Monday 27 February 2012

Profile - Guru K Kalyanasundaram

A senior guru and Director of Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir, regarded as an institution par excellence for Bharatanatyam, K Kalyanasundaram is the torch bearer of the Thanjavur tradition of Bharatanatyam. He celebrates his 80th birthday on March 1, 2012.

Hailing from a family of Nattuvanar parampara, traditional dance teachers, now in its eighth generation, Thiruvidaimarudur Kuppiah Kalyanasundaram made his debut at the age of six at the Sri Kumbeswaran Temple (of Maha Maham fame) in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, on the auspicious day of Aarudhra Darsanam. “People were curious to see a nattuvanar’s son dance. It was the 1940s, so the only lighting came from the temple lamps, and my costume was a dhoti and angavastram tied around my waist,” remembers Guruji. He imbibed the art from his father Guru Kuppiah Pillai, his brother Guru Mahalingam Pillai, his brother-in-law Guru Govindraj Pillai and sister Karunambal. His grandfather Guru Panchapakesa nattuvanar was an authority on abhinaya and is credited with compiling the Tamil treatise ‘Abhinaya Navaneetham,’ a monumental treatise on abhinaya, a practical guide specially on  Hastabhinaya. 


  1. One of the fantastic people I have come across in my life. Guruji is the very epitome of positivity, full of energy and vitality even at his present age. He has always been a mentor to all of us who know him throughout life.
    Thank God for having people like him amidst us.

  2. Feeling so blessed . Attend his swarajathi workshop on 10.1.2019 and 11.1.2019 at Tanjavur tamil music university. Really I feel that am lucky

  3. Just read about him in the Hindu Friday Review of today 1st July 2022. Very pleasing to know he celebrated his ninetieth birthday this year.

  4. May I have contact no of Sri kslyanadundaram.since during 1955 my sister was in matunga telong Rd and she was admitted for delivery in a nursing home next to dancing hall she would like to help.