Mangaluru: Accomplished Dance Guru Jayalakshmi Alva Passes away at 81

Mangaluru: She had been hailed as daughter of Tamil Nadu and daughter-in-law of Tulunadu.


‘Natya Kala Saraswati’ Jayalakshmi Alva, an accomplished dance guru who had been described as Saraswati incarnate by none other than Dr Padma Subramanyam herself, passed away in a private hospital in her adoptive city here on Tuesday, July 21.

Recipient of several awards like the prestigious ‘Shantala’ award, she was born in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu into a family of artistes in 1933. She married an artiste par excellence and an extraordinary teacher the late Ramakrishna Alva and embarked on a glorious artistic journey.

She was trained by one of the greatest gurus of recent times, Dandayudhapani Pillai. She was his first and foremost disciple, destined to carry on his brilliance and command over intricate rhythm patterns and innovative interpretations of lyrics. She also trained with Swarnam Saraswati and Gowri Ammal on abhinaya aspects and Karunakar Panikar in Kathakali.

Founder of the Chitrambalam Dance Centre in Mumbai in 1959, she founded the Sridevi Nritya Kendra on relocating to Mangaluru in 1974. She was quick in learning two prominent language of her new domicile, Kannada and Tulu.

Among her celebrity disciples before arriving in Mangaluru were Waheeda Rehman, Sonal Man Singh, Shrilekha Mehta, Maya Kulkarni, Pratibha Shastri, Pooja Rao, Namita M and many others. Waheeda had, in deference to her guru’s wish, attended a function organized by Sridevi Nritya Kendra in Mangaluru a few years ago.

She is survived by daughter Dr Araty Shetty (former principal of Sandesh College of Fine Arts), son Amar Alva and granddaughter Satvika.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here