Born on 13 August 1933 in a family of musicians, Shrimati Vyjayanthimala Bali learnt
Bharatanatyam from eminent traditional masters such as Vazhavur Ramaiyya Pillai,
K.N. Dandayudhapani Pillai, Mylapore Gouri Amma and Tanjavur Kittappa Pillai. She has given
many recitals all over India and abroad at such prestigious institutions as the Sydney Opera
House, and at the United Nations on Human Rights Day. Shrimati Vyjayanthimala Bali is well
known as an actress in films which she left at the height of her career to devote herself to dance.
She has revived many Kuravanji plays and has choreographed a number of dance-dramas such as
‘Sri Andal Sanga Tamizh Malai’, ‘Chandalika’, ‘Ekta’, ‘Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi’, ‘Siriya
Tirumandal’, ‘Shrikrishna Jananam’, ‘Sita Vislesha Thrayam’.
She is the recipient of many awards and titles such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Nritya Siromani, Natya Kala Sikhamani, Nritya Nirupama Visharade, State Artist Award and the Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu, Nritya Ratnakara Award, Padma Shri (1968), an honorary doctorate from Annamalai University, and the ‘Legend of Indian Cinema’ award given at Atlantic City, United States of America.
Shrimati Vyjayanthimala Bali is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for her contribution to Indian dance.