Award Citation

Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam is a leading figure in Indian Bharata Natyam classical dance. She is well known for her intensive work in the musical arts of ancient India.

Bharata Natyam is a classical art form of South India where a high level of skill and sensitivity are required to make the rhythmical footwork harmonize with the music.

Dr. Padma's eloquent expression and creative talent as a dancer were recognized and attracted much attention in her teenage years. Her achievements in studies on musical arts are also noteworthy. She obtained her Doctorate (Ph.D.) from Annamalai University for her dissertation which explored correlations between what is described in "Natya Sastra", the earliest extant literature on dance, and sculptures that are carved on the walls at temples in the country. In the detailed work, Dr. Padma succeeded in reviving an obsolete dance technique and translating it into modern practice. Furthermore, she embodied the result of her research in dancing, thus linking theory and practice of dance together.

Dr. Padma first learned Bharata Natyam under a famous guru of authentic dance traditions. At the same time, she started to display her creative power and was spotlighted for her choreography and performance of dance pieces as a teenager. Ever since then, she has produced a number of original works which blend tradition and modernity in a harmonious way, taking various elements from ethnic dance, other classical dance of India, Western music and many other art forms. Dr. Padma received her Master's degree from the University of Madras and has been very active as a musician, composing music pieces for dance she choreographs.

Dr. Padma's achievements also extend to other fields. At Nrithyodaya, the dance school she directs, and many other research institutions, she devotes herself to training young dancers as well as promoting arts and culture in India.

Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam has made great contributions to the continuance and enhancement of Asian musical arts. Because of this, she is an ideal candidate for receiving the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes.