1965-1966 : Guru. Late Mangudi Durai Raj Iyer - Gajjai Pooja

1966-1982 : Guru. Sri. P.S. Kunchitapadam Pillai

1966 : Arangetram, Chidambaram Temple

1982-1999 : Guru. Shree Adyar K. Lakshman - Nritta
Guru.Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan - Abhinaya

1984-1986 : Smt. Kamalarani, Kalakshetra - Nattuvangam

1985 : Sri V.P. Dhananjayan - Dance Theory (Distinction)

1985 : Dr. Padma Subramaniam, Teachers' Training (First Class)

 


Sensitive Offerings:
Bragha has a simple, unassuming presence, until she begins to weave magic on her audience with her sophisticated mimetic skills.

Her eyes are so eloquent, one glance enough to convey the depth of admiration for the nayaka or the pain of separation from Him.......Her talent has been honed to a rare refinement.......She understands the power of subtlety, where less works better than the converse.

The Sankarabarnam tillana in Adi talam became the most vibrant piece, where music, dance and rhythm came together in a scintillating finale.

- The Hindu, Friday, January 20. 2006

'Exceptional Recital'
It is called Transformation... which is what happens to both audience and the dancer when Bragha does her Bharatanatyam.

One often speaks of stage presence but here the presence is only of the dance.

She has a potency, an insight which sings and dances with a glory and splendour in which the body ceases to be, and the dancer becomes the dance.

Nandisoll blossoms into a dance statement of beauty and power ...

The fire of total involvement in the dancer is on a different plane altogether...

The dancer's nritta, apart from the perfection of her jumps and line, exudes a great joy.

The little 'arudi-s' were examples of rhythmic beauty and strength... The dancer's abhinaya was superb. She displayed amazing ability to hold a moment in stillness and silence... A neat Tillana in Paras provided the finishing touch to an exceptional recital. Bragha does her Gurus proud.

- The Hindu-January 8, 1999

 

She is very good in nritta and great in abhinaya. I've never seen, in my half a century of knowledgeable dance-viewing, a better essaying of "Ramo nama babhuva (Some years ago in the Music Academy mini hall) and Idaivida and Payyada a while ago for Narada Gana Sabha.

In her exposition of the emotive content, she was slow, sure and absolutely riveting.

Bragha Bessell is a rare joy for dance and dancers alike. Her concentration, her constant striving for perfection...
Her dance indeed was a many-splendoured thing.

- Sruti March 1999

'Excellent choreography'

Vande Mataram Varnam was presented in fine manner by Bragha, Her nritta was marked with firmness...

The theermanams were rendered in a gripping manner... Bragha's depiction of the changing moods of the divine couple was done skilfully.

- The Hindu- September 26, 1997.

Bragha : her nritta was marked with firmness and neat execution: especially the theermanams were rendered in a gripping manner.

The Hindu, Friday, September 26, 1997

She has something far more potent, and that is an inside which sings and dances with a glory and splendour in which the body ceases to be, and the dancer becomes the dance.

- Exceptional Recital

An experience of a life time
Humble to a fault, this dancer attributes all her proficiency to her two gurus, Kunchitapadam in her initial years and, now for several years, Adyar Lakshmanan.

If any proof were needed that the Devi of dance in all her burnished glory and fullness prefers that patra or vessel which has no ego, then Bragha is the standing example.

- The Hindu, Friday, October 29, 1999

Here is a dancer totally unconcerned with being pretty on the stage.

Bragha's art. Her Bharatanatyam is a jewel to be treasured.

BRAGHA NEW REVIEWS 2008
There was considerable crowds at the Music Academy, and Kalanidhi Narayanan along with Bragha Bessell did not disappoint………..

the apt demonstration by Bragha Bessell proved the ability and experience she gained from her guru.

a small girl stood before our eyes, not as Bragha Bessel depicted Mugdha Naayika in the javali apadooruku.

Kalanidhi along with Bragha's wonderful training under her made it an eye opener to all aspiring artists.

New Indian Express January 15th, 2008

Bragha excelled in the subtle shades that produce memorable cameos of a lover.......her last look — where the sad nayika, despite having told her sakhi she does not want to see her lover now that her beauty and enthusiasm have all wasted away, still is obviously anxious to catch a glimpse of him — was poignant.

The Hindu - January 25th, 2008

Bragha Bessell's wonderfully mobile features effortlessly communicated a child bride's fear (bhayanaka) of the unknown in her reluctance to approach the bridal chamber in 'Nandhetiki Pommanere' (Pantuvarali).

The Hindu- December 21st, 2007

Bragha Bessell is never static ……. She drew the rapt audience into the narrative poems, enriching and interpreting the nuances, complexity and richness of ancient padams.

She pulled you in like a magnatic force, setting standards of originality, innovation, deep study and excellence. Very simply, this is abhinaya at its finest and Bragha is at the height of her powers. She cast a spell of the audience as she used her amazing mobile face and gestures to spin stories of a woman's love……..

Bragha has a deep insight, intuition, intellect, an emotional epiphany as she reveals the various literary nuances of the padams. ………exquisitely rendered padams, she always portrays the right emotion for each moment rendering it timeless.


Bragha over the past two months ….intensive workshop and …….the delicate grace and emotive padams taught by Bragha in her workshops, …….it was evident that the students had learnt well at the feet of the guru and the result was a performance hard to stop thinking about. I have been watching these dancers over the years and I found that even though there was pure technique and creativity, now there was an added depth of understanding, a context, and an understanding of character whether it was passion , coyness, longing, or desolation , so much so that the evening became provocative, perceptive and spiritual.

Indian Post News Service – Los Angeles 25/10/2006

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