K. J. Sarasa

Born in 1937 in Karaikal, Pondi- cherry, Shrimati K. J. Sarasa hails from a family whose ancestors were court musicians for the Tanjore kings. A sister of the renowned nattuvanar Dandayudhapani Pillai, Shrimati Sarasa represents a heritage nurtured over centuries by her family. She was groomed for over 15 years by Guru Vazhu- voor Ramaiah Pillai in the art of Bharatanatyam, and is a leading representative of the Vazhuvoor bani. She is among the earliest women nattuvanars. She has also received lessons in vocal music from Shri Ramanatha- puram Krishnan and Shri Vakkiyur Gurumurthy. Since 1960, when she founded her school Sarasalaya at Madras, Shrimati Sarasa has trained a large number of students. She has also choreo- graphed many dance-dramas. Recently, she has been appointed Honorary Director of the Tamil Nadu Government Music Training Centre. Shrimati Sarasa received the title Kalaimamani from the Tamil Eyal Isai Nataka Manram in 1975. Shrimati K.J. Sarasa receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Bharatanatyam.