aboutRekha Raju

An Indian classical dancer and teacher, Dr Rekha Raju is an exponent of both Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam streams that are integral to the country’s ancient cultural tradition. She has performed on innumerable stages across the country, gaining recognition and accolades for her innate artistry, authentic presentation, graceful style and ultimate perfection. A teacher of immense repute, she currently trains around 400 students at the Bangalore-based NrithyaDhama Temple of Fine Arts, guiding them to carry the torch of excellence and the cultural legacy of a nation.

The beginning

It was her mother Jayalakshmi’s dream for Rekha to be trained professionally in Bharatanatyam, one of the classical dance forms of the country. Padmini Ramachandran was her first teacher, the guru who instilled in her the love for dance and nurtured her inborn talent.

She was initiated into the words of mudras and movements at the age of three, and she was absorbed into stage shows within six months of starting the lessons. Later, she was trained intensively under experts like Kalamandalam Usha Datar, Raju Datar, GopikaVarma and Prof. Janardhanan who launched her dance career in Mohiniyattam.

She has been performing across India and abroad over these years and has toured the rural parts of the country like Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Hyderabad in a bid to promote this sinuous art form.

Her solo performance has been the highlight of events as the Delhi International Festival, Kajuraho Dance Festival, Konark Dance Festival, Chennai Seasonal Dance Festival, Vishwa Kannada Sammelan at Belgaum, and Andhra Music & Dance Festival. The Tanjore Dance Festival where 1000 dancers performed and found a place in the Limca Book of Records, also features high on her list of stages.

Awards and Achievements

This ardent lover of dance has two doctoral degrees to her credit, including a PhD in Fine Arts from Heidelberg University, Germany. And her passion for dance and her commitment to the art has been recognized by institutions and agencies across the country too.

Dr Rekha representsMohiniyattamin the Expert Committee Panel of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India’. Shewas the recipient of the prestigious Yuva Kala Bharathi award and the Bharath NrityaSamrat awardin 2016. Honoured by the Bengaluru Tamil Sangam as the Best Young Dancer to promote Indian Art, Dr. Rekha also holds the title Swarna Mukhigiven by the Kalahalli Temple Trust.

On the invitation of the University of Nagpur, Dr. Rekha has conducted workshops for college and school students to widen their knowledge of Mohiniyattam. NrityaRejini, NrithyaKaumudi, Yuva Kala Pratibhaand NrityaVarsha Deepika are a few of the awards that have come her way.

The School of Learning

NrithyaDhama, the centre for dance and music in Bangalore, was borne out of her love and passion for dance. Here students are trained in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Carnatic vocals, Mridangam and the like. It is an initiative to promote the classical dance form as well as to encourage the talents of girls from the underprivileged community. Along with youngsters, her students include homemakers and professionals who are recapturing their childhood dream of dance. Students from various foreign universities also get trained here as part of exchange programmes.

And it is not dance alone that she is committed to. She workswith NGOs to help in the holistic development of marginalized children. A socially-responsible dancer, she is going ahead with the determination to impart knowledge about the country’s ancient art forms and to help people find the rhythm of life through dance.

OurArt Forms Taught




Carnatic Vocal