P T Narendran

/P T Narendran

P T Narendran

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).
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.

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.
2019 Alayam:
THE DIVINE ABODE, for the 20th anniversary celebrations of Bharata Kalanjali Dance School, Melbourne.
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

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.

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.

The Actor

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.

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.

Awards

2019:
Natya Kalanidhi by Bharata Kalanjali Dance School, Melbourne
„Narthaka Nipuna“ presenting Smt. Nirmala Ramachandran Award for excellence and contribution to the field of Bharatanatyam by Association of Bharatanatyam Artists of India, Chennai
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

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