Roja Kannan is a Bharathanatyam artiste and is a very senior
disciple of the renowned Guru Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman and
Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Born in a family steeped in
rich musical tradition being the granddaughter of the renowned
musician Palghat Rama Bhagavathar she grew up in an
atmosphere of music and dance and started dancing even
before she started walking.
Her formal training started when she
was five years old at “ Natyalaya” the dance school of
Smt. Vyjayanthi Mala Bali where she came under the direct
tutelage of such illustrious gurus like Kavi Aravindakshan,
and Adyar K.Lakshman, in Bharathanatyam and
Trichur P.Ramanathan in Mohiniattam. She has also had intensive
Abhinaya (expressive dance) training from Smt. Kalanidhi
Narayanan since she was 15 at her dance school “Abhinaya
She performed her “ Arangetram” formal dance debut at the age of
12 and has not looked back ever since.
She has over three decades of Professional performing experience
and has hundreds of performancesand lecture demonstrations to
her credit both in India and abroad.
She has performed in all the major Cultural Festivals conducted by
Sabhas and Cultural Organisations all over the world. In July 2004, she
had the unique privilege of performing at the Jacob’s Pillow
International Festival Of Dance at Lee, Massuchusetts USA with very
senior artiste Lakshmi Viswanathan who was the only Asian to be
invited to perform at the Festival.
In November 2006 she was asked
to perform with the world renowned music group “Global Rhythms”
of the Miami University,Oxford, Ohio, USA at their Annual Festival
where she teamed up with students of the University and trained them in
numbers from the Bharathanatyam repertoire which they performed
in the Festival and also collaborated with Tap Dancers and performed
a neo Classical piece.
The “Best Dancer Award” from the Music Academy, Chennai in
December 2002 during their Platinum Jubilee Celebrations and the
P.Obul Reddy Endownment Award for the “Best Senior Dancer”
from Natyarangam the Dance wing of Narada Gana Sabha Trust
in August 2003 the title of “Nadana Kalaimani” from the Ramalingar
Pani Mandram, Chennai “Sathya Nrithya Sundaram” from the
Bharathanjali Trust, Chennai,”Natya Ilavarasi” from the Sree
Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha ,New Delhi and the title of
“Kala Seva Bharathi” from the Bharat Kalachar, and the Probus
Club “Woman Of Excellence Award” Chennai are some
of the awards and recognitions that she has received.
She is an empanelled artiste of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations
(ICCR) New Delhi and an “A” grade artiste with the Doordarshan, India,
the National Television Network.
She is also a much sought after Nattuvangam (Dance Conductor) artiste
by leading dancers and is well trained in Carnatic Indian Music.
She is serving as the General Secretary of ABHAI (Association of
Bharathanatyam Artistes of India) for the past seven years .She runs her
Own Academy of Dance & Music “Bharatha Natyalaya” at Chennai,
India where she is training over 100 students. She is also the dance tutor
at the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School,Mylapore,Chennai.