Gayathri Keshavan, a Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher and composer, is the Director of Academy of Bharatanatyam, an institution founded and established by her father Sri. T K Narayan in 1948. Blessed to have been born to Sri T K Narayan and Smt. Jayalakshmi Narayan and having them as her Gurus in Bharatanatyam and Carnatic classical music, Gayatri wants to teach these art forms to elevate the soul to a spiritual level. The Narayans were the direct disciples of the highly revered and reputed Gurus of the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam, Sri Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and Sri Muthukumara Pillai.
A graduate in English Litt., Gayathri was the sole recipient of ‘The Government of India Scholarship’ for Bharatanatyam in 1973. Besides her dancing career, Gayathri received systematic training in Carnatic music and Veena for many years and has composed music and dance for several dance – dramas presented by her.
With a career spanning 55 years, Gayathri has the experience of dancing and teaching both in India and abroad. She was invited to perform and teach at various International Dance Festivals in Europe, USA and Mexico for many years. She was also the faculty member for the ‘Friends World Program’ of Long Island University (USA) for nearly a decade. Gayathri was awarded the ‘National Vocational Excellence ‘by the IISER, Bangalore. She was also the external examiner for the Post Graduation, Performing Arts students of Bangalore University and Jain University. She is also the member of the selection committee for CCRT, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
Many of her students have reached a professional level in Bharatanatyam and are also teaching in different parts of the world. Apart from conducting many Arangetrams, she has also staged major dance productions like ‘Andal Pasuram’, ‘Sant Darshan’, ‘Hari Om Shivam’, ‘Ramayanam’, ‘Dashavataram’, ‘Kutrala Kuravanji’ etc.
The versatile dancer has also authored and published a book titled ‘Bharatanatyam Adavus’ giving details of each and every step of the traditional Pandanallur style. The book is available in all the major online outlets. Today, her daughters – Maithreyi and Mathangi are continuing the family tradition as artistes of the fourth generation of Guru-Shishya Parampara.