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Balasaraswati-The Famous Dancer Who Took Bharatanatyam To The World

6th May, 2022

Bharatanatyam is one of the most glorious dance forms, and numerous Indian dancers have made sure that all of us look up to the dance form with pride and glory. It is essential to understand that this is one dance form that is more of devotion, and people tend to look up to dancers in awe and amazement. Since time immemorial, there have been dancers who have given their utmost best to make sure Bharatanatyam is recognized as a potent dance form and is also respected by all.

Dance of T Bala Saraswati or Tanjore Bala Saraswati

India has given birth to these fantastic Bharatanatyam dancers who have made sure that time and again, they can make us proud and take Bharatanatyam to newer levels of success. One such famous dancer of Bharatanatyam is none other than the ever-talented Balasaraswati. Hence, the name resonates with those who want to establish themselves as Bharatanatyam dancers and achieve the most in this field.

Who Is Balasaraswati

Born as Tanjore Saraswati, Balasaraswati is probably one of the most phenomenal dancers who has ensured that Bharatanatyam is one of the most coveted dance forms in India. Her love for the dance form began in Tamil Nadu of South India, and since its inception, she has been an avid lover of this particular form of Indian classical dance. She was born in the year 1918, May 13, in Chennai- when the dance was not so well accepted for women.

Balasaraswati's love for dance can be traced to somewhat hereditary because she had a family of people who specialised in various forms of performing arts. Her mother was Jayamal, who was exceedingly popular as a singer, while her grandmother was the evergreen Veena Dhanammal, who was equally famous as a Veena specialist.

In those days, Bharatanatyam was a dance form practised only by the devadasis, and they danced to offer it as a performance in front of Gods and goddesses in temples. So when her family came to know how much she wanted to pursue this dance form as a "career," there was a lot of resentment and pressure on her not to go forth with it. But still, she made it clear that she wanted to move forth with the dance form in the future.

However, her love for Bharatanatyam ensured that even her grandmother recognized her passion for the dance form, and soon she enrolled in formal training under the famous Kandappa Pillai. Since her initial days of training, she used to put in extra effort and practised for long hours to master the dance form.

It, however, did not mean that she did not face any criticism from th conservative society, who made it a point to humiliate her for her love for dance. However, with time she made it a point not to get into many concerns and yet continued to practise the dance form with love and passion.

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The Legacy Of Balasaraswati

It is almost given that with their love and dedication to the field, she started to get some fantastic opportunities that ensured that she could have a full-fledged career out of her passion for the domain. In 1925, she had the first excellent dance performance that put her on the map. During her concert in Calcutta, she came under the view of pandit Uday Shankar who was simply in awe of her talent.

The best thing about BalaSaraswati was that she never took the criticism to heart and continued to live her passion for dance. She continued to go for live performances in international locations and connected with dance maestros like Shambhu Maharaj, Margot Fonteyn, and Martha Graham. With her ever-developing career, Balasaraswati established her dance school in Chennai, her roots. In her school, she continued to train students so that they could also develop the most prominent skills for Bharatanatyam as a dance form.

Since the time she started teaching, she also made sure that her career did not come to a halt as a dancer, and she continued to travel extensively to different parts of the world like- Europe and parts of America. It is essential to mention here that her steps and even her gestures and facial expressions were so grateful that she continued to become a favourite for most dancers.

Throughout her career, bale Saraswati continued to receive numerous accreditations because of her contribution to the field of Bharatanatyam. She is known to receive prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Academy and Padma Bhushan and several awards from the Government of India for her excellence in the field.


When it comes to Bharatanatyam, it is essential to have dancers you not only learn but even respect the contributions of Balasaraswati. She continues to be a very prominent name in the field even today, and her love for the dance form is well known. If you also want to follow in her footsteps, the best thing is to get in touch with professional online Bharatanatyam classes like Kafqa Academy, which can guide you. 

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