Top 10 Famous Bharatanatyam Dancers in India Ever

The ancient dancing style known as Bharatnatyam is thought to have originated over 2000 years ago. This dancing style is said to have been given by Lord Brahma to Rishi Bharata, who wrote a book named Natyashastra, which focused mostly on Indian drama and aesthetics. India boasts various dance styles that have been practiced everywhere, from the grounds of temples and kings’ courts to professionally orchestrated stage shows after independence. The principles of music, rhythm, and expressiveness, as outlined in Natyashastra, are entirely referenced in Bharatnatyam. The popularization of the traditional dance forms, particularly Bharatnatyam, can be attributed to the stalwarts and exponents of the various dance styles.

1. Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian theosophist, animal welfare activist, and dancer and choreographer of Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance genre. She was the first female nominee in Indian history for the Rajya Sabha, the country’s upper house of parliament. When Bharatnatyam was outlawed during British control, she was a major force behind its resurgence in popular culture. In Chennai, she established the Kalakshetra. She transformed Bharatnatyam from a deplorable and vulgar art form into a renowned and esteemed one.

2. Padma Subrahmanyam

Padma Subrahmanyam

Indian classical ballet dancer Padma Subrahmanyam specializes in Bharata Natyam. She is an author, an Indologist, a teacher, a choreographer, and a research scientist. She is domestically and internationally well-known; nations including Japan, Australia, and Russia have produced several documentaries and motion pictures in her honor. Subramanyam is an eminent scholar, innovator, writer, and teacher who invented the Bharatnatyam style. In addition, she studied music and earned a master’s degree in Carnatic music.

3. Mallika Sarabhai

Mallika Sarabhai

A well-known figure in the Bharatnatyam stars’ galaxy is Mallika Sarabhai. As co-director, she oversaw the Darpana Performing Arts Academy in Ahmadabad, which her mother had previously operated. In addition, she is a highly recognized choreographer who has created theater dances and short dances. She was also a well-known theatre performer who portrayed Draupadi in the play “The Mahabharata” by Peter Brook. The famous space scientist Vikram Sarabhai and the classical ballerina Mrinalini Sarabhai were the parents of Mallika Sarabhai. Her inherent beauty and extraordinary intelligence were praised.

4. Yamini Krishnamurthy

Yamini Krishnamurthy

At the tender age of five, Yamini Krishnamurthy began to show interest in dance styles, and she relocated to Chennai to find a master. After enrolling at Rukmini Devi’s Kalakshetra, she became well-known after her debut performance. Soon after, she traveled the world, giving unforgettable performances that demonstrated her exceptional skill in her craft. She transformed the dance style, which received a great deal of praise.

5. Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai

An Indian classical dancer, choreographer, and teacher is Mrinalini Vikram Sarabhai. The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, located in Ahmedabad, was founded and is currently run by her. Its students receive instruction in dance, music, drama, and puppetry. She has trained approximately 18,000 students in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali and has been recognized for her artistic contributions with several honours, prizes, and citations.

6. Alarmel Valli

Alarmel Valli

Valli Alarmel At the age of sixteen, she was invited to participate in the International Dance Festival of the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre De La Ville in Paris, where she would dance Bharatnatyam. Renowned for her fabled elegance in dancing, she was regarded as the matriarch of the antiquated Pandanallur school of Bharatanatyam. Alarmel Valli has enhanced this dancing style by bringing an uncommon depth and commitment to today’s performers. She became recognized as the youngest dancer to get the Padma Shri award and infused creativity into her dancing moves.

7. Bala Saraswati

Bala Saraswati

The greatest Bharatnatyam queen, Tanjore Balasaraswati, also referred to as Bala Saraswati, was and always will be. Born in 1918 in Chennai, she popularized this dance. Her storytelling style is what makes her stand out from the other dancers. Nobody can compare to her bright expressions and elegant movements on the date. The Indian government honored her with the Padma Bhushan in 1957 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1977 for her contributions to the field.

8. Anita Ratnam

Anita Ratnam

Among the most gifted dancers on the Indian subcontinent is Anita Ratnam. Having trained in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, and Kathakali dance, she is regarded as one of the top choreographers throughout the South. Later, she registered for a postgraduate diploma in dance at Rukmini Devi Arundale’s Kalakshetra. She is a skilled Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, and Kathakali dancer.

9. Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh

Learning a traditional dance form from scratch and becoming an expert is a challenging feat. However, Sonal Mansingh is a master of both Bharatnatyam and Odissi dance. She is also the creator of the New Delhi-based Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD). Because of her talent, she received many honors and accolades, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, the Padma Bhushan in 1992, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2003. She is undoubtedly among the greatest dancers of all time.

10. Sudha Chandran

Sudha Chandran

The tale of Sudha Chandran is one of tenacity and overcoming hardship. Following an injury that cost her leg, she returned to the world of Bharatanatyam. Her amazing journey inspired millions and demonstrated the strength of tenacity and passion in dance. Her face is well-known in the Indian television business as well.


Dancing is a means of expressing different feelings. Global audiences have shown interest in Indian classical dance as an artistic expression. There are many different types of classical dance within India, each with its distinct characteristics and presentation style. Together, the public can honor the performers who bring Bharatanatyam to life while celebrating the art form’s elegance, beauty, and heritage.


Q: Who is the No 1 Bharatanatyam dancer in India?

Ans: Padma Subrahmanyam is the most well-known dancer in Bharatanatyam. Her creative research and methodology have made a substantial contribution to the art form.

Q: Who is the God of Bharatanatyam dance?

Ans:Bharatanatyam is well-known for its grace, purity, sensitivity, and sculpture-like positions. In this dancing form, Lord Shiva is revered as a god.

Q: Who made Bharatanatyam famous?

Ans: It is commonly acknowledged that Rukmini Devi Arundale gave this antiquated dancing style a second lease on life in the early 1900s.

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