Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai

Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai

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Category: Art

Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai Profile

  • Name:
  • Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai
  • Spouse:
  • Gyana Soundiran

Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai Biography

Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiyah Pillai was a famous Bharathanatyam teacher from Vazhuvoor, Tamil Nadu, fondly called Vazhuvoorar (his native place). He has given many innovative trials in Bharatanatyam dance form. Vazhuvoorar School of Classical Dance & Music is an endeavor to revive the fame & charisma of this artist. Padmashri, Isai Perarignar in 1961, Kalaimamani award by Government of Tamil Nadu, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1966, Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1979 and Naatya Kala Kesari are the major awards received by Vazhuvoorar. This artist is also known for popularizing Vazhuvoor bani, which he used to carry since his childhood days.


He was born in 1910 to Parthiban and Bagyathammal in Vazhuvoor in the Kuthalam taluk of Nagapattinam District. He took formal lessons in Nattuvangam and Bharatanatyam from his maternal uncle Maanikka Nattuvanar. He was also an expert in Vazhuvoor bani, which has been carried over to many generations by his ancestors. Vazhuvoor is also known for popularizing Bharatnatyam to some extend and has introduced many innovative steps to this dance form. Rama Natak Kiruti, Tyagaraya Swami Kiruti, Bharathiyar songs, Kutralak Kuravanji, Arunachala Kavi songs, Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi songs etc are among his initiatives to this dance form. His songs have been performed by his students on stage as inspiration to freedom struggle movement, at a time when Bharathiyar's songs were banned by British.


He was married to Gyana Soundiran and had three sons and two daughters. Some of his noted disciples include Lalitha and Padmini of the famous Bharatnatyam trio, apart from Bollywood star Vyjayanthimala and some of the leading dancers like Padma Subrahmanyam, Kanaka Srinivasan, Chitra Visweswaran, Hemamalini Arni etc. He belonged to a family with a musical lineage over 1000 years. His son Vazhuvoor Manikka Vinayakam is a playback singer and character artist associated with Tamil cinema.

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Updated: January 19, 2016


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