Shovana Narayan is a living legend and one of India’s most celebrated and outstanding Kathak Maestros of the present age. The last four and half decades of her professional career (since 1970) have seen her mesmerizing audiences in national and international festivals in India as well as abroad. During the period 1993 to 1998, she pioneered the genre of dance enactments to philosophical themes working with various eminent philosophers like the late Prof Ramchandra Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi). She has performed before Heads of States and Governments all over the world. She has been creative director-choreographer of international events including:

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies, 6th International Abilympics 2003
  • Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010
  • Ter-Centenary of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Panth 1999
  • Indian Independence Golden Jubilee Celebrations 1997

Shovana’s keen interest in research has led to the discovery of eight Kathak villages in the Gaya district of Bihar. She has authored several (12) books and numerous articles including a research paper on the contribution of Delhi to performing arts heritage in INTACH’s bid for Delhi as a Heritage City to UNESCO. She is a central figure in ongoing discussions in the cultural field as well as a participant in countless symposia and seminars. She is also a Visiting Lecturer to several universities in India and abroad. She has guided research students for award of PhD degree in the field of dance. She also worked as a career officer for the Indian Audits & Accounts Service, retiring in 2010. She is married to Dr. Herbert Traxl, Austrian Ambassador to India (retired).

In her career spanning several decades, she has been conferred with numerous awards, outstanding among which are the Padmashri Award for her contribution to dance by the President of India in 1992 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award by the President of India for 1999-2000.

Some of the awards won by her include:

  • Delhi Govt’s Parishad Samman
  • Japan’s Oisca Award
  • Rajiv Gandhi Puraskar
  • Bihar Gaurav Puraskar
  • Indira Priyadarshini Samman
  • Rotary International Award
  • International Congress of Women, Kalpana Chawla Excellence Award
  • Dadabhai Naoroji Award and CNN IBN’s Guru Shishya Award 2012
  • Guru ML Koser Award 2013
  • Guru Deba Prasad Award 2013
  • Art Karat Award 2014
  • Bharat Nirman’s Social Responsibility Award 2014
  • Rotary SHREYAS Award 2014