Kala (choreographer)

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Born (1971-04-25) 25 April 1971 (age 51)
Chennai, India
OccupationDance choreographer
reality television judge
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Govindarajan (m.1997; div.1999)
Mahesh (m.2004 – present)
ChildrenVidyuth (b.2007)
RelativesChoreographer Jayanthi (Sister)
Choreographer Girija (Sister)
Choreographer Brindha (Sister)
Choreographer Raghuram (Brother-in-law)
Actor/Choreographer Gayathri Raghuram(niece)
Choreographer Prasanna Sujit (Nephew)
Actress Suja Raghuram (Niece)
Anchor Keerthi (Niece)

Kala, known professionally as Kala Master, is an Indian choreographer. She is the director of the Indian reality dance talent show, Maanada Mayilada – where she is one of the three judges.[1] She was awarded the National Film Award for Best Choreography in 2000 for her folk dance sequences in the Malayalam film, Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal.[2][3]


A trained classical dancer, Kala, a school drop out, entered the film industry through the influence of her brother-in-law, the choreographer Raghuram. Making her debut as an assistant choreographer at the age of 12 in 1982, she got a break during the making of Punnagai Mannan in 1986 starring Kamal Haasan and Revathi, as director K. Balachander suggested Kala fill in for the busy Raghuram.[4] She was then chosen again by Balachandar as the lead choreographer for Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal (1989).

She has since worked in over 4000 songs in various languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada, Oriya, Bengali, English, Italian and Japanese. She has referred to the "Kozhi Koovum Neram achu" song in Azhagan as one of her leading pieces of work and also referred actress Bhanupriya as her favorite dancer. She was handed the opportunity to choreograph the Miss World 1996 Beauty Pageant held at Bangalore for which she received a special award of excellence. Moreover, she notes that a stage event in Malaysia featuring Prashanth and seven heroines, propelled her into fame. She was awarded the National Film Award for Best Choreography in 2000 for her folk dance sequences in the Malayalam film, Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal.[5] She became the first to start a cinematic dance school named Kala's Kalalaya which has five branches in Chennai. She manages it along with her sisters. Kala's merit is in popularising a peculiar dance form, cobbled together with borrowings from classical, Indian folk, bhangra and western steps.[6] She also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Choreographer for her work in Chandramukhi.

She has since gone to specialise in directing dance reality shows, notably Maanada Mayilada, which has finished nine seasons.[7] She is currently judging dance reality show Odi Vilayadu Papa in Kalaignar TV.

Selected filmography[edit]

Movie role year Ref.
Punnagai Mannan Choreographer 1986 [8]
Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal Choreographer 1989 [9]
Chandramukhi Choreographer 2005 [10]
Kaathu Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal Choreographer / Actor 2022 [11]

Personal life[edit]

Kala was born into a family of seven girls and revealed that she was brought up in a one-room house during her childhood. An elder sister Jayanthi, first started dancing and acted as heroine in two films – Uthiripookkal and Poottatha Pookkal. Kala’s second sister Girija, learned Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra; and went to work with choreographers Thangam and later Raghuram Master, whom she married later, and also become an independent choreographer. Kala was the sixth daughter, while Brinda, a leading choreographer, is her youngest sister.[12]

One of her nephews, Prasanna Sujit, is also a film choreographer. One of her niece Master Gayathri Raghuram, daughter of late Raghuram Master and her sister Girija is also a choreographer and an actor. She has also introduced her another niece Keerthi, daughter of Jayanthi Master and wife of actor Shanthanu Baghyaraj, as an anchor in her dance reality show Manada Mayilada.

Kala was previously married to UAE based businessman, Govindarajan in 1997, who is the brother of actress Sneha. Kala had initially shifted to Dubai after her marriage but problems prompted her to return to Chennai and take up choreographing again. The pair got divorced in 1999, and soon after Kala and Brindha controversially made derogatory comments about Sneha's dancing ability to a magazine.[13]

She married Mahesh in 2004. It was a love marriage. The couple has a son Vidyuth, born in 2007.


Year Show Role Notes Channel
2006 Jodi Number One (season 1) Herself Judge STAR Vijay
Super Dancer Herself Judge Amrita TV (Malayalam)
2007 Super Dancer 2 Herself Judge Amrita TV (Malayalam)
Super Dancer JUNIOR Herself Judge Amrita TV (Malayalam)
2008 Odi Vilayadu Papa Herself Director/ Judge Kalaignar TV
2008–2013 Maanada Mayilada (1-8 seasons) Herself Director / Judge Kalaignar TV
2014 D 4 Dance (Season 1) Herself Judge Mazhavil Manorama (Malayalam)


  1. ^ The dancing queen of Tamil TV – Rediff.com Movies. Movies.rediff.com (2010-07-13). Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  2. ^ "48th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  3. ^ 48th National Film Awards. nic.in
  4. ^ In her footsteps. The Hindu (2003-10-06). Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  5. ^ 48th National Film Awards. nic.in
  6. ^ Metro Plus Pondicherry / Interview : Master of moves. The Hindu (2005-10-29). Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  7. ^ Metro Plus Kochi / People : She makes them dance to her tunes. The Hindu (2008-10-27). Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  8. ^ Umashanker, Sudha (6 October 2003). "In her footsteps". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 January 2004. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Cinema Rendezvous – Come lets date- Kala Master & All That Jazz". Time Out. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Rajnikant, Kamal Haasan adjudged Best Actors". Screenindia. 28 September 2007. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  11. ^ "நயன்தாரா படம் மூலம் நடிகையாக அறிமுகமாகும் கலா மாஸ்டர்". maalaimalar.com (in Tamil). 22 October 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  12. ^ Ethiraj, Gopal. (2009-09-21) Sunday celebrity:Kala Master: she is ‘sagala Kala vallavi’. Asian Tribune. Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  13. ^ Tamil movies : Dancing sisters’ war dance against Sneha. Behindwoods.com (2006-07-07). Retrieved on 2013-11-30.

External links[edit]