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Shovana Narayan
Born (1950-09-02) 2 September 1950 (age 73)
Years active1970–present
SpouseHerbert Traxl

Shovana Narayan is a recognised Indian Kathak dancer and a career officer with Indian Audit and Accounts Service. She performs in India and internationally, and has been awarded the Padma Shri.[1] She trained under Birju Maharaj.[2]

Early life and education

Sadhna Bose in Kolkata and Guru Kundal Lal in Mumbai initiated Narayan into Kathak at the age of four.[3]

She studied at Miranda House in Delhi, India, graduating with a master's degree in physics in 1972. She completed M.Phil. in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras in 2008 and MPhil in Social Sciences from Punjab University in 2001. She also worked as a career officer for the Indian Audits & Accounts Service[4] and retired in 2010. She is married to Dr. Herbert Traxl, Austrian Ambassador to India (retired).[5]

Achievements in dance career

As a "performer and guru," Shovana Narayan has performed widely in several prestigious national and international festivals and before several heads of state and governments and has trained several Kathak artists of the young generation.[6]

As a "choreographer-performer," Shovana Narayan has spearheaded and produced international collaborative works with leading dancers of western classical ballet, flamenco, tap dance, Buddhist chants with Buddhist monks, as well as dancing the compositions of western classical composers.[citation needed] She was the creative director-producer-dancer of the first-ever trilogy involving western classical dance-Kathak-flamenco in "The Dawn After" in 1994.[citation needed] She was also the creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 6th abylimpics 2003, held at New Delhi.[citation needed] She delivered the opening & closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games Delhi in 2010.[citation needed] She has spearheaded and produced several collaborative works with leading dancers of several Indian classical dance styles.[citation needed] She was also the creative director-producer for:

Some of her choreographies are:

As an "organiser," Shovana Narayan organises annually:

Research and films

Shovana has researched and discovered 8 Kathak villages near Gaya with documentary and official records. She collaborated with Sanskrit & epigraphy scholar KK Mishra, who discovered Prakrit inscription in Asokan-Brahmi script relating to Kathak dated to the 4th century BC.[citation needed] She is the first dancer to have conceived, conceptualised and brought out a dance video on the philosophy and legend of the immortal Khajuraho temples entitled ‘Dance of the Temples’.[citation needed] She is the leading actor in films "Akbar’s Bridge" (Hindi) and "Das Geheimnis des Indisches Tanz" (German).[citation needed]

Over 80 articles with in-depth research were published in several national newspapers, recognised journals, etc. such as the Times of India, the Tribune, the Asian Age, in journals of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rajasthan University, UNESCO, and several others.[citation needed]


By Shovana Narayan

Awards and honours

See also


  1. ^ "Famous Kathak Dancers". Bhavalaya. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Shovana Narayan Biography | Childhood, Family, Contribution to Kathak Dance, Facts". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  3. ^ S. Sahaya Ranjit (13 November 2006). "Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan unfolds her life in 'Meandering Pastures of Memories'". India Today. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Shovana Narayan". Miranda House's website. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  5. ^ Chatterjee, Rupa (2007). Raising a Daughter. Pustak Mahal. p. 127. ISBN 9788122308228.
  6. ^ India, The Dance (24 November 2020). "Shovana Narayan: A Dynamic Exponent of Kathak". THE DANCE INDIA. Retrieved 2 April 2022.