Shovana Narayan Biography, Net Worth, Age, Husband, Children, Family, Early life, Education, Career and More Details

Shovana Narayan Biography: In addition to being a career official in Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Shovana Narayan is a well-known Indian Kathak dancer. In addition to performing in India and abroad, she has received the Padma Shri. Her mentor was Birju Maharaj. The renowned exceptional doyen of Kathak, Shovana Narayan, is a name that is synonymous with this art form. Embodying the essence of Indian spirituality, elegance, and artistic brilliance, she has been recognized with two prestigious awards—the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 1999–2000 in 2001 and the prestigious Padmashri Award by the President of India in 1992—for her exceptional, continuous, and groundbreaking works in Kathak. 

Recipient of more than thirty national and international honors, such as the Bihar Gaurav Award, the Japan OISCA Award, and the Parishad Samman from the Delhi government, among others. In addition to her two (two) MPhils in Social Sciences and Defense & Strategic Studies, she also holds a Master’s degree in Physics. She was also awarded a D. Litt (HC). Additionally, in 1997, she was placed on the University of Delhi’s Distinguished Alumni Award shortlist.

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Shovana Narayan Biography

Shovana is multifaceted and a trailblazer because of the lasting legacy she has created as an author, scholar, choreographer, performer, and Guru. Although her performances are steeped in tradition and classicism, they also exude a new sense of artistic originality and social conscience. Her performances in front of numerous heads of state and government, as well as at national and international festivals throughout the past 50 years, have been captivating.

Deeply rooted in Hindu philosophy and Hindi and Sanskrit literature, Shovana’s performances are known for their vivacity and depth of feeling, which are enhanced by her mastery of rhythm. She paved the way for a new route by basing her emotional outpourings on the lines of Hindi and Sanskrit litterateurs, even in the early 1970s when the vogue was to emote thumris (1970–71). Hence, she displayed a silent revolution that resulted from her natural bravery. She was fearless in blazing new trails and blending contemporary sensibilities with old lexicon inside the intangible elements of Kathak that have grown to be seminal works.

Shovana Narayan Biography Details

Born 2 September 1950 (age 73)

West Bengal, India
Occupation Dancer
Years active 1970–present
Spouse Herbert Traxl
Dances Kathak

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Who is Shovana Narayan?

Shovana Narayan is a recognised Indian Kathak dancer and a career officer with Indian Audit and Accounts Service. She performs in India and internationally, and has been awarded the Padma Shri. She trained under Birju Maharaj.

Born: 2 September 1950 (age 73 years), West Bengal
Awards: Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Dance – Kathak
Children: Erwin Ishan Traxl
Parents: Lalita Narayan
Partner: Herbert Traxl
Education: University of Delhi, Miranda House–Delhi University

Early life and Education

At the age of four, Narayan was started into Kathak by Sadhna Bose in Kolkata and Guru Kundal Lal in Mumbai. She completed her studies at Miranda House in Delhi, India, and earned a master’s in physics there in 1972. She earned her M.Phil. in Social Sciences from Punjab University in 2001 and her MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras in 2008. Prior to her retirement in 2010, she served as a career officer for the Indian Audits & Accounts Service. She is wed to Dr. Herbert Traxl, the retired Austrian ambassador to India.

Achievements in dance career

As a “performer and guru,” Shovana Narayan has performed widely in front of numerous heads of state and government, at numerous renowned national and international festivals, and has coached a number of upcoming Kathak performers. As a “choreographer-performer,” Shovana Narayan has led and created international collaborative works with some of the top dancers in tap dance, flamenco, western classical ballet, Buddhist chanting alongside Buddhist monks, and dancing pieces composed by western classical composers.[Reference needed] She was the choreographer, producer, and creative director of the inaugural western classical dance-Kathak-flamenco trilogy, “The Dawn After,” which debuted in 1994. She was also in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Sixth Olympic Games, which were hosted in New Delhi. She gave the keynote addresses at the Commonwealth Games Delhi opening and closing ceremonies in.

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Research and films

8 Kathak villages having official and documented documents were found by Shovana during her research, close to Gaya. Working together, she and Sanskrit and epigraphy expert KK Mishra uncovered a Prakrit inscription in Asokan-Brahmi script about Kathak that dates to the fourth century BC. The dancer in question is the first to have created, imagined, and released the dance video “Dance of the Temples,” which explores the mythology and philosophy of the everlasting Khajuraho temples.In the German film “Das Geheimnis des Indisches Tanz” and the Hindi film “Akbar’s Bridge,” she plays the lead role. In-depth research for more than eighty pieces was published in several national newspapers, UNESCO publications, the Times of India, the Tribune, the Asian Age, journals of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rajasthan University, and a number of other publications.


By Shovana Narayan
  • Shovana Narayan (March 14, 2005). Indian Classical Dances. 1-84557-169-6, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (2003). India’s performing arts from a policy standpoint. Publishers and distributors Kanishka. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (1 January 2004). Indian dance and theater customs. In collaboration with Iādyant, Harman Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-86622-61-2. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (February 1, 1998). Echoes and reflections in rhythm: kathak. Publications Roli Books, 978-81-7436-049-6. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan is an Indian. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (1999). Patliputra’s legacy in dancing.
  • ISBN 978-81-230-0699-4. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Alka Raghuvanshi, Shovana Narayan, and Avinash Pasricha (2004). Kathak. ISBN 978-81-86685-14-3. Wisdom Tree. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (2004). Indian folk dancing customs. Publisher: Shubhi; ISBN: 9788187226932. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (2007). meandering across memory pastures. ISBN 978-1-4039-3102-3. Macmillan. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Shovana Narayan (1 January 2007). Krishna in the arts of performance. Shubhi. 978-81-8290-042-4 (ISBN). 30 January 2012 was retrieved.
  • Kamal K. Mishra (1 January 2006). Jha, Binay K.; Mishra, Girishwar (eds.). Kathak: Shovana’s world Kanishka Narayan. ISBN 978-81-7391-725-7. 30 January 2012 was retrieved.


  • Padma Shri, 1992
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 1999–2000
  • Delhi Government’s Parishad Samman
  • Rajiv Smriti Puraskar
  • Bihar Gaurav Puraskar, 1985
  • Indira Priyadarshini Samman
  • Rajdhani Ratna Award
  • Shringar Shiromani Award
  • Rotary International Award
  • Bharat Nirman Award
  • National Integration Award
  • Oisca Award (Japan), 1990–91
  • Dadabhai Naoroji Award, 1993
  • Kelvinator’s GR8Award
  • FICCI’s FLO award


Full name Shovana Traxl Narayan 
Profession(s) Dancer, Former Civil Servant, Writer

Physical Stats

Height (approx.) 5’ 4” (163 cm)
Eye Colour Black
Hair Colour Black

raed more J. Robert Oppenheimer


Dancer Active since 1970
Civil Servant Indian Audits & Accounts Service (1976 – 2010)
Famous Dance Performances • The Dawn After (Kathak, Spanish Flamenco, and Ballet) (1994)
• The Temptation of Vivekananda (1995)
• Soliloquy on “Shakuntala (1996)
• Satya Ki Khoj (1999)
• Yashoda’s Soliloquy (2000)
Famous Books • Rhythmic Echoes & Reflections: Kathak (1998)
• Performing Arts in India: A Policy Perspective (2003)
• Indian Theatre and Dance Traditions (2004)
• Meandering Pastures of Memories (autobiography) (2007)
• Kathak Lok Temples: Traditions and History- in collaboration with Geetika Kalha (2022)
Awards and Achievements • Padma Shri (1992)
• Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1999-2000)
• Kalpana Chawla Excellence Award (2010)
• Women’s International Award (2010)
• ISAW Women Achiever Award (2022)
• Filmfare Femina ‘Bhojpuri Icon’ Award (2023)
Honours • D. Litt (h. c.) by Khairagarh University
• Delhi Government’s Parishad Samman
• Indira Priyadarshini Samman (1996)
• Bharat Gaurav Samman (2023)
• Agraja: Nari Shakti Samman by Amity University (2023)

Personal Life

Date of Birth 2 September 1950 (Saturday)
Age (as of 2023) 73 Years
Birthplace Calcutta (now Kolkata)
Zodiac sign Virgo
Nationality Indian
Hometown Delhi
College/University • Delhi University
• Miranda House, Delhi
• Punjab University
• University of Madras
Educational Qualification(s) • B.Sc. Physics (honours)
• M.Sc. Physics (1972)
• M.Phil in Social Sciences (2002)
• M.Phil in Defence & Strategic Studies (2008) 
Address Shovana Narayan G-9, Pushpanjali Farms, Shahi Road, Bijwasan (near International Airport) Delhi – 110061, India
Hobbies Dancing, Reading, Listening to music, Walking


Marital Status Married
Marriage Date 4 May 1982


Husband/Spouse Dr. Herbert Traxl (Austrian diplomat, former Ambassador to India)
Children Son- Erwin Ishan Traxl (lawyer)
Parents Father- K.D. Narayan (civil servant)
Mother- Lalita (social activist, politician)
Sibling Sister- Ranjana Narayan (classical singer, lawyer)


Food Dal Chawal
Film Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Book The Bhagavad Gita
Holiday Destination Vienna
Instagram shovanatraxl
Facebook Shovana Narayan – Asavari Institute for Kathak
Twitter @NarayanShovana
YouTube @shovananarayan2852

Shovana Narayan Biography Images

Shovana Narayan Biography

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