V. S. Muthuswamy Pillai

Born in 1921 in the village of Vaideswaram Koil, Tamil Nadu, Shri V.S. Muthuswamy Pillal belongs to a family of nattu- vanars from Thanjavur. He was placed under the tutelage of the eminent Bharatanatyam guru Katmanarkudi Muthukumara Pillai in his boyhood and began his own career as a dance master after rigorous training of over ten years. Among the few living practitioners of Bharatanatyam who inherited the art as evolved by Muthukumara Pillai, Shri Muthuswamy Pillai is perhaps the only nattuvanar of his gene- ration teaching dance in his guru’s style. He thus represents an important part of the Bharatanatyam tradition, to which he has made his own contribution as a guru. From 1945, when he moved to Madras, Shri Muthuswamy Pillai has taught a large number of dancers including several students from France. Among other honours, Shri V S Muthu- swamy Pillai received the tide of Kalaimamani from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram in 1972. Shri V.S. Muthuswamy Pillai receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to Bharatanatyam.