Gayatri & Balagurunathan
Bharatanatyam Dancer, Tamil Nadu, India
Biography

Gayatri & Balagurunathan are one of the most prominent dancing duos in the field of Bharatanatyam. The duos have one goal in mind to spread the varied culture and glorious heritage of Indian classical dance. Together, they have toured many countries and have conducted many shows and workshops for a variety of audiences. They have been gifted to carry on the classical tradition of dance from their mentor and guru (Late) Smt. Krishnaveni Lakshmanan.

They started Krishnanjali Academy in the year 2001. They are popular and respected teachers with a growing number of Indian and International students. The illustrious couple have been acclaimed as accomplished dancers and choreographers. Gayatri and Balagurunathan have been staging new productions every year under the aegis of Krishnanjali, namely Thrayee Sakthi, Ayigiri Nandini. Aran Aadal, Ainkaran and Anjaneya Veera. The couple show immense commitment and creativity towards their presentation and teaching. They have been individually recognised in their own talents and have been awarded with many titles for the same. They have trained numerous students who have established themselves as professionals in the field of Bharatanatyam.

Press Quotes:
Gayatri kept the audience engrossed right from the beginning. Her aharya and sparkling eyes struck a chord instantly with the rasikas.
– V. V. Ramani, The Hindu – August 2007

Balagurunathan was at his best as Mooshikasura in his recent production Ainkaran. His abhinaya and choreography needs special mention.
– Anuja Venkatesh, SIFAS News – May 2008

Gayathri’s dance is suffused with an undercurrent of joy. Her expressional abilities with highly communicative netrabhinaya, made it an experience in portraying the agony and ecstasy of love.
– Leela Venkatraman, The Hindu – February 2010

Vaggeya Bharatam
Contrasting Krishna attitudes in Balagurunathan’s vigorous aerial leg sweeps and Gayatri’s grounded grace changed with the latter becoming solo nayika expressing evocative longing for Krishna. The narrators turned actors in the Charanam. Sporting a crown, Balagurunathan as Krishna held aloft the mountain and subdued the serpent with Gayatri as Bhakta.

What made the recital were the last two lyrics by M. D. Ramanathan – showing Shiva and Vishnu as manifestations of the same Truth (‘Hariyum Haranum Onre’ in Atana) rendered by Balagurunathan. Finale was a sparkling Kapi tillana rendered by both in perfect sync.
– Leela Venkatraman, The Hindu – September 2010

One of the most outstanding sequences in the Dasavatar was that of the Narasimha avatar, where Vishnu takes on the half-man half-lion form in order to kill the demon king Hiranyakasipu. Blending Kathakali steps with Bharatanatyam to evoke the violent energy of the battle scene, V. Balagurunathan as Hiranyakasipu excelled not only as a dancer but as actor too.
– Sharmilla Ganesan, eCentral KL Malaysia in March 2011

Chief among her show’s many strengths was the fantastic choreography by Chennai – based dancer Gayatri Balagurunathan, who also took to the Stage. Gayathri’s vision of the age – old stories included creative formations and movements as well as classicial touches. While natya afficianados were rewarded with crisp execution of the steps and the masterful use of abhinayam, even casual dance fans were likely wowed by the dynamic choreography and energetic performances.
– Sharmilla Ganesan, eCentral KL Malaysia in March 2011

Shows & Major Performances

Gayatri Balagurunathan

1991, 1992 - Mylapore Fine Arts Festival.
1994 - Pongal Art Festival Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.
1995 - December festival RR Sabha.
1996 - Natyarangam festival Narada Gana Sabha.
1998 - Kala Pradarshini festival Narada Gana Sabha.
1999 - Margazhi Mahotsav Bharat Kalachar.
1999 - Japan with Mallika Sarabhai, Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad. Has conducted about 8 arangetrams.
2003 - Has choreographed a full length dance drama in Tamil - Thrayee Shakthi - for the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society.
1995 - Mamallapuram Dance Festival.
1995 - Ooty Flower Festival - Kumbesar Kuravanji.
1997 - Swarna Samaroh - Delhi with Kalakshetra.

1997 - IDA - presented "Vasantham".

1998 - Rukmini Devi Celebrations - Chembur, Mumbai.

1994, 1995, 1997 - Kalakshetra Arts Festival.
2003- IDA's fest in Madras

 

Balagurunathan

1994 - Thailand - Kalakshetra.
1995 - Thailand.
1996 - South Africa - Indian Academy of South Africa.
1997 - Gayathri.
1998 - US - Mallika Sarabhai.
1999 - Japan - Mallika.
2000 - Nepal, US - Mallika.
2000 - Mauritius - Mallika.
2001 - Quatar - Mallika.
India
1995 - Guruvayur Temple.
1996 - Hindu Prachar Sabha - Archagar Maanadu.
1997 - Varasidhi Vinayagar Temple. Ooty Flower Festival. Udipi, Bangalore. Naintal with Actress Venniraadai Nirmala.
1997 - IDA / Swarna Samaroh - Delhi - Kalak.
Ashoka - 2001 - Society
2002 - Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.
Theatres
The Leopard 1998. Conference of the Birds 2000. This Mahabharata - the deep roots of Violence City Scapes - 1999.

Awards & Recognitions

Balasaraswati Award
1994 - Balasaraswati Award from Krishna Gana Sabha for her talent in Abhinaya.
Yuva Kala Bharati
1998 - Yuva Kala Bharati from Bharat Kalachar
Nrithya Chintamani award
2009 - Nrithya Chintamani award from Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation, Chennai
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