Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi & Odissi Dance Exponent

Director, Prachya Bharati Centre for Performing Arts, Hyderabad

Swati Mahalaxmi, born in Prayag and brought up in the salubrious surroundings of Nainital, is a postgraduate in Ancient Indian History and Culture. She passionately pursues her love for Indian classical dance and music. All her endeavors in this direction are a humble offering of gratitude and devotion to God, her Parents and Gurus.

Born into a family where music, dance and theater were a way of life. Her parents ignited in her the deep love and devotion for Classical Dance and Music. At an early age of 5 she undertook serious training in Bharatanatyam under the direct tutelage of Rukmini Devi Arundale, Vazhavoor Ramaiah Pillai, Pandanallur Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, Sikkil Ramaswami Pillai, Sikkil Govindarajan Pillai, Pandanallur Swaminathan Pillai, Kalakshetra T. Devanathan. Sitting at their feet she absorbed the soul and techniques, the similarities and uniqueness of their schools. According to her father, Bharatanatyam is a grand synthesis of all the various artistic and technical highlights, aspects and facets of each of these schools.

Vempati Chinna Satyam accepted her as his disciple in Kuchipudi. Totally in awe of Vempati Chinna Satyam Garu’s dance and teaching, she would observe and imbibe carefully Master Garu’s technique and intricacies of the Kuchipudi idiom. Together with Master Garu’s teachings and her father’s training of the subtle nuances as well as the complex intricacies of movement and mime of the Kuchipudi style, her training blossomed into a unique form that could have been possible only with the guidance of these two great teachers!

Swati was drawn to the sheer grace of Odissi after watching Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi and started learning Odissi from Guru Mayadhar Raut. Under guruji’s guidance and her father’s critical observations, she was able to understand, imbibe and practice the subtle grace, exquisite beauty and the technical strength of the Odissi style.

Swati has given innumerable performances under prestigious banners, music and dance festivals all over India and abroad. Now she is based in Hyderabad and as the Director of “Prachya Bharati Centre for Performing Arts”, trains students from India and Abroad in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi. She also imparts training to students in vocal music- both Karnatic and Hindustani styles of music. Apart from this, Sanskrit and Yoga form an inseparable part of her training for students.