Alarmel Valli is a foremost exponent of the Pandanallur tradition in BharataNatyam. She is hailed as a creative artist who brings depth, intensity and naturalness to her work. She has won laurels several times in the major festivals in India and in almost all the cultural capitals of the world.
Born in 1957, Valli at the age of 16 was invited to perform at the International Dance Festival, of the Sarah Bernardt Theatre De La Ville in Paris. From then on she has toured widely and received acclaim for her performances in leading theatres almost all over the world. Along with the performances she has also given lecture demonstrations, classes, workshops and seminars and has helped to create an international awareness of Bharatanatyam.
Alarmel Valli was trained by renowned gurus, Shri Chokkalingam Pillai and his son Shri Subbaraya Pillai. Valli has studied ‘ Padams’ and ‘ Javalis’ for many years under the eminent musician Smt.T.Muktha, of the renowned Veena Dhanammal style of music. She has also learned Odissi under renowned Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and his disciple Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena.
Valli has done research for around 12 years on classical Tamil anthologies of Sangam poetry (2000 years old) and she has worked to give the richness of the poems a visual and melodic dimension. Valli has evolved her own distinct style and extended her tradition within the broad framework of classical Bharatanatyam.
Awards & Titles
• 1969:The title of “Natyakalabhushanam” from the Indian Fine Arts Society.
• 1973:The title of ‘Singar Mani’ from the Sur Singar Sammelan, Bombay.
• 1975:Nrithyajothi from the Kalaniketan, Madras
• 1976:Bharatakala Tatvaprakasini from Chidambaram Devasthanam
• 1979: State award of Kalaimamani from Tamilnadu Government
• 1980: Nrithya Vikas, from Sur Singar, Bombay
• 1985: Nritya Choodamani, from the Krishna Gana Sabha (Madras).
• 1990: Adal Arasi, from The Tamilnadu Foundation, New Jersey, USA
• 1991: Padma Sri
• 1996: Nritya Urvashi, from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh
• 1997: Awarded the Grande Medaille (Medal) by the City of Paris.
• 2002: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
• 2003: Honoured by the Lalitha Kala Vedika Trust – Chennai
• 2003: Nritya Ratna from the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan Kendra -Coimbatore
• 2004: Padma Bhushan
• 2004: Chevalier of Arts and Letters award from the French Government
• 2008:Padma Sadhana from the Padma Sarangapani Cultural Academy, Chennai