KalaBhavanam – Family Art Hub


Krishangini [Mother]

“Krishangini” (Brindha Nagarajan) is a popular and well known Tamil writer, Poet and a critic. Her short stories generally appear in literary magazines such as Deepam, Kanaiyazhi, Gnanaratham, Ragam, Suba-mangala, Naveena Vriksham, Puthia Paarvai, Sundara Sukan, Kanavu, Arumbu etc. Her modern poems have been published in popular journals such as India Today- (Tamil edition) Kalki, Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam, Dinamani Kathir etc. as well as in literary magazines.

Many of her articles and reviews on painting, dance (Barathanatyam) and literature have appeared in weeklies such as Dinamani, Sudesamitran, Nunkalai (Tami Nadu’s painting & arts committee), Dinakaran etc and in internet magazines such as Aaraamthinai, Min-ambalam, Thisaikal, Thinnai, Tamil Murasu [Singapore]. Her poems and short stories have been translated into Hindi, English and other languages.

Her short stories have been identified as subjects for M.Phil research for many universities in Tamil Nadu.


· Senior fellowship award for the year 2002-2004 by the Arts & Cultural Centre of the Human Rights commission, for which she has presented a research work on the topic ‘The ideas, topics and approach adopted by women writers in modern poetry (Tamil) written after the 1950s’.

· Kavingnar Devamakal Trust awarded the “Kavichiraku” title for the year 2002 for her poetry collection “Kaanal Chathuram” (1998).

· Her short story collection “Samakala-P-Pullikal” was chosen for the second prize instituted by the Tamil Nadu Government’s Tamil Development department for the year 1998 and a certificate with cash prize was awarded in 2000.

To read her works please visit - http://krishangini.blogspot.ca

A.Nagarajan [Father]

A.Nagarajan got inspired and introduced to the painting world by painter K.Srinivasulu one of the big names in Tamilnadu, had his 1st class diploma in painting from Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai in 1960 under the tutelage of K.C.S.Panikkar.

He was in the group under K.Srinivasulu who painted the backdrops for kalakshetra Foundation’s dance dramas. He also acted in Kalakshetra’s productions such as “Sakunthalam”

He has participated in many exhibitions in India and abroad and had solo shows. His works are with museums of Chennai and Pondicherry, Lalit kala akademi (Delhi,Chennai) and many private collectors around the world

He was the president of the art group “Pon-Art circle” during 1981-86 at Pondicherry which gathered and had ‘cultural get-to-gather’ every month and held group shows.

For more information please visit - http://artistnagarajan.com/

R.Ananthanarayana Iyer (Paternal Grand Father)

Ananthanarayana [Late, 1900 to 1976] began his teaching profession in Pazhani municipal high school. Later, joined the Rishi Valley school, Krishnamurti foundations, after which he moved to Chennai to teach in Besant Theosophical High School where he worked till his retirement in 1960. His deep interest in drama made him take up acting as a main hobby. He joined a group of friends and became part of the amateur drama group in 1940s. He was very popular in playing women roles. His acting as lady villain character was much looked forward and was well appreciated. He penned many dramas and staged them. He took mythological stories, social and educative subjects as themes for his dramas and gave opportunity to the students in large number to act.

Poorani [Maternal Grand Mother]

Poorani [17. 10 .1913 to 17. 11. 2013] started writing poems from her early ages though she did not complete her schooling. She worked to socially uplift women by encouraging & educating them in 1930s at Dharapuram- Tamil Nadu, through ‘Madhar Sangam’ [women organization] in her hometown after marriage. Poorani has written Pro Indian freedom struggle songs / poetries in 1930 & 40s. She has also showed her support for widow’s life improvements in her village during that period. She, a dynamic personality studied Hindi and taught this language to others. She was writing till her last days and she was a voracious reader. Two of her books have been published, one a poem collection and the other her autobiography ‘Poorani Ninaivalaigal’.

To read her works please visit her blog - http://pooranipages.blogspot.ca/

Krishnaveni Lakshamanan [Paternal Aunt]

Krishnaveni Lakshmanan [1942 – 2004] started learning dance in a very young age at Kalakshetra after Rukmini Devi Arundale noticed her talent and encouraged her to dance. She was the lead dancer in most of the dance dramas produced by Rukmini devi at Kalakshetra. Some of them are the RAMAYANA dance drama series, GEETHA GOVINDAM, KUTRALA KURAVANJI, KANNAPPAR KURAVANJI, AJAMILOPAKYANAM, ANDAL CHARITRAM. Krishnaveni spent all her life at Kalakshetra first as a student, then as a lecture and finally the principal of the institution for a brief period.

Krishnaveni Lakshmanan had many students outside kalakshetra. They came from different countries. She has choreographed dance dramas and many short productions her self. Some of them are KUMBESWARAR KURAVANJI, BHATA JAYADEVA, and PANCHALI SAPATHAM. She also traveled to many countries to perform and teach. Many dancers carry on Krishnaveni Lakshmanan’s legacy with respect till to date.


· ‘Kalaimamani’ – Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram, 2003
· ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’ - India, 1998
· ‘UNESCO Medal’- Paris, 1984
· ‘Nritya Choodamani’ - Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai, 1976


K V Ramasamy (Maternal Uncle)

K V Ramasamy [late, 1935 to 1995] A poet inspired by Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, wrote poems in free verse form. He began staging street dramas and was a pioneer for modern theatre in Chennai during 1970s. He was the chief Editor for ‘Gnanaratham’ a literary monthly in Tamil in 1970s. He was known as K.V.R. in Tamil literary circle. He translated a drama from Marathi “Maha Nirvan” by Satish Alekar in Tamil.

Uma Sundaram (Paternal Aunt)

Uma Sundaram, [Late, 1945 to 2006] learned Bharatanatyam in kalakshetra as a part time student. Later, she began a dance school in Chennai and taught Bharatanatyam to local and foreign students. She also visited other countries to teach students. She conducted dance performances by playing Nattuvangam for another well know dancers. She was known for her works in and around Chennai.

R.M.Sundaram (Husband of Aunt Uma Sundaram)

R.M.Sundaram is a person who loves to act in dramas. He joined as a member of ‘Viveka Fine Arts Club’- drama group, during his college days. Later he became part of the cast in this drama troupe which was under Cho Ramasamy‘s lead and direction. Sundaram acted in many number of plays in 1970s to 80s written by ‘Cho’Ramasamy – Playwright, comedian, actor, journalist, editor of ‘Thugluk’ a Tamil magazine.

Gayatri Balagurunathan [Cousin Sister]

Gayatri Balagurunathan [Daughter of Krishnaveni Lakshmanan] had a love for dance as she grew up watching her mother at Kalakshetra. She has done her MA in Bharatanatyam and is successfully running a dance school in Chennai along with her dancing husband Balagurunathan. They have performed and traveled to many countries as a dancing couple. They have many awards and press reviews to their credits. For more information, please visit - http://www.sabhash.com/artist/53/gayatri-balagurunathan.htm

Archana Ramasamy [Cousin Sister]

Archana Ramasamy [Daughter of K V Ramasamy] is a lover of bharatanatyam, and an actor in theaters and films. She has watched her father very active in street theaters and took to acting. She has been a freelance dancer and has traveled around the world with many well know dancers like Shobana Chandrakumar , Ambika Kameshwaran. She has acted in many Tamil short films & feature films. Archana has done very many character roles for some prominent theater directors in English and Tamil.


· Titania and Hippolyta in the British Council production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (English), Director: Tim Supple.
· Lady Macbeth in Crossings (Dance-theatre production, language: English), Group: Ranan, Director: Vikram Iyengar
· Avvai in Avvai (Tamil) by Inquilab. Group: Voicing Silence, Director: A. Mangai
· Madhugarika in Muttrugai (Bhagavadajjugiyam, Tamil). Group: Koothu-p-pattarai, Director: V. Arumugam


· Tamarai in Ayudha Ezhuthu, a feature film, Director: Manirathnam
· Sundari in Kaacha Maram, telefim, Director: Suhasini Manirathnam
· Mother in Amma, a documentary on Aids Awareness for M.G.R. Medical Unit, Director: Rohini
· Rukmini in film Oorukku Nooru Per. Director: B. Lenin

Neela Sukhanya Srinivasan [Cousin Sister]

Neela Sukhanya [Daughter of Uma Sundaram] is a dance rhythm conductor and conducts Nattuvangam for professional solo dancer dancers and dance groups based in Chennai, India. She was trained in dance under her mother and vocal music under other gurus. Neela started her career in Nattuvangam in 1991 for Malavika Sarukkai and has conducted Nattuvangam for other professional dancers like Priyadarshini Govind many more. She has toured with the performers to many countries like the Australia, Europe, The US, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and South America.