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The very foot he raised to dance the dance in the little hall of Tillai - it claimed me as a slave.Saint Appar, 7th century

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The Dancer

A young boy is driving an imaginary car, he wants to become a driver. But the Gods had other plans with him. Narendran was born to become one of the most famous contemporary Bharatanatyam dancers. Dance is my life now Narendran said in an interview with the newspaper "THE HINDU". Dance is not only his life, he himself is dance. It seems that Lord Nataraja personally bestowed on him the love and skills of dance. He is the best Bharatanatyam dancer of his generation and also a fantastic Kathakali dancer. He learned both dance forms in the renowned Kalakshetra Dance Academy in Chennai because Rukmini Devi, the visionary founder of this institution, wanted male dancers to master Bharatnatyam and Kathakali, too.

Narendran is a charismatic personality who enchants people with his dance and makes them forget the daily difficulties elevating their mind and spirit into higher spheres. He is a highly trained dancer who performs precise hand gestures, uses intricate footwork, vivid facial expressions, and fluid movements. With his impressive, fascinating stage presence, his bhava and abhinaya he produces deep emotions in his audience and makes his performances memorable aesthetic experiences bringing a new dimension to this timeless dance form. (Hinduism Today 2005 - The Globetrotting Lord of Dance)

As a free lance dancer, he never lost contact with his alma mater, thus, alumnus and veteran Narendran who has played many roles including Rama in the Ramayana series choreographed by Rukmini Devi, in 2009 has been recalled by Kalakshetra to take charge of rehearsals. (The Hindu, Friday review 18 Dec 2009, As fresh as ever)

In September 2010 he participated in the Kalakshetra Kathakali Festival Bhava Bhavanam in the choreography "Psyche". This was the only Kathakali play that portrayed Kamadeva or the Cupid as a protagonist, and Narendran made the role vibrant. (The Hindu, 24 Sept 2010)

Furthermore, Narendran co-operated in Kalakshetra DVD productions, such as Ramayana series and Kalakshetra bani vol. 3

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The Choreographer

Narendran's choreographic work comprises many famous dance projects in Asia, Africa and Europe. Additionally to his Bharatanatyam repertoire he also choreographed for the theatre and for modern dance projects.

 2016 Bolero,Création danse "Inspirations" chorégraphie par Dominique Cordemans - Malandain Ballet Biarritz, Gilles Schamber, P.T. Narendran - danseur, chorégraphe (travail répertoire et création sur Boléro), Reunion Island

 2015 Saha Narthana,A dance showcase called Saha-Narthana „Dancing In Unison“, highlights Narendran’s love for the classical bharatanatyam repertoire. The presentation and formation is innovative, but the bharatanatyam stays bharatanatyam, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 2013 Ramayana,a dance drama performed by 143 dancers as part of the Diwali celebrations at Saint André, Reunion Island

 2013 Sharanagati,Absolute surrender, a combination of Bharatanatyam and Odissi, Malaysia

 2010 Thandava,evocation of the cosmic dance in the form of 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth) in Singapore

 2009 Ashokavanam,a production combining the story of the Ramayana and the issue "global warming in Australia"

 2005 - 2007 Shringara,a production for Reunion Island, India and Russia

 2001 - 2002Co-operation with Maurice Bejart's Rudra Ballet, Switherland

 2001 Indian Monsoon,dance project with shadow puppetry and story-telling, U.K.

 2000 Natya Yoga,a contemporary dance production based on Bharatanatyam, Chhau, modern dance, painting and poetry, Reunion Island

 1999 Yoga Sutra,contemporary dance ballet which was a combination of Bharatanatyam, ballet, Afro Cuban dances and Yogasanas, Germany

 1998 Manasarovar- Sacred Lake,a contemporary production based on Bharatanatyam with the participation of artists of Reunion Island for the 50th Anniversary of Indian Independence

 1995 Ma,production of modern theater Talipot in Reunion Island

 1994 Ramayana,a ballet produced by the Department of Culture, Reunion Island

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Photo gallery (thanks for all the provided pictures, especially to Greg Coleman „Shanta“)

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The Nattuvanar

Apart from dance Narendran has an extraordinary sense and understanding of music and rhythms and an expressive voice being one among the few people, who can sing, dance, choreograph and also do the nattuvangam which makes him a perfect dance teacher.

He recorded music compositions for more than 80 Bharatanatyam items.

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The Teacher

Narendran is an excellent teacher who conveys with his detailed explanations the beauty, glory and mysticism of Indian tradition and art to all his students, who love and admire him.

Not only that he conducts rehearsals for beautiful dance dramas at the Kalakshetra Academy and gives master classes, he also teaches Bharatanatyam to beginners and children with a lot of patience.

Narendran's workshops stimulate the beginners eager to learn and also deepen the awareness of enthusiastic dance students.

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The Personage

Though, being a renowned dancer, nattuvanar, choreographer and teacher, in India as well as in many countries around the globe, Narendran has always had both feet on the ground. He is a likeable and honest person with modest behaviour having a great heart with much love for his children and family, for human beings, nature and all creatures. He has deep confidence and faith in the almighty God.

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Teaching and Choreographies

Although being a very busy artist, P.T. Narendran would be pleased to admit new students both in India and during his tours abroad. Choreographies for dance academies and special events can be created, as well.

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Awards

 2013Natya Chudar Oli presented by the Indian Arts Academy, Melbourne

 2012Vidhya Tapasvi meaning "The Thorough Seeker of Knowledge" for extra-ordinary contribution towards "Bhakthi Oriented Traditional Fine Arts", of Tapas Cultural Foundation, Chennai

 2011Obul Reddy Award for senior dancer of Natyarangam, dance wing of the Narada Gana Sabha Trust

 2001Gnana Oli Thiru Thondar Award of Temple of World Peace

 1995Silver trophy of Kalaimagal Sabha

 1989Bharatha Natya Kalaingan of Idyll Isai Nataka Mandram, Chennai

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Video clips

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Press reviews

Global Warming and Ramayana - Mangalam Vasan (The Indian Voice, Australia, 06 March 2009) Sixty odd children from Rathika Suresh Mahadeva's Bharatha Kalanjali dance school with the master from Chennai P.T. Narendran, gave us the evening of our lives, truely making us belive there is redemption from global warming.

P.T. Narendran returned this year as Ravana and was spectacular. His bhava as the lustful, conniving Ravana and the subsequent beautifully executed rhythmic fight with Rama was memorable viewing for the audience.

An enthralling beginning - (sridharjoshi.blogspot.com, India, 16 August 2009) Gayatri Balagurunathan and P.T. Narendran did a wonderful job of enacting the People's Park Vazhi Nadai Chindu. The emoting and the movements were tailor-made, rather choreographed to perfection by Natyarangam of the Narada Gana Sabha. The dancers gave it their all, enthralling the three hundred odd invitees at the TAG Center. The standing ovation that the performance received was a testimony of the sheer power of Gayatri and Narendran's showing.

Of high aesthetic order - (The Hindu, Friday review, Bangalore, 04. Dec. 2009) Sabari Moksham, one of the ballets performed at the ISKCON festival, was a connoisseur's delight. P.T. Narendran's portrayal of the character Rama with high synchronisation of Kathakali and Bharatnatyam switching over in quick succession, thereby not only enhanced the gorgeousness of his character, however, also suited the macho looks that he carries to symbolise the personality.

Presented with precision and verve - (The Hindu, Chennai, 25 Dec. 2009) This "Sita Swayamvaram" belonged to P.T. Narendran. From the moment Viswamitra enters Dasaratha's court to demand Prince Rama to defend his forest rituals from the demons, Narendran was all commanding presence and quicksilver responses, his abhinaya moving from fury to reluctant compliance, flowing from an assured grasp of the idiom and secure internalisation of character.

Class apart - (The Hindu, Hyderabad 27 Aug. 2010) The ballet presented was Jatayu Moksham. All the scenes were superbly enacted by Kalakshetra's well trained and disciplined cast. Excellent performances came from P. Jayakrishnan (Jatayu), P.T. Narendran (Rama), Srinath (Lakshmana), Revathi, Satyapriya, Ramya (Sita), Nirmala (Soorpanakha), S. Krishna (Ravana) and Haripadman (sanyasi Ravana).

Woodland spirits - (The Hindu, New Delhi, 04 Nov. 2010) Presented by the Tiruvanmayur Kalakshetra troupe gave glimpse of the late Rukmini Devi's creativity, fired by Valmiki's Ramayana muse. In a uniformly proficient dancer group, making a deep impression with their versatility, were P.T. Narendran switching from Rama to Nagaraja in the second part and Haripadman who after the benignly authoritative Viswamitra, takes on the role of Thinappar.

Masterly moves - (The Hindu, 04 Feb. 2011) P.T. Narendran showcased the purity and precision of the Kalakshetra style in his Bharatanatyam performance. The imagery was striking in his depiction of Shiva's procession for his marriage to Sati in Kumarasambhavam.

Grand debut concert by the Vasan children (Indian Voice, Melbourne, 01 May 2011) Lakshanya Vasan and her younger brother Vasish Vasan, the students of Rathika Suresh Mahadeva, gave a spectacular debut dance performance at Alexander Theatre, Clayton. The event was a resounding success due to the tutelage of P.T. Narendran, the guru of Rathika, who had come all the way from Chennai (India). P.T. Narendran and Rathika provided nattuvangam. The artistry and expertise of P.T. Narendran was obvious throughout. The Alarippu uniquely set by Narendran was performed with a lot of colour to an age old piece.

Plenty of poignant moments - (The Hindu, Chennai, 30 Sep. 2011) The three-hour play that dealt with Keechaka's lust that ultimately leads to his death, had a star studded cast with Leela Samson (Sairandri), P.T. Narendran (Valala) and Viraja (Sudeshana). Narendran as Valala exhibited strength, anger and energy.

Tapas Dance Festival (Narthaki, Chennai, 24 Jan. 2012) The Kathakali recital on Jan 12 by Sadanam Balakrishnan and PT Narendran was of high caliber and their excellent expressions had the audience watch in pin drop silence.

Beyond performance (The Hindu, Friday review, 02 May 2013) Unfazed by criticism and unspoilt by adulation, P.T. Narendran strides the dance scene with grace and finesse.

Sharanagati - Absolute surrender (Ipoh Echo, Malaysia, 16 Aug. 2013) A night of wonder and beauty in motion. The original choreography by P.T. Narendran, Leena Mohanty, O.S. Arun and Dheeraj Kumar Mohapatra gave the audience both a visual and aural feast as the dancers demonstrated their artistic talents in an engaging and playful manner. So encapsulating was the performance that everyone stayed glued to their seats in rapt attention, applauding enthusiastically.

Guru-sishya programme in Kazakhstan - (Sruti, India's Premier Magazine for Performing Arts, 05 Aug. 2014) The project Guru-Sishya was launched by Akmaral Kainazarova, founder and choreographer of the Centre of the Indian Classical Dance in Almaty. It was a feast to watch P.T. Narendran performing with his disciple Akmaral and also with twenty of her students. The audience marvelled at the harmonious presentation of guru and sishyas of the three generations.

The programmes at Almaty and Astana were attended by diplomats, professors of the Academy of Arts, Eurasian National University named after Gumilyev and other universities, intellectuals, dance choreographers and art lovers. The theatre in both cities was full and the dancers got a standing ovation. The Indian Ambassador in Kazakhstan, Ashok Kumar Sharma, congratulated the participants and thanked P.T. Narendran for presenting the classical art of India in Kazakhstan.

A journey with Natyam - (Deccan Herald, Bangalore, 09 Nov. 2014) You can see the love of the art as you watch Narendran dance. He does it with total abandon oblivious to his surroundings, he merges into whatever role he dons.

A mother's plight - (The Hindu, Thiruvananthapuram, 26 Nov. 2015) P.T. Narendran as the luminous Karna retained the stature of the character throughout.

Un des princes du bharata natyam à Phoenix - (Le Mauricien, 04 Dec. 2015) Un voyage féerique à travers Blissful Journey, qui se fera en compagnie d'artistes de niveau international, dont des Mauriciens. Tout un spectacle monté autour d'un des plus grands danseurs et chorégraphes de bharatanatyam, P.T. Narendran.

MAHAMAYA dance recital enthralls crowd - (My news desk - Q-Net, 21 Mar. 2016) The crowd was also enthralled with the all new choreographic works led by P.T. Narendran from Chennai and Leena Mohanty from Orissa, both exponents were extraordinaire of their respective dance styles.

Drenched in soulful melodies - (The Hindu, 05 May 2016) P.T. Narendran, the Bharatanatyam dancer from Chennai was superb with his elegant grace.

Matching steps with a dance maestro - (The Times of India, Kolkata 21 May 2016) Bharatanatyam exponent P.T. Narendran who is in the city to conduct a dance workshop aims to fuse Tagore and the classic dance form.

Etodine Taar Ahoban - (Anandabazar Patrika, Kolkata 09 July 2016) The portrayal of Shyama by Surangama and Vajrasena by P.T. Narendran touched the audience's heart.

Melbourne Hindu Youth aid the Indigenous Youth - (Indian Voice, Melbourne 02 July 2016) The Chief Guest for the evening was Shri P.T. Narendran, the esteemed dancer, teacher choreographer from the prestigious school of the fine arts, Kalakshetra in Chennai Tamil Nadu. On popular request, the Kalakshetra Chief Guest did an impromptu mini thandava to the indigenous elders richly resonating didgeridoo.

Where Helen becomes Hela - (The Hindu, 21 July 2016) P.T. Narendran as Manodhan also impressed with his subtle abhinaya and his delineation, drawing a parallel between the locks of his beloved's hair and the dark rain clouds. The two dancers moved gracefully through the warfare movements with suitable romantic expressions, in their depiction of sringara rasa to make it an aesthetic experience.

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