Rekha Raju

State Vice President, Karnataka Culture & Heritage Council


At the of 3 is when Dr.Rekha Raju's mother Jayalakshmi Raghavan decided to put her into the careful hands of Dance Guru Padmini Ramachandran to guide her in Bharatanatyam. The youngest of all in the whole class Rekha was involved in all the shows in just 6 months of her admission. She had a performance every week which marked her excellence in dance. Rekha mastered academics and dance together, taking a masters degree in business administration and a masters degree in performing arts simultaneously. A chartered accountant in the making Rekha, took up classical dancing as her full time career, Rekha founded her own dance institution Nrithya Dhama Temple of Fine Arts with a motive of training tridents of all cadre wether poor or rich from rural or from urban all students getting the knowledge of dance under the same roof. Though Bharatanatyam was the foundation of her dance career, she had started learning Mohiniattam too and it's Prof. A . Janardhanan who moulded her as a fine Mohiniattam danseuse and today Rekha is an exponent of Mohiniattam which many of the art critics have agreed to. In Nrithya Dhama students get trained in Bharatanatyam,Mohiniattam, Carnatic vocals, Mridangam etc.more than 350 students have been trained in dance alone. She has students from different universities from the U.S and U.K who have come to India for a exchange programme and have been trained by Dr. Rekha. Rekha holds classes for house wives and working women and almost 20 of them did their maiden performance in December 2016 With the completion of 10 years of establishment of Nrithya Dhama, 20 of Rekha's students have completed their arangettam, more than 150 have completed their Chelengai ( gejje) Pooja. 10 of them have been performing as solo artistes and performing all over India, they even have been appointed as faculties in Nrithya Dhama and other prestigious institutions. Rekha has involved herself with various NGO's like Cristel House, St. Theresa home for children, Freedom Foundation all of these which help in the holistic development of children suffering from various disorders and poverty. Rekha encourages all art forms and as an responsible youngster she imparts knowledge of different arts forms to students. In this context she organises a cultural event every month at her dance studio which acts as an eye- opener into the world of arts. As a young exponent of dance Rekha has a lot of achievements to her credits, like a doctoral degree, many awards and recognitions representing Mohiniattam at various universities inside and outside India. She is the sole member of the expert committee panel for mohiniattam at the "Cultural Ministry Govt of India" ., an empaneled artist of the ICCR and an " A" graded artist at the Doordarshan. She has received many awards like Nritya Rejini, Nrithy Kaumudi, Best young Dancer Bangalore Tamil sangam, Yuva Kala Pratibha , Swarna Mukhi, Nritya Varsha Deepika Etc. Rekha received the prestigious Yuva Kala Bharathi award from the esteemed Bharath kalachar on 16th January 2016. Dr. Rekha received the Bharath Nritya Samrat award at the Nagpur Dance Festival in February 2016. The performance was an eye opener to all as they were seeing Mohiniattam for the very first time. Rekha is being invited by the University to conduct workshops for college and school students to widen the knowledge of Mohiniattam in them. Rekha even toured the rural parts of Rajasthan, U.P through SPICMACAY where she conducted workshop demonstrations of Mohiniattam in government schools where the students are even deprived of basic necessities. Mohiniattam was not just a new dance form but a complete new word to them. They learnt some gestures basic mandalam of Mohiniattam. It was very well received. Dr. Rekha received the prestiguous Krishna Gana Sabha endowment award this year amd even received the Natya Mayura Tharakai award at Mayura Natyanjali in April 2017. She received the Kalayogi award from the Iccr last year.

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