "మాజీ ఎంపీ గడ్డం గంగారెడ్డి చిన్నకోడలికి 'పద్మశ్రీ'" ['Padma Shri' for former MP Gaddam Ganga Reddy's younger daughter-in-law]. Sakshi (in Telugu). 26 January 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e Revalla, Venkateswarlu (27 January 2022). "ఇది శివుడిచ్చిన వరం" [This is Shiva's boon]. Eenadu (in Telugu). Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  5. ^ a b "తెలంగాణ కోడలైనందుకు గర్వపడుతున్నా." [Proud to become Telangana's daughter-in-law]. Namasthe Telangana. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  6. ^ Exclusive Interview with Dr.Padmaja Reddy (Videotape) (in Telugu). Jaya Jaya Shankara Tv. 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Governor Biswabhusan lauds SPMVV for responding to challenges". The Hans India. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Padma Shri - Smt. Gaddam Padmaja Reddy" (PDF). Government of India. 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  9. ^ Reddy, Nirmala (26 December 2021). "కాకతీయం: చారిత్రక నృత్య సౌరభం" [Kakatiyam: A historical dance aura]. Sakshi. p. 12. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  10. ^ Chakravorty, Reshmi (6 December 2017). "An honourable moment". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  11. ^ Gudipoodi, Srihari (4 September 2014). "Youngsters take centre stage". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Kuchipudi dancer Padmaja Reddy is all set to perform at Shilpakala Vedika". Telangana Today. 23 December 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  13. ^ Paul, Papri; Palaparthi, Srividya (7 February 2017). "Kakatiyam, a melange of ethnic dance forms long forgotten in telangana". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  14. ^ "'Kakatiyam' dance to be showcased". The Hindu. 30 January 2017. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Chakravorty, Reshmi (24 December 2021). "Kuchipudi exponent Dr G Padmaja Reddy has taken up the challenge to revive dance forms of the Kakatiya era". Indulge Express. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  16. ^ "India's higher education second largest in world: Guv Harichandan". The New Indian Express. 12 November 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Hamsa awards are now Kalaratna". The Hindu. 15 August 2006. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  18. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Award to UoH professor". The Hindu. 20 July 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  19. ^ Joseph, Deepu (2 October 2016). "Meet Telangana's first Sangeeta Nataka Akademi award winner". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  20. ^ Khurana, Suanshu (28 April 2022). "Padma Shri awardee removed from govt accommodation as eviction starts". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  21. ^ "Padma Awards 2022: Meet awardees conferred in the field of art for their distinguished contribution". The Indian Express. 29 March 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  22. ^ "Padma Shri Awardee Dr. Padmaja Reddy joins Green India Challenge". Telangana Today. 28 January 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.