Chandralekha was initially trained in Bharatanatyam by Guru Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai. She drew notice as a promising dancer but soon gave up her career in classical dance to return to the field twelve years later as a choreographer of exceptional merit. Over the years, Chandralekha has made an important contribution to contemporary dance as a choreographer. Utilizing the resources of Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu and yoga, she has attempted to create a dance language informed with contemporary sensibility and vitality. Chandralekha initially made a mark with her well known work Navagraha — a dance to the nine planets — which was considered an important step towards the development of contemporary dance based on traditional idiom. Later, particularly during the ’80s, she produced a series of notable works which have won her wide acclaim. Angika, Lilavati, Prana, and her most recent production Sri are some of her best-known creations. Chandralekha has perform- ed widely with her group in India and abroad and has conducted a number of dance workshops and lecture-demonstrations. She has also worked with modern dancers and actors from the West in experimental productions. She has made films on dance and written on the subject. Among her films are The Myth of Woman (1976) and Hasta (1984). Chandralekha receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to contemporary dance as a choreographer.