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Devaniya, the Founder school, Dakshin Gharana of Kathak in Chennai, is founded and headed by Smt. Jigyasa Giri. It began as an informal and humble Kathak school with 5 students and in 2009, with a show titled Pratham, Devaniya was formally established and recognized, and as of today has seen close to 500 students come go through its doors.

We are thus delighted to share with you that in its 10th year, Devaniya, the first school of Kathak in Chennai, founded by Smt. Jigyasa Giri, has reached a very significant milestone. Devaniya now holds the status of being the founder school of a differently curated grain of Kathak, and we are thus officially registered as - “Devaniya - founder school, DAKSHIN GHARANA of Kathak.”


For those of you who have been following Kathak, and Devaniya in particular, you will surely see a marked difference in style and ethos here. This unique approach towards the art has slowly, surely and consciously been evolving over the past decade. It takes hard work, perseverance, some amount of flak along the way, but most of all, the belief in oneself and the trust and support of Devaniyans who have passed through the portals of this dance school beyond a decade and more, and those who shall continue to do so.


So, what is different about Devaniya?


The crux of Devaniya’s survival, and not just survival, but its success, is its gracious and natural merging with the unique flow of this beautiful city and its people. At Devaniya, we work towards adapting the dance form to accommodate the body language along with the geographic and artistic conditionings of a different region from that of the geographic and artistic conditionings of the place where kathak originated. A deep sensitivity towards the blending of North-South artistic ideologies and subtleties is a large part of the Devaniya ethos. For this, we have diligently crafted a methodology of teaching wherein the nuances of Kathak are moulded to suit those of the southern region of India.


When a great river gushes with abundance, it is but natural that it forks out into tributaries that take a course of their own, carrying the same water of the mighty source to finally merge into the one same, all-inclusive ocean.

Devaniya’s commitment to cross-cultural synergy is the base of its changing course from the mighty source - the canvas of Kathak. And moving south it has gained its own unique momentum, retaining always the original flavour and remaining forever merged in the grand ocean of the arts.

And thus Devaniya carves its path as it rolls on to be soon completing an interesting decade.

And through all this time Devaniya’s ethos remains simple - anybody who has a passion and deep desire to learn deserves to have that opportunity. It is one of cross cultural, cross generational synergy, where old and young, all learn together, where north and south makes no difference, where whether you are more talented or less talented, does not count at all. All you need is the wish, the will and the passion to learn and want to enjoy that process of learning.

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