Chandra Devi

Fascinated by exotic and expressive music from a young age, Chandra Devi has enga- ged herself in many oriental dance forms starting with the Egyptian dance “Rags Shar- qi”. As soon as she became acquainted with the classical Indian dance form of Bharata- natyam, this became her greatest passion. She received her training in Bharatanatyam and classical Carnatic music from the distinguished guru, Shyamala Surendran, and refined the art of expressions further by the celebrated guru, Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. She performed her Arangetram In Kerala in 2003, and has been perfor- ming regularly in Germany and India. In 2004, Chandra organised her first dance production, “Natyananda”, where Shyamala Surendran was also invited to dance. She founded the dance school Natyadhars, Zentrum für Indischen Tanz und Kultur, in 2007 where she teaches beginners to experienced dancers in Bharatanatyam and Bollywood. She leads the performing group “Natyananda”, who give performances throughout Germany.

Shyamala Surendran

Shyamala Surendran is the guru of Chandra Devi and the founder and managing trustee of Dharani School of Performing Arts, set up to impart authentic training in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Veena and Carnatic music. She received training in dance intermittently at the school in Kannur under Chemencherry Kunhiraman Nair and Natyakalarathnam Srinivasan. She took up dance seriously only at the age of 34 under Sri. C.E. Janardhanan in Kochi and later under the world-renowned dancing couple Sri. V.P. Dhananjayan and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan of Chennai, at Cochin in 1982. She performed her Arangetram at the Guruvayoor Temple in 1984 and has given several performances in Kerala. In 1986, she went over to Chennai to learn further from the Dhananjayans themselves. Shyamala has been performing all over India and abroad and has been participating in seminars, workshops and lecture demonstrations. In more recent times she has been making annual visits to Chandra Devi‘s Natyadhara school, where she gives intensive workshops.