Born to a family of legal and medical professionals, Saswati took to dance at an early age. She received her initial training at Delhi’s Kathak Kendra under the guidance of Smt Reba Vidyarthi. She received the National Scholarship in Performing Arts and graduated to become the prime disciple of Pt Birju Maharaj.

Saswati is the proud recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2004-5 and also the Sanskriti Award, the Shringar Mani Award and the Critic’s Recommendation Award. Saswati today is regarded as an artist with immense versatility and talent and one of the best exponents of the famed Lucknow gharana.

She has trained a large number of students, many from overseas. She has acquired the true style of her mentor and incorporates into her own presentation both the lyrical grace and rhythmic virtuosity of kathak. However, her forte is abhinaya which has always received high appreciation.

Saswati today is the driving force behind Kalashram, Pt Birju Maharaj’s dream institution and is its Secretary. She also finds time for her primary avatar as Guru, and teaches the nuances of Kathak to all seekers. Saswati travels extensively at home and abroad disseminating the knowledge she has gained over years of dedication and keeps the Kalashram Kathak community together. She has choreographed several group compositions as well as dance-dramas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tours Abroad

Major Festivals in India

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When I first saw Saswati, she appeared to me as a petit embodiment of grace and physical beauty. I mistakenly thought that her name was the Bengali version of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of arts and learning, which would have been very appropriate for such a pure and lovely young dancer. I subsequently learned that the Sanskrit word shashwat means 'eternal, constant, perpetual'. In the intervening decades I have had time to ponder the meaning of Saswati's name and to witness her embodiment of eternal dedication to the art of Kathak, of constant service to her Guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj, and of perpetual activity in performing and teaching Kathak.

                                                              – Janaki Patrik

 

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