Senior Student: Tejashree Gopal during her Arangetram on 4/21/12

  Artistic Director: Jaan R. Freeman & first graduate and senior most student of Dakshina: Rukmani Venkataramani      ( March 8th, 2008)   

Tanjore  Balasaraswati: (1918-1984)

Dancer,Teacher,Musician and Singer)The flowering of Balasaraswati’s genius has taken place in a garden of great splendor. For generations, the family has been a repository of the Carnatic tradition in its pristine glory. 
Balasaraswati’s great-great-great-great grandmother, Papammal, was a musician and a dancer at the Tanjore Court,that was in the eighteenth century. 
It was into such a treasure-house of the Carnatic tradition that Balasaraswati was born on the 13th of May, 1918. Music and dance was  in her blood and dance was all around her , of course, music and dance of the highest quality and practiced and heard in abundant measure. Her formal training started at the age of four under the late Kandappan Pillai and had her arangetram at the age of 7 at kancheepuram at the amanakshi amman Temple.Balasaraswati danced all over India, but it was in 1961 she went abroad to dance at the East West Encounter in tokyo.In the late  60’s Balama taught and performed in the USA, at that time she planted the seed in many American disciples.Anna kissegoff, senior dance critic of the New York Times, called Balasaraswati “one of the world’s  greatest dancers of the 20th century.”

My Guru:Smt. Nandini Ramani
My Guru: Smt. Priyamvada Sankar 

Dakshina’s Founding/Artistic Director:  


  (Disciple of Smt.Nandini Ramani & Smt. Priyamvada Sankar)

To read Mr. Freeman’s  “The Joy of the Balasaraswati Tradition”

Interview with’s Smt. LalithaVenkat go to:

Photo in the Thandava Room at Jivamukti Yoga Center In Jersey City, NJ photo by: Bobby Hranichny