Showcasing the Arts

July/Aug. 2018 Featured Artist:
Lakshmi Sriraman


Lakshmi Sriraman
Lakshmi Sriraman runs the Shree School of Dance. In 2017-18, she was awarded a Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant to further her teaching and study of classical Indian dance.
As a young girl who started studying thaiya thai, the rhythmic tapping of alternating feet in a half-seated position, I never thought that I would one day be performing Bharatanatyam as my chosen career. The only reason I learned was because I couldn't stop myself from dancing.

I am a late entrant into the world of performing. Only after the birth of my son was I ready to move on from my then career of management consulting. Dance seemed to be the most obvious path to me. I have been blessed with wonderful teachers, mentors and collaborators who have guided and inspired me through my dance journey. More important, they have helped me define and find my own anchor and center in the work I create.

Through my work, I strive to speak my truth and represent who I am as an artist and as a person at the time.

Central to every work that I create are questions. How is this work relevant today? What is my vision for this project and the desired impact of this work? What impression do I want my audience to take away from this work?

In my more recent works, using poetry in English and my native language, Tamil, I have attempted to create here an intimate poetry in movement and emoting. A rich Indian classical and semi-classical soundscape offers me a way to bring together these various elements into a unified performance work. As a well-trained dancer of Bharatanatyam, a south Indian classical dance form which is a composite of movement and theater, I bring my skills as a practitioner of an age-old performance tradition. My work has also been shaped by my life as a woman, an immigrant, an inhabitant of a diverse cultural space and my conviction that art can help us transform the way we live.

Despite my years of training in a traditional, classical dance form, I have made significant departures from it in several of my past works. My urge to broaden by knowledge of dance and theatrical forms took me through contemporary dance-theater forms that use both movement and text in exciting ways. Dance to me is at once sacred and sensual. It is exciting for me to see my own work and my own self as a constant dialogue between tradition and change.

Apart from performing, I also run a dance school, Shree School of Dance, guiding my students through their dance journey. My approach to dance, whether it be in a performance setting, workshops or regular classes, has been to facilitate the process of realizing one's true potential and unearthing the divine through movement. Whether it is in perfecting technique, understanding the characters portrayed or exploring the nuances of poetry, I always hold the journeys, both within and without, as sacred.

Lakshmi Sriraman
Lexington, Kentucky

Telephone: 859-608-8898


Page last updated: June 1, 2018
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