Jigyasa Giri is a Kathak dancer, teacher & choreographer. She has taught at Bangkok and Mumbai and has been teaching in Chennai since 2001. She launched Devaniya as the Kathak dance school of Chennai in November 2009 and she is the founder of Devaniya, Founder School, Dakshin Gharana of Kathak.
She has been recognized by the Guild of Women Achievers for bringing about a cross-cultural synergy in the field of dance.
She has trained under the tutelage of Late Guru Natyashri Krishna Kumar Dharwar in the Banaras Gharana. She has also trained under Guru Dr. Maya Rao, Director, Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography, Bangalore.
In her 10th year, through Jigyasa’s constant dedication, perseverance and innovation, Devaniya has been officially certified as the founder school of the Dakshin Gharana of Kathak and by doing so has added a new page in the history of Kathak. The crux of Devaniya’s survival, and not just survival, but its success in Chennai is its gracious and natural merging with the flow of this beautiful city and its people; their body language, their way of life-the unique geography, climate, language and expression of the city of Chennai where Devaniya was born.
And it is this beautiful synergy that Jigyasa has created thereby sensitively and artistically adapting a Northern dance form to the life and times of the city that is the bastion of Bharatanatyam.
In honor of artists, specifically Indian folk and classical, Devaniya has recently launched the Devaniya Artist Fund and invites responsible social organizations such as the Rotary, and other corporate bodies to contribute generously to the fund. This fund has a two-fold agenda- One is to help Devaniya, as a unique platform of dance in Chennai, to expand its outreach across the large spectrum of seekers of the art; while the other is to extend that same support to rural/folk artists who more often than not require funding to showcase their traditional talent and ultimately earn for their art.
Jigyasa has also co-authored two cookbooks with her friend, Pratibha Jain, which document traditional wisdom of India. Their first book Cooking at Home with Pedatha won the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World, 2006. In December 2008, they published their second cookbook based on Ayurvedic insights titled Sukham Ayu which won the second place for Best Health & Nutrition Cookbook in the World, 2009. Click here to read some of Jigyasa’s culinary tributes.
Jigyasa is a trustee & resource facilitator of Satya Surabhi Trust which runs a school in Kodaikanal called My School Satya Surabhi. This school provides quality and value-based education and nutritious noon meals to its students who are primarily the children of the farm laborers and petty vendors of Attuvampatti.
Jigyasa is married to Mr. V.V.Giri (hotelier and hospitality business strategist), grandson of India’s former President, Bharat Ratna Dr. V.V.Giri. She is the daughter-in-law of Shri Bhaskar Giri, a doting father figure to her for as long as he lived, and Dr. Mohini Giri, Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women & Honorary Chairperson, Guild for service, North India. Dr. Mohini Giri is India’s leading Women’s and Widow’s Rights activist. She has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to Jigyasa.