Torchbearer of Master’s Legacy

Guru Manjula Ramaswamy has proved that it is not only sons who carry forward the legacy of their fathers, but even daughters do. Guru V.S. Ramamoorthy’s words echo that ‘Every soul on this earth is born for a purpose’, and the visionary saw in his daughter a torchbearer, when he handed over the reins of Sri Rama Nataka Niketan, to propagate the 2,000-year-old dance form Bharatanatyam, across the globe. Many of the students, who have passed out from here will vouch that Sri Rama Nataka Niketan is not a school where dance is taught, but a home for all of them. Being far away from it for a period of seven days makes most of them homesick. Both father and daughter have trained over 2K students over the past 50 years. 

Guru Manjula Ramaswamy, who is addressed as ‘Teacher’, is a perfectionist. According to her students, “Whether it is dance or life, Teacher has taught us to be the best versions of ourselves and never settle for less than that. There is not a single day in class where we go back home without a moral lesson.” It is said that students at Sri Rama Nataka Niketan not only learn dance, but are also inculcated discipline, manners, ethics, responsibilities and many more things by their beloved teacher.

The director of Sri Rama Nataka Niketan is a gold medallist in Masters in Performing Arts from the Hyderabad Central University, one of the best nattuvanars, who took Sri Rama Nataka Niketan to great heights, etching a place in the Limca Book of Records, India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, World Records India, Elite World Records, World Amazing Records, The Unique World Records etc.

Guru Smt. Manjula Ramaswamy was born to Guru Sri V.S. Ramamoorthy and Smt. Rajalakshmi, on 28 March, 1958 in the village of Vishnampettai, Tamil Nadu. She started learning dance at the age of eight under her father, Guru Sri V.S. Ramamoorthy and showed unbelievable grip over talam (rhythm). She excelled at school and dance along with going to the Ramakrishna Mutt regularly to listen to spiritual discourses. At the age of 21, she married Mr. Ramaswamy Iyer, and they have been blessed with two beautiful daughters. Hats off to this ever-smiling gutsy lady, who is an ideal daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and above all a great Guru, and all her students propagating the art form will remain forever grateful to her.

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