Profile and Awards

Kalaimamani Bala Devi Chandrashekar is a Bharatanatyam exponent and research scholar. Bala is known for her distinct scholarly style and takes on subjects based on ancient texts supported by intense research. She collaborates with renowned scholars in their respective fields, carving messages from scriptures relevant to the contemporary world and actively presenting this form worldwide.

Bala Devi's lineage is from a family of philosophers and literary scholars. Through her classical dance, she strives to interpret ancient philosophical and esoteric concepts and present them in a distinct classical style that is always contemporary in interpretation and communicates across cultures. Bala started her initial training under Guru Jayalakshmi Narayanan in Hyderabad and then went on to learn with Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam in Chennai. She is the recipient of several awards, including Kalaimamani - Tamil Nadu Govt., Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam - " Bharata Nritya Seva Mani" "Natya Choodamani, Guru Debaprasad’s “ Nrutya Ratna '' award, Andhra Pradesh Govt," "Natya Kala Bharathi" - Thanjavur, "Vishwa Kalabharathi "- Kala Bharathi, Vizag, "Kala Rathna" - KalaPrakash, Varanasi, "Bharatha Kala Vani" - Dr. TN Ramachandran and Dr. Kodavayil Balasubramanian, "Thalaikkoli" - Rajasri Rajah S. Babaji Rajah Bhonsle Senior prince of Thanjavur palace, "Nritya Seva Mani" - Cleveland Aradhana, "Drishti Puraskar" - Drishti Arts Foundation, "Nritya Kala Ranjani" - Rasika Ranjani, Kumbakonam.

Bala is one of the few Bharatanatyam artists worldwide to have released nine critically acclaimed productions. These productions are Nandanar Charithram, MLV favorites, Krishnaarpanam, Vishwam: The Omnipresent, Uddhava Gita: Lord Krishna's last message, Tripura - Divine Feminine, Karna: Destiny's Child, Brihadeeswara: Form to formless & Padmavati - an Avatar. All her productions are accompanied by exceptional world-class music. Bala consistently performs at several prestigious venues across India, the USA, Europe, and the Middle East.

Bala Devi Chandrashekar has given over 300 performances across 30 countries. Bala is an empaneled artist of the ICCR, New Delhi, and an approved artist by the Ministry of Culture, Govt, of India for overseas performances.

In a unique honor, Bala is one of the few Bharatanatyam dancers in the world to have presented her " Brihadeeswara - Form to formless, through eyes of a Devaradiyal " ( based on the 1000-year-old UNESCO Heritage site, The Thanjavur Big Temple) at the UNESCO head office in Paris in June 2019, as a part of the world heritage week celebrations. The show was attended by over 500 art enthusiasts, including ambassadors and dignitaries.

As a Professor of Practice, Bala is constantly developing “Performing studies” in collaboration with Theater and Dance, History, Philosophy, Linguistic anthropology, and South Asian Departments of various Universities in the United States and served as a Fellow and Artist in Residence at The Carl A fields Center@Princeton University. Bala Devi in partnership with Sangam festival - 501 c 3 not for profit charity, through art performances, has raised over $500,000 for various social and educational causes in the USA and India.