SOAS University of London

Francis Barboza

Profile By John Dawer and Vena Ramphal BACK

Dr. Francis Barboza, a talented exponent of the classical dance form of Bharata Natyam, has carved a special niche for himself with his innovative efforts to expand the scope of this art form beyond the boundaries of religions.

Trained under some of the most eminent gurus of his time, Dr. Barboza went on to earn Bachelor and Master degrees in Dance (Bharata Natyam) as well as a PhD in Performing Arts from the M. S. University of Baroda. His Doctoral dissertation was published as Christianity In Indian Dance Forms, in 1990. Degrees in Philosophy and Theology gave an added impetus to his scholarly pursuits. He was also awarded the University grant Commission Research Scholarship in 1983.

Dr. Barboza has the distinction of being the only dancer worldwide who gives full recitals on both Hindu and Christian themes. His creative presentations include imaginative and innovative dance recitals, dance ballets, audio-visuals and VHS videos. Recognition and appreciation have followed in his footsteps, including the Singaramani Award (Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai, 1980), The Indian and World Arts & Crafts Award (New Delhi, 1985), The Amalodbhavi Art Academy Award (Elurur, 1989), Kalai Maghal Sabha Gold Medal (Chenai, 1995), Kala Ratna (Konkan Taram, Mumbai, 1995), Maharashtra Kala Niketan Dance Award (Mumbai, 1996), and Nrityasudarshan (Loyola Art Academy, 1999).

Dr Barboza has numerous research articles and papers to his credit. He writes for both Indian and foreign journals and lectures at various institutes as well.

He has been invited to perform both in India and abroad, his travels taking him to more than 25countries. An ambassador of culture, religion and goodwill, his more than a thousand dance recitals to date have been warmly welcomed and applauded. He is acclaimed by critics and writers as an artiste of the highest calibre, truly dedicated to his call.

Further information on Francis Barboza may be found at

John Dawer and Vena Ramphal are both research students in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS. Under the supervision of Mr Simon Weightman, John ( is researching on “Comparative Cosmogonies: The Concept of Creation in Hinduism, with special reference to the Vishnu Purana and Christianity.”