Jamuna Krishnan

Jamuna Krishnan is one of the most celebrated and revered Bharatanatyam dancers, teachers, scholars, researchers and choreographers of Bharatanatyam. As a multi-faceted artiste, her highly individualized approach to Bharatanatyam and its various nuances, has lent her art a refreshing identity and sensitivity. She has been singularly instrumental in widening the vocabulary and artistic beauty of Bharatanatyam. Her choreographic sensibility is deeply embellished with a deep understanding of poetry and literature. Jamuna’s passion for poetry and music seamlessly coalesce with her aesthetic approach towards space and choreography.



Born in a family steeped in love for the arts, where her mother was a practicing veena player and vocalist, Jamuna was initially trained in Carnatic classical music by her mother. Her passion for dance blossomed later in life and took her to Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi to her teacher and mentor, Late Guru Sri K.J. Govindarajan. Her love for Bharatanatyam was so intense that she continued training under the tutelage of Guruji for nearly 3 decades till his demise in 1994. She was trained in Carnatic Music by Vidwan Sri. S. Gopalakrishnan, retired Chief Conductor of the All India Radio Orchestra, himself a contemporary of the late maestro Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. Restless to hone her learning and her repertoire, a young Jamuna became one of the senior most disciples of the doyen of abhinaya, Late Padmabhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan, whose disciple she was for close to 40 years.

Her dance training under Sri. K.J. Govindarajan, himself trained by Sikkil Ramaswamy Pillai, was in strict adherence to the traditional repertoire and form. As a performer of the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire for well over 15 years of her initial dance career, Jamuna’s creative mind led her to explore new vistas, through her own individual research work.

Thematic Performances

Several thematic performances titled “Epiphany in Sur’s Poetry”- the magical revelation of the godliness of Krishna, “Murali-Samvaad-“A dialogue between the Gopis and the Flute, “Radha-Krishna- an explorative journey into the fun relationship between Radha and Krishna, “Brahmar Geet- An exquisite insight into the attainment of the Divine through the words of the humble milkmaids of Brindavan, “Ras Raaj Sringaar- A celebration of the 9 emotions all laced with the King of emotions, Love, “Meera’s Padavali”- An insight into the love and longing in Meera’ poetic works- were some of her seminal projects where her innovative choreography, never steering away from the traditional form and yet laced with her individual vision, drew rave reviews from critics and connossieurs alike.


She also researched into the works of the revolutionary Tamil saint-poet Ramalinga Swamigal and the weaver poet Kabir, in both of whose works, a formless God was advocated.

Abstract concepts like love, longing and the relationship between the devotee and the Divine were all convincingly depicted in her choreographies. She has also researched into the exquisite poetry of the Azhwar Saint Poets- 4000 lyrical hymns in praise of Lord Vishnu and exploring unique facets of the dark cowherd Lord. These too have been presented as performances. A striking feature of her choreographic works is that all the music composition and dance choreography has been done by her, thereby lending her work an intense personal charm and ingenuity.



As a revered teacher and Guru of Bharatanatyam for well over 4 decades in the capital, Jamuna has trained and taught several dancers and choreographers, who are well-established teachers in their own right today. An expert in both the traditional pieces and her own research projects, Jamuna customizes her teaching to suit individual creativity and expression, thereby bringing out the very best in her disciples. Classes with her are fun-filled hours full of discussion on poetry and exploration of literature. As the ideas begin to flow, a vortex of emotions is experienced by the disciples, who deeply regard her as a storehouse of knowledge. Interestingly, well-known senior dancers from other styles like Padmasri Smt. Ranjana Gauhar (Odissi), Sri. Subodh Rathod from London (Kathak), Navina Jafa (Kathak), Neera Batra (Kathak) and Smt. Priyadarshini Govind (Bharatanatyam) are some of the dancers who have learnt select pieces from her mammoth research works, thereby enriching their own styles of dance.

Jamuna’s senior and well-known disciples include Padmasri Geeta Chandran, Ragini Chandershekar, Jai Govinda (Vancouver), Vasanthi Sridhar, Swati Bhise (New York), Pranita Jain (Chicago), Maria Kiran (France), Mercedes Pujol (Spain), Rasabihari Dasi (Prague) and Rebecca (France).


In recognition of her seminal contribution to Bharatanatyam, Jamuna has been conferred with several awards and titles.