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).
Narendran performed the lead role of Manodhan in the Kathakali drama „Hela“ directed by Sadanam P.V. Balakrishnan, in the premiere show at Rukmini Arangam in July 2016 and in December 2016 he impressed as choreographer and performer at Suvritti Festival hosted by Kalakshetra to present recent choreographic works of some senior dancers.
Furthermore, Narendran co-operated in Kalakshetra DVD productions, such as Ramayana series and Kalakshetra bani vol. 3.
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.
2017 Samyoga:It peeks into the truth and justice of the sacrament of celestial marriages which are based upon love. Performances in Malaysia and on the International Ramayana Festival Indian performance tour 2017.
2016 Mahamaya:A combination of exquisite traditional Indian Bharata Natyam and Odissi styles,the all new choreographic works led by P.T Narendran from Chennai and Leena Mohanty from Orissa, Malaysia.
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 - 2002:Co-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
70 selected pictures, credits: Greg Coleman "Shanta", N. Shridharan, R. Prasana, Jm Dolphus, Huneid Tyeb, Shri Shiva perus, R. Ravindran, Shreedhar Vaidya, Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran and other. Usage: use arrow symbols to move between pictures. Use the playsymbol or stopsymbol to start or stop continues play. For reversing the current playdirection use the stopsymbol use the arrowsymbol for the desired direction and then use the startsymbol.
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.
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.
Over the years, Narendran recorded a lot of dance videos. Recently, a new movie was filmed: „His Father’s Voice“ under the direction of Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran in which he not only plays one of the main characters but is also singer and nattuvanar.
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.
2019: „Narthaka Nipuna“ presenting Smt. Nirmala Ramachandran Award for excellence and contribution to the field of Bharatanatyam by Association of Bharatanatyam Artists of India, Chenna
2013:Natya Chudar Oli presented by the Indian Arts Academy, Melbourne
2012:Vidhya Tapasvi meaning "The Thorough Seeker of Knowledge" for extra-ordinary contribution towards "Bhakthi Oriented Traditional Fine Arts", of Tapas Cultural Foundation, Chennai
2011:Obul Reddy Award for senior dancer of Natyarangam, dance wing of the Narada Gana Sabha Trust
2001:Gnana Oli Thiru Thondar Award of Temple of World Peace
1995:Silver trophy of Kalaimagal Sabha
1989:Bharatha Natya Kalaingan of Idyll Isai Nataka Mandram, Chennai
4 selected video clips, Usage: use arrow symbols to move between video clips. Use the playsymbol or stopsymbol to start or stop play.
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.
Magical moves of Dasavatar - (The Star online, Malaysia, 11 March 2011)
One of the most outstanding sequences was that of the Narasimha avatar, where Vishnu takes on the half-man, half-lion form in order to kill the demon king Hiranyakasipu. The battle between Narasimha, played by Narendran, and the king, played by V. Balagurunathan, was absolutely intense. Blending kathakali steps with bharatanatyam to evoke the violent energy of the scene, both excelled not only as dancers but as actors too.
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.
Local dancers to perform acclaimed Bharatanatyam exponent
P.T. Narendran’s choreography (The Star Online 29 Jan., 2015)
Narendran’s upcoming venture in Kuala Lumpur, a dance showcase called Saha-Narthana (Dancing In Unison), highlights his love for the classical bharatanatyam repertoire.Presented by Kalpana Dance Theatre (KDT), the show will see him take on the role of artistic director and choreographer.
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.
Kalakshetra’s masterpiece - (The Hindu, Bengaluru, 22 Sep. 2016)
P.T. Narendran took over the role of Rama in 1983 and threw himself into the role of the Maryada Purusha to perfection that the audience would touch his feet! He too calls it “the greatest learning experience” of his life which taught him how to become the character he performed until “my personality changed completely.” Athai’s presence “had the power of a 1000 spectators,” that he once danced his way into the ocean instead of the sethu bandhanam!
In a dynamic new avatar - (The Hindu, 08 Dez. 2016)
P.T. Narendran impressed as a choreographer and performer at Suvritti festival. This dynamic dancer is a welcome addition to the pantheon of good, male dancers in the country.
Bharatanatyam show depicts mythical marriage (The Star2, 20 Jan., 2017),
Celestial love takes centre stage in The Divine Union - (StraitsTimes, Saturday, 21 Jan., 2017)
MARRIAGE and love drive bharathanatyam dance Samyoga — The Divine Union, an original show by Kalpana Dance Theatre. Samyoga boasts a Malaysian ensemble of 43 dancers and will be performed to live music.
Enchanting Bharatnatyam spell by Malaysian dancers - (The Tribune, Chandigarh, 29 Sep., 2017)
Samyoga- The Divine Union' choreographed by PT Narendran brought alive the spirit, sanctity of the sacred institution of matrimony through various episodes of three divine marriages of celestial goddesses.
Of art and music: Spirit of matrimony through dance - (DECCAN CHRONICLE, Nov. 7, 2017)
Kalpana’s latest production featuring with all Malaysian cast, under the choreography of P.T. Narendran of Kalakshetra, who has discovered the deep relevance of dance, in nourishing the cultural roots of the community and in shaping the growth and artistic awareness of our youth.
Celestial celebration - (The Hindu, 12 Oct., 2017)
The team with Shangita Manoharan (direction), P.T. Narendran (choreography), Va. Ve. Su (lyrics) and Hariprasad (music) needs to be lauded for its efforts.