Urmila Sathyanarayanan


Urmila Sathyanarayanan is one of India’s finest dancers of Barata Natyam, the classical dance from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Urmila has received rave reviews and international acclaim for the perfection and joy of her dance and her captivating stage presence. She is praised for her crisp and precise footwork, the spontaneity and vivaciousness of her facial expressions, her graceful poses, and her deep aramandi (plié position) which is one of the hallmarks of this dance style.

Urmila is also an astute choreographer and has conceptualized, choreographed and presented close to a dozen of her own original thematic productions to high critical acclaim.

Urmila has been performing at the professional level for over two decades. She performs regularly at all the prominent dance festivals across India. She has also toured extensively in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, and South Africa. Urmila is an empanelled artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and an ‘A Top’ grade Artist of Doordarshan (Indian public television).

Musical Training

Urmila has been trained by some of India’s most eminent dance masters. She had undergone her initial training under the late Guru K.N. Dandayudapani Pillai and was later groomed under Guru K.J. Sarasa.

Awards & Titles

Urmila has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Kalaimamani award in 1997, Nritya Choodamani Award in 2001, and the National Eminence Award in 2003 to name only a few. In 2009 the Indian Fine Arts Society awarded her the Best Natyacharya award in recognition of her excellence in teaching, and in 2010, Natya Kalasikhamani or her contribution to the dance field. In addition to her busy performance schedule, Urmila runs a successful dance school in Chennai (Madras) known for its high standards.