Shri. S. Shivakumar, is an exponent of Bharatha Natyam, learnt from gurus Smt.Chandra Dandayuthapani, Sri.M.V.Narasimhachari and Smt.Vasanthalakshmi. He has established SHIVAKALALAYAM Academy, with an ambition to promote Art & Artists. He is an Assistant Professor for Masters Degree in Bharathanatyam in Kumarani Meena Muthiah College (Affiliated with Annamalai University) in adayar, Chennai. He is also serving as life time member & Joint Secretary in Association of Bharathanatyam Artistes of India (ABHAI).
Smt. Sailaja Shivakumar, is one of the senior disciples & wife of Guru.Shivakumar, has started learning from Guru.Ms.Padma at a very young age. She is a reputed dancer, teacher who can perform and teach Bharathanatyam & Mohini Attam. They have an insatiable passion for dance and have many performances in India & Abroad as Solo, Duet & Group performers to their credit.
They have toured U.S.A, Canada, U.K, France, Norway, Dubai, Japan, Thailand, Srilanka, Myanmar, Taiwan & many other countries for performance, teaching, workshops & lecture demonstrations. Their performances have received press and public appreciation. They are also passionate teachers, nattuvanar, vocalist, choreographers. They have choreographed many dance ballets like Shiva Leela, Vande Mataram, Ramakrishna Charitam, Hari Hara Sudhan, Sange Muzhangu, Kathamba Malai, Koothum Paattum to name a few. With such experience in dance ballets and theatrical productions, Shivakumar & Sailaja bring the best innovative ideas into their performance and choreography. They are considered as an asset to dance productions. Both are Graded Artists in All India Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai. They have received the Prestigious " NATYAKALA VIPANCHEE " Award from great music maestro Dr. Balamurali Krishna.
The Dancing Duo believes that dancing is their way of praying to the almighty and undoubtedly, they do it with great devotion and dedication.
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Shivakumar is an exponent of the Sacred Classical Art Bharathanatyam, which has been cherished & preserved in our country for more than 2000 Years. He was born in a small town called Devakottai in Ramanathapuram District, after moving to Chennai for studies, he started his dance career at the age of 12. He started learning Bharathanatyam from Guru. Smt.Chandra Dandayuthapani Pillai at Natyakalalayam for 8 years. Then he moved ahead to do 2 yrs Diploma in Nattuvangam from Guru Sri. Seetha Rama Sharma through the Scholarship from Tamilnadu Government's - Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram. He got selected for the Sangeeth Natak Akademi's fellowship for advance training in Nattuvangam & Vocal for Dance. He has also worked with senior Gurus like Sri. K.N.Dakshinamurthy Pillai from Delhi (the younger brother of Padmashree K.N.Dandayuthapani Pillai), Smt.Malathi Srinivasan, and Smt.Usha Srinivasan.
As they say learning is a continuous process his insatiable passion for dance has made him to continue an advance training in Bharathanatyam, Vocal & Nattuvangam from the legendary Gurus Kalaimamani Sri.M.V.Narasimhachari & Smt.Vasanthalakshmi. Shri.Shivakumar has several performances to his credit, the prominent amongst them are:
Performed solo programs in Prestigious Sabhas like Bharat Kalachar, Naradha Gana Sabha's - Natyarangam, Govt Music College, Karthik fine arts, Natyanjali Trust, Vipanchee in Chennai.
In Nov 28th 2010, Done Nattuvangam on challenging Rythmic Jathi's Composed by Mridanga Vidwan Sri.Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman's titled as "Laya Vinyasa Nritta " in Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India - ABHAI's 23rd Annual Day Celebrations.
Performed as lord Shiva in the dance ballet "Jaya Jaya Devi" tuned by violin maestro Dr.Lalgudi Jeyaraman's and Choreographed by Guru.Radha.
In 2010, Performed in Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam's Dance Ballet " Porvalum Puvidhazhum " in a leading role "Sathanthai" for the Tamil Semmozhi Conference.
Performed in Guru M.V.Narasimhachari's productions like Ainthinai, Subashitham, Mega Sandesam, Leye Parabhammane in India & abroad.
Performed along with Smt. VyjayanthiMala Bali at NaradhaGana Sabha in a ballet about Mahavir Jain during Dec-2002.
Performed in many dance ballets of Dr.Saraswathy Sundaresan and Choreographed many compositions of world renowned singer Dr.Balamuralikrishna, all over india organized by Vipanchee Arts Academy.
Choreographed & Performed "Kannapa Nayanar Charitham" dance ballet at Melatur during the world famous Bhagavatha Mela function in May 2011.
Choreographed and Performed 13 Variety of Classical and Folk dance in World Trade Conference and in the Welcoming Rally for the Queen's Baton in the Common Wealth Games at Chennai during 2010, organized by Tamilnadu Govt Tourism Department.
In 1998, got selected in the Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram's young talented artist encouragement scheme & performed solo at Madurai, Karaikudi & Pollachi Sabhas.
He is a 'B'- Graded artist in Doordarshan - Chennai and also performed inTele vision channels like Sun T.V, Jaya T.V, Vijay T.V, Vasanth T.V, Makkal T.V...
Performed at "Mamallapuram Dance festival" during the years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 & 2012 organized by Tamilnadu Government's Tourism Department.
Performed in Natyanjali festivals held at, Chidambaram, Tanjore, Nagapattinam, Thirunallar Kumbakonam and Kalahasthi.
Performed in Temples like Kerala Guruvayurappan, Madurai Meenakshi, Nellaiyappar, Marundeeswarar, Sri Sailam, Vellore Golden, Pitsburg Venkateswara(U.S.A)
Choreographed & Performed dance ballets many times for the Pyramid Spiritual Society in their meditation conference.
Performed with Guru. Madurai. R. Muralidharan in his dance ballets, Kamba Ramayanam, Thulukka Nachiar, Nammalzhvaar, Thirumangai Alwar, Kuraloviyam, Sri Krishna, Heart Beat, Silappathikaram & Sense Beyond in India & abroad.
Performed with Guru. Smt. Parvathi RaviGhantasala's in dance ballet like "Penmai Chudar", Late Vidwan Shri.Ghantasala composition's. Also composed & choreographed Jathi's & Rhythm patterns.
Performed at "Padmashree K.N.Dandayuthapani Pillai dance festival" at Delhi organized by Natyakalalayam, Delhi Tamil Sangam & Sahitya Kala Parishad in July-2000.
Performed along with Cine fame Ms. Meenakshi Seshadri at Mumbai on occasion of "Videocon Screen Awards in 2001".
Performed in Shri Ragavendrar, Shri Ramanujar & Akilam Kakkum Annai dance drama produced by Nrithyopasana.
Performed in Thirugnana Sambandar Tele dance drama, choreographed by Guru Smt. Revathi Ramachandran.
Performed for Smt. Radhika Surjit's productions like Konjum Salangai, Yendrendum Pothigai & many other corporate shows & recordings.
Choreographed & Performed ballet Sange Muzhangu for International Dance Alliance (IDA) with my students.
Performed with Sri.Narendrakumar's Anusham productions like, Kalinga Narthanam, Bharatham Jananam Gnanam, Gayathri, Sukrachariar, Ashtaruchi and various other corporate shows.
Done Nattuvangam for many senior dancers like: - Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala, Sreekala Bharath, Lavanya Ananth, Smitha Madhav, Sudha VijayaKumar, Sindhu Mishra (Delhi), Nina Rajarani (London) .
May - June 2004 toured U.S.A with Guru Sri.M.V.Narasimhachari for a Dance ballet called "Land Scape of Emotions", also conducted dance workshops & Lec-dems in various parts of America during the tour.
Sep - Nov 2004 toured U.S.A for performing in a dance ballet called "Gajamukha", the same has been performed at 26 cities in America. Also conducted many workshops & lec - dems during the tour.
Jan - Mar & Aug - Nov 2005 toured U.K. for performing a dance ballet called "Women Are From Venus ", also conducted dance workshops during the tour.
Apr - July 2005 worked as a Dance tutor, in a London based dance school called 'Srishti'.
Jan - Apr 2006 toured U.K. for performing a dance ballet called "Mirage", alsoconducted dance workshops during the tour.
Sep 2006 toured U.K. & Norway for performing a dance ballet called "Mirage", also conducted dance workshops during the tour.
May - June 2007 toured U.S & Canada with Guru Sri. Madurai R Muralidharan's group for performing ballets like 'Kamba Ramayana', 'Sri Krishna' & 'Heart Beat'.
July 2007 toured Japan, Taiwan, Thailand & Myanmar under the prestigious Indian Council for Cultural Relations - ICCR, along with dancer Smt. Srekala Bharath for doing Nattuvangam & Dance workshops.
Dec 8th 2007 Performed at Abudhabi Palace along with Actor Dancer Ms. Shobana,on occasion of the Asian Business Award function.
On Nov 28th 2010, Association of BHaratanatyam Artistes of India(ABHAI) has awarded - Talent Promotion Endowment Award for Best Male Dancer.
On Nov 23rd 2008, he is awarded as a great performer & Guru by the Bharathanjali Trust and titled as " SATHYA MANORANJANA SUNDARAM " (Meaning : The Artiste, who enthralls the audience with his proficiency in 'Hasya Rasa').
He is the recipient of " NATYAKALA VIPANCHEE " Award in 2007, awarded by the great music maestro Dr.Balamurali Krishna on 31.12.07.
He has received the Best Dancer Award 2002, from the Governor of Tamilnadu Sri. Ram Mohan Rao organized by Nrithyopasana.
He has received best dancer award in 2001, from former president of India Sri. R.Venkatraman & Smt. Vyjayanthi Mala Bali organized by Natyakalalayam Delhi & Delhi Tamil Sangam.
He is not only a Performing artist, also a successful teacher and outstanding choreographer. Some of his successful choreographies are: -
Choreographed his own productions like Shiva Thandavam, Ramakrishna Charitham, Vande Mataram, Hari Hara Sudhan, Panchali Sabatham, Dasa Avatharam, Sange Muzhangu, Kathamba Maalai, Sakhi, Kootum Paattum...
Done part of the choreography in abroad productions like Gajamukha (U.S.A), Mirage (London).
He has choreographed his part role, in most of the productions of the renowned dancer's like Smt.Saraswathy Sundaresan (Vipanchee), Sri.Madurai R Muralidharan, Smt.Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala, Smt. Srekala Bharath.
Choreographed Classical & Variety thematic presentations many times to Schools like Chettinad Vidyashram, Anna Gem Science Park School, Bharath School.
Choreographed many dance items, margams and successfully conducted numerous Sabha programs, Arengetrams & Salainga pooja to his students. The success behind his choreography is selecting the dance song according to the age & potential of dancer.
His strict approach, adherence to the classicism of Bharathanatyam, ensures training with a strong foundation firmly rooted in tradition. He has promoted and trained many professional dancers & Nattuvanars in India and abroad. His teaching style and method adoption is appreciated by most of the renowned gurus who knows about him and his institute. Some of the assignments handled by him are mentioned below:-
Currently working as an Assistant Professor for Masters Degree in Bharathanatyam in Kumarani Meena Muthiah College - Chennai, in affiliation with Annamalai University, Chidambaram.
Worked as a Guest lecturer in 2005 for 3Months in Srishti Dance School, London.
Worked as Dance master in K.N.Dandayuthapani Pillai's Natyakalalayam Dance School for 8years. Served as Treasurer, in Association of BHarathanatyam Artists of India (ABHAI) for 7years.
With all the above credits, he is the Founder Director of "SHIVAKALALAYAM (Regd)-School of Fine Arts" at Thiruvanmiyur (Since1996), successfully functioning with many branches in Chennai. Through his academy he and his wife Smt. Sailaja Shivakumar, trains a lot of budding artists in Bharathanatyam, Nattuvangam, Mohini Attam & teaching course in Bharathanatyam. Being the Founder Member, he has a lot of future plans to bring dance especially Bharathanatyam into the International Limelight. He is also the committee member in Association of BHarathanatyam Artists of India (ABHAI), through which he is rendering lot of service to Arts & Artist community.
Dancing is his way of praying to God & undoubtedly, he does it with great devotion & dedication.
Sailaja Sivakumar is one of the young talented Artist who can perform, teach & choreograph the sacred classical art forms Bharathanatyam & Mohini Attam. Right from her childhood, she has been having a special kind of attachment & passion towards Bharathanatyam.
She started learning this art at a very young age of five, under the tutelage of her Guru Miss R.Padma & later moved ahead to do an advance course in Bharathanatyam & Nattuvangam from Guru Shri.Shivakumar at " Shivakalalayam School of Fine Arts ". She had also learnt Mohini Attam from Guru. Smt. Maya Vinayan & successfully completed her arengetram with lot of applauds. Her achievements in these art forms are mentioned below:-
Successfully completed Diploma in Bharathanatyam & Nattuvangam.
Got selected for Talent Revealing Opportunity Programme at VDS Arts Academy & given a Solo performance on June 6th, 2000.
Performed Mohini Attam arengetram in the year 2003 at Varasidhi Vinayagar Temple under the guidance of Guru. Smt.Maya Vinayan.
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In Nov 28th 2010, Performed the challenging Rythmic Jathi's Composed by Mridanga Vidwan Sri.Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman's titled as " Laya Vinyasa Nritta " in Association of BHaratanatyam Artistes of India-ABHAI's 23rd Annual Day Celebrations.
In April 2011, Performed Pancharathna Krithi in the festival organized by Kalapradarshini & Brahma Gana Sabha
Performed leading roles in various dance ballets like Shivathandavam, Hari Hara Sudhan, Vande Mataram, Sange Muzhangu, Dasa Avatharam etc. under the guidance of her Guru. Shri. Shivakumar at Shivakalalayam.
Performing along with Cine fame, dancer padmasree. Ms.Shobana in many of her dance productions all over India for the past 8years.
Performed & choreographed the compositions world renowned singer Dr.Balamuralikrishna in his book & C.D release function organized by Dr.Saraswathy Sundaresan's - Vipanche.
Performed at "Mamallapuram Dance festival" organized by Tamilnadu Govt, representing Shivakalalayam for many years.
Performed at Chengalpet Rama Krishna Mission - Centenary celebration, in the ballet "Hari Hara Sudhan" in 2001.
Performed for Narendra Kumar's "Anusham" Group Productions.
Performed for Nrithyopasana's Group Production
Performed Mohini Attam in Gopika Verma's group productions.
Participated and won the first prize twice in the "Thakka Dhimmi Thaa" contest held by Jaya T.V.
Performed in Guru M.V.Narasimhachari's productions like 'Ainthinai', 'Subashitham' & 'Om Namah Shivaya'.
Participated in the IDA programme held at "Narada Gana Sabha" in July 2003.
Very active member of ABHAI (Association of Bharathanatyam Artists of India) for the past 5 years. Has taken part in the monthly workshops and performed in the annual day functions.
Performed at the 44th anniversary celebrations of Doordarshan (Live telecast) held on the 16th of September, 2003 at Raja Annamalai Mandram.
Choreographed a variety dance for Chettinad Vidyashram & Anna Gem Science Park Schools with 50children, for the annual day function.Mar-2006, Performed in the festival at Government Music College chennai, organized by the Tamilnadu government.
Given lot of Solo performances in many Temples, Fairs & other cultural events. Performed in Natyanjali festivals held at, Chidambaram, Tanjore, Nagapattinam, Thirunallar Kumbakonam and Kalahasthi.
Presently doing nattuvangam for the upcoming artists like Smitha Madhav, Sailaja (Kuchipudi)...
In 2011 Performed in Raja Rajeswaram 1000 at Tanjore big temple.
Sep - Nov 2003 toured U.S.A & Canada along with cine fame, dancer Padmasree. Ms.Shobana, to perform the dance production 'Sampradaya'.
Sep - Nov 2004 toured U.S.A for performing a dance ballet called "Gajamukha", the same has been performed at 26 cities in America. Also conducted many workshops & lec-dems during the tour.
March 2007 toured Srilanka with Cine fame, dancer Padmasree. Ms.Shobana's group for performance.
May 2007 toured France with Cine fame, dancer Padmasree. Ms.Shobana's group for performance.
Aug - Oct 2007 toured U.S with Cine fame, dancer Padmasree. Ms.Shobana's group for performing Dance ballet " Maya Ravan ".
Dec 8th 2007 Performed at Abudhabi Palace along with Actor Dancer Ms. Shobana, on occasion of the Asian Business Award function.
She is the recipient of " NATYA KALA VIPANCHEE " Award in 2010, awarded by the great music maestro Dr.Balamurali Krishna and Dr.Saraswathy on 31.12.10.
In 2003 Natyakalalayam has awarded " NATYA KALA RATNA ", The award was presented by Violin Maestro Shri.Kunnakudy R.Vaithyanathan.
In 2001 Shivakalalayam has awarded the title " SHIVAKALAMANI " for successful completion of Diploma in Bharathanatyam.
Received " NITHYA BHARATHA JYOTHI " from Nrithya Barathanjali's director Guru.R.Padma.
As they say, high achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation by setting high standards and expectations for herself, she continues to scale heights in her own way. To put it in simple terms, Dance runs in her blood.