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Famous Bharatanatyam Dancers

Rukmini Devi Born in a Brahmin family in Madurai on 28thFebruary 1904. She came from a village called Thiruvayur with rich association of saint Tyagaraja. Her background was full of culture and learning. She got married to Dr. George Arundale in 1920 who was an educationist. With him she traveled Europe giving lectures on Indian culture. In Australia she learned Russian Ballets from a legendary Russian ballerinaAnna Pavlova. It was she who advised her to learn Indian Classical dance. So when she came to India She met Pandanallur Meenakshi Sundaram pillai and took lessons from him. She also studied from Gauri amma and Muthukumar. She brought about a great revolution in the field of Bhartanatyam.
1. She corrected the theory of dance and Music 2. Costumes were designed artistically. 3. Chose exquisite jewellery and ornaments. 4. She laid emphasis on selection of padams and highlighted the spiritual aspect of the contents. She established the Kalakshetra in training students in the art of bharatanatyam. Kalakshetra laid emphasis on correct movements and thorough training. The art of Nattuvangam is also taught here. Here one learns how to conduct dance and Music in choreography and composition. It has therefore gained reputation as an international dance centre.

Padma Subramanyam A rare combination of a flawless dancer, choreographer, music composer, singer, research scholar, teacher and author, Dr. Padma Subramanyam is one of the most respected and reputed Bharatanatyam dancers of India. She was born on 4th February, 1943 in Chennai. Her father was K. Subramanyam who was a famous director and also a freedom fighter. Her mother was Meenakshi was a lyricist in Sanskrit and Tamil, dancer, choreographer and a flawless instrumentalist who mastered the Violin, Veena and Harmonium. Given here is a short biography of Padma Subramaniam that covers her life history. She is currently the director of "Nrutyodaya", which is a dance school that
was founded by her father in the year 1942. She started to learn dance at Nrutyodaya under the guidance of a teacher named Kausalya. She was also trained later on by Guru Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. Her first public performance known as "Arangetram" was in the year 1956. After

that. Alarmel Valli is also involved in lecture demonstrations. Alarmel Valli became the youngest dancer to be conferred with Padma Shri award. passion and spontaneity into her work. the first of its kind whose lyrics have been penned by Salil Chaudhry. in the year 1984. Alarmel Valli Alarmel Valli holds the distinction of being the leading proponent of the Pandanallur tradition in Bharatanatyam. Padma Subramanyam was the first dancer to introduce "Pushpanjali" as a dance piece. She has been a research scholar and has written a thesis on "Karanas in Indian dance and sculpture". She has written many articles that have been compiled as "Legacy of a Legend". She has also composed a Bengali Varanam. She has got a Bachelor's degree in Music. Padma Subramanyam enchants spectators with perfect movements and hand gestures and emotes beautifully with her face. She has been touring since then. started her journey as on one of the internationally recognized dancers of India. She laid emphasis on the fact that the 108 Karanas or units of dance are not just poses but movements. classes. One of the most creative artists of today. Valli was invited to perform at the International Dance Festival of the Sarah Bernardt Theatre De La Ville. People have applauded her for bringing depth. The center was set up with the aim of imparting training to promising new artists. She has performed in almost all the major festivals in India and has also displayed her talent in most of the cultural capitals of the world. Master's in Ethno Musicology and Ph. Then onwards. . a Center for Performing Arts. and has received acclamation for her dance performances in leading theatres throughout the world. Mukha and studied Padams and Javalis for many years. This versatile dancer has received many awards and honors that are listed below. She has also designed the sculptures of the Karanas of Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati that are kept in the Nataraja Temple at Satara. She received formal training in dance by the renowned guru Shri Chokkalingam Pillai and his son Shri Subbaraya Pillai. Read on further to explore the complete biography cum life history of Alarmel Valli. She has composed music for most of compositions and has also released a couple of albums. Alarmel came under the tutelage of Smt. Thereafter. Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena. Alarmel Valli was born in the year 1957 and developed an interest in dance right from her childhood. workshops and seminars.D in dance from Annamalai University. she gave innumerable performances in concerts all over the world. on a regular basis. in Paris. Alarmel Valli founded 'Dipashikha'. T. located in Maharashtra. She learnt Odissi from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and his disciple. She is responsible for creating an international awareness about Bharatanatyam. Padma Subramanyam never let her studies suffer because of her performances and busy schedule. She also continued her education side by side. At the young age of 16 years.

Yamini was fond of dancing and her desire was to become a dancer. When she was merely five years old. She took training from the marvels of dance field like Kanchipuram Ellapa Pillai. After continuing more than 40 years of dance journey. `A Passion for Dance' that was appreciated by the readers. She received `Sangeet Natak Academy Award' in 1977 and 'Padma Bhushan' in the year 2001. She has attained her mastery over the dances of Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Shastri. Yamini Krishnamurthy Alarmel Valli holds the distinction of being the leading proponent of the Yamini Krishnamurthy is an eminent classical dancer of India. Yamini got the title of 'Padma Shree' by the Government of India. Alarmel has brought a contemporary interpretation to the traditional framework of classical Indian dance. her grandfather instantly named her Yamini Poornatilaka which suggests "a beautiful mark on the brow of light. She acknowledged herself on the International panorama by the year 1960. Her own distinct style. This performance made her an overnight star as she captivated the people with her charismatic performance. with her husband Bhaskar Ghosh." Since childhood. Yamini gave her debut stage performance at Chennai. on a full moon night.Alarmel Valli has involved herself in research work. she is staying abroad. she went to Chennai in order to learn dance at Kalashetra School of Dance under the direction of Rukmini Devi Arundale. She took birth in a Telugu family. Presently. former I&B secretary and former director general of Doordarshan. Thanjavur Kittapa Pillai. Yamini established 'Yamini School of Dance' at Hauz Khas. Yamini appeared as one of the leading classical dancers of India. Following the basics of dance at Kalashetra. Above and beyond her stage performances. Yamini is still active with her dancing skills. Through her alluring dance performances. Dhandayudhpani Pillai and Mylapore Gouri Amma. She has tried to use dance performances for bringing the beauty of the poem in front of the people. On seeing the child. In 1990. The dancing art of Odissi was to Yamini by Pankaj Charan Das and Kelucharan Mohapatra. Yamini was born in 1940 at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. She received national and international appreciation for her dance. Yamini produced a serial based on dance for Doordarshan. for around 12 years. Yamini went for advanced studies of dance. In 1968. on classical Tamil anthologies of Sangam poetry. has enriched the domain of Bharatanatyam. . In 1957. Chinta Krishnamurthi and Pasumarthy Venugopal Krishna Sharma were the trainers of Yamini for Kuchipudi. Her dance talent brought many awards to her fame. New Delhi. which emerged as a result of her practice as well as research. She also wrote a book. Yamini popularized Kuchipudi all over the world. She teaches dance skills to the young dancers at her institute. Yamini received the credit of being Asthana Nartaki (Resident Dancer) of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (context regarding India).

and also served as the editor and publisher of 'Narthaki'.Anita Ratnam Anita Ratnam is one of the most talented dancers of the Indian subcontinent. Lakshmanan. . As an appreciation of her work. Anita is one of the main persons responsible behind the initiation of 'The Other Festival'. Anita also made a foray into films and played the role of an antagonist in Rajiv Menon's famous movie. an organization based in Chennai that is involved in the promotion of performing arts. Then. She has been trained as a Bharatanatyam. She is the daughter of the famous scientist Vikram Sarabhai and reputed dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai. Despite being a gracious dancer and performing most of the time. She in fact has an MBA degree and a doctorate in "Organizational Behavior" from IIM Ahmedabad. Her life history is very interesting. Intelligence and talent is in her genes. she enrolled herself in Rukmini Devi Arundale's 'Kalakshetra' for a Postgraduate diploma in Dance. Anita wrote Natya Brahman. Anita received formal training in dance from Adyar K. she worked as a Television Producer in the United States for a period of approximately ten years. Anita was nominated for the Emmy and Ace awards. She is not just a fabulous dancer of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi but also a film maker. Mohiniattam as well as a Kathakali dancer and is counted amongst the best choreographers of the South. right from the Far East to Europe to United States. She is a trained Bharatanatyam. She is the Founder-Director of 'Arangham'. Later. social activist and a famous alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Anita is also handling the responsibility of being a cultural commentator. a book for dance students. Mallika Sarabhai Versatility could very well be Mallika Sarabhai's middle name. Read it in this short biography of Mallika Sarabhai. held in Chennai every December for promotion of contemporary Indian dance. she has given over 1000 performances in 15 countries and made immense contribution in the field of classical dance. TV anchor. She regularly takes part in dance and theatre seminars in foreign destinations. Get more information on the life history of Anita Ratnam with this biography. 'Kandukondain Kandukondain'. she never ignored academics. a directory of Indian dance. Kathakali and Mohiniattam dancer. editor. writer and speaker on the performing arts. Anita completed her Master's degree in Theatre and Television from the University of New Orleans. One needs to applaud her for the role she is playing in the promotion of Indian dance internationally. In her career of three decades.

She has received awards from the French archives international Iela and Sangeet Natak Academy for her creative experiments with choreography. Kandappa was great guru of Bala. Mrinalini Sarabhai Mrinalini sarabhai was educated in Switzerland and had received a training in dance steps in Dalcroz. It is a center for performing arts where talent is encouraged and is given a platform to be showcased. At the Edinburg Festival Bala was acclaimed as a great dancer on International platform. show women in a better light. English and French.Later got married to Dr Vikram Sarabhai and settled in Ahmedabad. Mirnalini has attempted contemporary interpretations of mythological themes. etc. Acharyelu in Kuchipudi. She also won the "Best Solo Artist" award among 400 dancers who had come from 25 countries. depict the rich cultural heritage of India. Mallika Sarabhai is truly a woman of many dimensions and talents.She was trained by R. along with her mother Mrinalini manages the Darpan Academy of Performing Arts. The tamilnadu . She was also a well known choreographer of several dance dramas. In 1948 she founded the dance academy called “Darpana” for imparting training in Bharatanatyam and other allied arts. As a singer of great repute. Mallika Sarabhai is also a social activist and has stood up for many causes. inimitable and exquisite sancharibhavas in Abhinaya. She did her Arangetram when she was seven years old in 1925 at kamakshi Amman Temple at kancheepuram. When she came to India she began her training in Bharatanatyam under Muthukumar Pillai. She also studied under Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai. She was known for her enchanting. She has also portrayed the role of Draupadi in Peter Brooke's "Mahabharata" that was made in two languages. The academy also publishes books that address environmental concerns. Her sharp features and exotic looks prompted her to do some films in the Indian film industry. Balasarswati. Chokalingam Pillai and Ellapa Pillai. music seeped through her body and reflected in all her movements. She. She has won the highest civilian award of France known as "French Palme D'or''.(1918-1984) She was looked upon as a child prodigy and a brilliant dancer by Pandits and Vidhwans in those days.

He was a Modest guru and was addressed as “Tata” by his students. She underwent a thorough training under him. exquisite framing of Teeramanams with beautiful Adavus. He received his initial training under kumaraswamy Nattuvanar who was his aunt’s son. His wife was the daughter of the great Ponnaiya. Pandanallur Jayalakhmi. . It is known for its Broad sweeping movements. His students are Thiruvalputhur Rajalakshmi. His Style was known as the Pandanallur school of Bharatanatyam. Later on in the 1934 he came to madras when invited by Rukmini Devi. Jeevaratnam. His son Muttaiah. Kandappa. Dr Narayan has written a book Balasaraswati published by international cultural centre New Delhi in 1963 Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai He was Born On September 22. 1869 in the family of suryakumar Nattuvanar who was a renowned musician and scholar.goverment and national centre of performing arts has prepared a documentary on her directed by Styajit Ray. He died in 1954 leaving a gap which can never be filled up. Chokalingam Pillai.