History of the Academy
History of the Academy
FOUNDER - T.K.NARAYAN
Sri T.K Narayan , born in Hassan-Karnataka, founded the 'Academy of Bharata Natayam' in the year 1948. He was the direct disciple of the great and revered masters Gurus Sri. Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and Sri.Muthu Kumara Pillai, dating back to 1940's.
He was inspired by and closely associated for a number of years with legendry dancers Ramgopal and Madam Menaka and also worked as the Director of their institutions prior to starting his own Academy. The two Ballets, Tagore "Chitra" and "Birth of Our Nation", produced and directed by him in Bombay in the year 1947 with Smt. Himakesarcodi and Sri. Krishnan Kutty, won the highest appreciation not only by Lord and Lady Mountbatten but all over India as well.
His long career as a lecturer and later as principal of the Government college of Music and Dance in Hyderabad, was replete with remarkable service in this field.
Sri. Narayan was a puritan and a perfectionist that clearly reflected in his work.
T.K Narayan (right) with the legendary dancer Ram Gopal
Smt.Jayalakshmi Narayan was a talented vocalist, connected herself with the Academy by virtue of her marriage to Sri Narayan. Her tireless teaching experiance of over four decades in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad was instrumental for the reputation of the Academy.
She conducted performances by singing and doing the Nattuvangam herself. This ability enabled her to travel widely all over Europe and Russia accompanying the famous danseuse Smt. Kamala in 1961. She also had a successful teaching stint in the Singapore Fine Arts Society in 1976.
Smt. Jayalakshmi Narayan (extreme left) Singing and doing the Natuvangam for the danseuse Kamala Lakshman in the year 1961
Sri. T.K. Narayan with Guru Muthukumara Pillai.
PRESENT DIRECTOR- GAYATHRI KESHAVAN
Smt Gayathri Keshavan-daughter-disciple of the Narayans had years of systematic training in Bharata Natyam and Carnatic music. She carries forward mantle of teaching this dance style from her parents. She holds a diploma in Bharata Natyam and is a recipient of various awards, including the Government of India Scholarship (1973).
Gayathri has performed extensively in many National and International dance festivals.Her enormous experiance as a performer, teacher and composer over a span of 40 years, draws students from all over. Today, 'Academy of Bharata Natyam' is a well established dance school in Bangalore.
She is associated with Bangalore University and Jain University as an examiner and a faculty member of National Hill View Public School. She was also connected with the Friends World Program of Long Island University (USA) for many years. Smt. Gayathri is a panel member of the selection committee at CCRT, Govt of India as well.
With her absolute involvement in music and dance, Smt. Gayathri’s approach to this art form is highly spiritual in nature.
Photo by Francois Dubey,Switzerland
Some accolades received in Germany:
....leichter wird einem der Einstieg in die indische Theaterkunst schwerlich je irgendwo gemancht. Gayathri hat charismatische kunstlerische Gestaltungskraft.
- Hort Koegler - im Kolner Stadtanzeiger 1976
The exquisite Bharata Natyam numbers presented by Kum. T. N. Gayathri were of highly orthodox style of Pandanallur school, known for its precision and purity. Her exposition of gestures and sentiments were spontaneous and her footwork precise like a metronome. "
- Statesman " Calcutta, 1976
...technische Brillanz und fast atherische Grazilitat machen Gayathri zum idealen Vermittler fur ein westlich orientiertes Tanz- Thearterpulikum.
- Ulrich Tegeder, Deutsche Welle. 1977
Smt Maithreyi Barve and Ms.Mathangi Keshavan- daughters and disciples of Smt. Gayathri Keshavan are the third generation artists to continue the spirit of this art as performers and teachers. The artististic inheritance deep-rooted their passions for this art form ever since their childhood.
A branch of this institution is led by Ms.Megha R.Krishna one of the senior students of Gayathri Keshavan. She carries the torch of Shishya Parampara tradition highlighting the Indian culture.
Maitheyi Barve and Megha Krishna have completed their Masters in Bharata Natyam from Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts (Affiliated to Bharatidasan University) and Jain University respectively. Mathangi Keshavan is a part time dance teacher at National Public School, Banashankari and is a volunteer with SPIC MACAY.
Mathangi Keshavan- Daughter of Gayathri Keshavan
Maithreyi Barve- daughter of Gayathri Keshavan
All images and text copyright Gayathri Keshavan and the Academy of Bharata Natyam.
These images cannot be copied or used without permission.
Website concept: Suchi, Maithreyi & Mathangi