A serious student of Bharatanatyam and a dancer of repute among the younger generation, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy is the daughter of eminent musicologist and musician, Dr. Uma Gopalaswamy. Lakshmi was brought up in the lap of culture that gave her the artistic nourishment to dedicate herself to this pristine art form.
She has been nurtured and inspired by her gurus, Guru Narmada and Prof. M. R. Krishna Murthy of the Tanjore and Pandanallur styles respectively. Endowed with classical features, she has grace and a naturalness that elects her attractive personality, beautiful face and expressive eyes to this art form.
She was a recipient of the MGR Award for the best young dancer from the Music Academy, Chennai. Lakshmi has performed extensively on invitation at several prestigious cultural festivals in India and abroad.
Lakshmi has been a regular contributor to the choreographic works of Chitralekha and Company in Birmingham, England – ‘Kaishiki’ (experimentation with a percussion ensemble) and ‘Emotions’ based on the character of Amrapali. Another choreographic project has been “Death of Innocence” which is based on the characters, Shakespeare’s Othello and his wife Desdemona.
Lakshmi believes in the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire, being inspired by its rich musical content. She aspires and aims to bring out every subtle nuance of music beautifully. She is a keen student of Carnatic music.
A Master’s degree in Women’s Studies has helped her to widen her perspective as an artist.
“I used to model in college but never thought of acting though many offers came through, as I was apprehensive about the field. Exploring acting was there in me, but my main focus was on dance.”
– Lakshmi Gopalaswamy
A well-established actress in Malayalam films, Lakshmi’s first role was in the film “Arayanangalude Veedu”, costarring with Mammooty; the role won her the Kerala State Film Award for “Best Supporting Actress” in 2000.
With dance being Lakshmi’s passion, she also identified cinema as a medium to provide new vents for self-expression. As a responsible citizen and artist she believes in contributing to meaningful cinema.
Her second film “Kochu Kochu Santoshangal” wherein she played a classical dancer won her great recognition and the “Atlas Film Award” for best actress. She has made a mark as a sensitive, dignified actress, recently winning critical acclaim for her roles in the Tamil film “Kanava Meipada Vendum” and the Kannada film “Purva Para”. She also is in “Vishnu Sena”, costarring with Vishnuvardhan.
Why Malayalam movies?
It is a small industry making no-nonsense movies. In my first movie with Mammooty, I played the role of a mother of two children – I am very conservative, I have my own aesthetics.
Acting and dance
Acting has definitely boosted my dance career. I enjoy the status I’ve got from both. I understand acting and its requirements very well.
I regularly perform in Kerala, in many temples and stages. Kerala has a very serious audience unlike in Bangalore where they are so responsive.
Performing at Bangalore
I don’t get invited to dance here much, but I’d love to.
It’s certainly in my mind. I would love to have a companion. I want to live in India. He should be at least slightly artistic; he should accept my dance.
“Dance for me is visual music. It is a celebration of human feeling and spirit.”