Urmila Sathyanarayanan
Bharatanatyam Dancer, Tamil Nadu, India
Date of Birth : 08 - Jan - 1966

Urmila Sathyanarayanan is perhaps the brightest among the new generation of Bharatanatyam dancers. She is among the most inspired and dedicated Bharatanatyam exponents of her times with dancing experience of over three decades. Urmila has received rave reviews and international acclaim for the perfection and joy of her dance and her captivating stage presence. She is praised for her crisp and precise footwork, the spontaneity and vivaciousness of her facial expressions, her graceful poses, and her deep aramandi which is one of the hallmarks of this dance style. She has conceptualized, choreographed and presented close to a dozen of her own original thematic productions to high critical acclaim.

She has been trained under the guidance of eminent gurus ‘Padmashri’ K.N. Dandayauthapani Pillai, Kalaimamani Smt. K.J. Sarasa and Padmabhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan.

Since her debut in 1976, Urmila has presented dozens of recitals in India and abroad and earned excellent reviews from eminent critics. She has danced in practically every dance festival in India. She has also toured extensively in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, and South Africa.

Urmila has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Nritya Choodamani Award in 2001, the Indian Fine Arts Society’s Best Dancer Award in 1992, and the National Eminence Award in 2003 to name only a few. In 2009 the Indian Fine Arts Society awarded her the Best Natyacharya award in recognition of her excellence in teaching, and in 2010, Natya Kalasikhamani for her contribution to the dance field. In addition to her busy performance schedule, Urmila is actively engaged in imparting training to aspiring students at her school Natya Sankalpaa, which is known for its high standards.

Natya Sankalpaa, a school of Indian classical dance and music in Chennai run by Urmila Sathyanarayanan, was started on April 21st 1996. Natya Sankalpaa, has been imparting Bharatanatyam, Music and Yoga training to students since its inception and has presently has over 120 students on its rolls.

The formal inauguration of the Trust and the first arangetram of Sonali and Mitali Parthasarathy was held in the following year. The guests of honour were Smt. M.S. Subbalakshmi, Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam, Sri. R. Krishnaswamy, and Sri T.C. Parthasarathy.

Since its inception, over 50 students have successfully completed their arangetram. Doyens of the dance and music world have graced the occasion as chief guests and have paid rich tributes to the dancers.

A number of students are now invited to perform solo in prestigious Sabhas in the city during the December season. Students have received encouraging reviews from art critics of leading newspapers who have had the opportunity to witness their programs.

Students of Natya Sankalpaa have been invited by various cultural organizations and trusts to present solo and group performances at festivals conducted in cities in South India. Some of the prestigious programs where students have presented their performances include the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, the Natyanjali Festival, the Kodai Vizha and the Konark Festival.

The institute has come to be recognised for its high quality of teaching and holistic approach which focuses on creating a complete artist. Within a short time of its inception the centre has been recognised as one of excellence for its training and methodology.

Shows & Major Performances

Past Shows 

Urmila has danced in various cities in India and abroad. Some of her most prestigious performances have been : 


  1. The Festival of Dances, New Delhi

  2. Khajuraho Festival of Dance

  3. Konark Festival, Orrisa,

  4. The Sangeet Natak Festival, Assam

  5. Danced at the Ganges Festival, Varanasi

  6. Festival of Dance, Goa

  7. Malabar Mahotsava, Kerala

  8. Nishangandhi Festival, Kerala

  9. Citibank Festival of Dance Kalakshetra Foundation etc.

10. Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Indian Independence,Government of Tamil Nadu

11. Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai

12. Brahmotsavam, Tirumala

13. Inauguration of Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad

14. The ICCR, New Delhi

15. SPIC Macay - "Yamini Festival" 

She has performed in all leading Sabhas during the december season in Chennai. 


  1.  Festival of India' Edinburgh - 1999

  2.  ICCR Egypt, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Norway, England.

  3.  Toured France for Triveni 1999 and 2004.

  4.  Sutra Dance Festival, Malaysia 2001.

  5.  Toured the United States of America and Canada for Kalalaya in 2003, 2005

  6.  Academy of Tamil Arts and Technology, Canada 2002.

  7.  Neelam Tiruchelvan Trust, Muthukrishnaswami Mission Sri Lanka (2002).

  8.  Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands, 1999-2000, 2006

  9.  Tamiz Sangam, Dubai 2003

10.  Dance India Taste India Festival, Temple of Fine Arts, Australia 2002

11.  SIFAS, Esplanade, Singapore April 2005.

12.  Sangeetham Festival, Saddlers Wells, London June 2006.

13.  Muthukrishna Swamy Mission, Sri Lanka 2002

14.  ICCR South Africa, Centenary of Salt Sathyagraha in Johanesburg in the presence of Honble Prime Minister of India and South Africa.

15. Sydney Music and Dance Festival, June 2009 

Thematic Presentations 

  • 'Potana  Bagavatham'
  • 'Panchali Sapatham' - Musical Score by Lalgudi G Jayraman
  • Woman - 'Past, Present, Future' - highlighting the status of the Indian Woman of the past, present & in the future.
  • Programs based solely on the compositions of Thyagaraja, Annamacharya, Swati Thirunal etc.
  • Bhakti Manjari - Facets of Bhakti
  • Vaishnava Barati - Highlights the Important Vaishanva Shrines across the country
  • 'Bharati's Dream of an independent India'
  • 'Rama Rasanubhavam' - excerpts from Arunachala Kavi's 'Ramanatakam'



Old 6, New 2, Kilpauk Garden Road,

1st Street, Kilpauk, Chennai 10

Ph: +91.44.2644.4267, +91.98410.72698

Email: Urmila.sathyanarayanan@gmail.com

Web: www.urmila.in

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/urmila.sathyanarayanan

Awards & Recognitions

Best Natyacharya Award

Indian Fine Arts Society - 2009

Chennai Television Viewers Award

Chennai Television Viewers Association - 2006

Padma Sadhana Award

Padma Sarangapani Cultural Academy - 2005

Vani Kala Sudhakara

Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha - 2003

National Eminence Award

Shanmukhananda Sabha Mumbai - 2003

Nitya Gandharva Jothi

Shantananda Swami, Kasi - 2003

Natya Ilavarasi

Tamiz Sangam, Toronto - 2002

Nritya Choodamani

The Sri Krishna Gana Sabha - 2001

Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Kiran Puraskar

Governor of Maharastra - 1998


Tamil Nadu State Government - 1997


Karthik Fine Arts - 1996

Yuva Kala Bushani

Shankarabharanam Trust - 1995

Yuva Kala Bharati

Bharath Kalachar - 1993

MGR Award

Madras Music Academy - 1992

1st Prize Dance Competition

Indian Fine Arts Society - 1991

Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari Award

Narada Gana Sabha - 1990

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