Murugashankari Leo

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Murugashankari Leo
Murugashankari Leo, Bharatanatyam Danseuse
Born Murugashankari.L
1983 Chennai, India
Occupation Bharatanatyam Danseuse, Research Scholar & Theater Actor
Years active 2000 - Present
Children None
Parent(s) 'Kalaimamani' Leo Prabu, Usha Prabu

Murugashankari Leo is an accomplished Bharatanatyam artiste, teacher, theatre actor and research scholar. Bharatantyam is an ancient Indian classical dance form which is known for its beauty, grace and uniqueness. Murugashankari performs this world renowned art form Bharatanatyam and has given many recitals across India and in other countries. She runs an instituition Kalai Koodam - Academy of Performing Arts in Chennai where training in Bharatanatyam is imparted. She is also trained in Carnatic music and Nattuvangam.


Early life[edit]

Murugashankari hails from a family of artistes. Her father Leo Prabu is a dramatist, Television Personality and a cine actor in Tamil movies. He is the recipient of ‘Kalaimamani’, the highest state award by the government of Tamil Nadu for Tamil Theater. His achievements as an actor is well known in Tamil Nadu, India. Murugashankari is an alumnus of Adarsh Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Chennai and went on to do her Chemical Engineering from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering.

Dance career[edit]


Performance in Bangalore

According to the Guru-Shishya Parampara Murugashankari started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 5 from the legendary dance teacher ‘Kalaimamani’ K.J.Sarasa. Later she completed her Arangetram (debut performance) under the guidance of the illustrious teacher ‘Kalaimamani’ Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala. Though she was a Chemical Engineer by education, Murugashankari made the conscious decision of pursuing her passion and following her dreams. She completed her Masters in Bharatanatyam from the Bharathidasan University and is now a Research scholar.

Concert tours[edit]

Murugashankari has performed in all major sabhas and prestigious dance festivals all over India and has presented her concerts in Malaysia and Singapore. A list of a few select concerts

During Performance at Naada Neerajanam, Tirumala Tirupathi
  • Chidambaram Natyanjali
  • Mamallapuram dance festival by Tamil Nadu Tourism Department,
  • Natarani Festival in Ahmedabad by Darpana and WZCC,
  • Uday Shankar Festival in Kolkata,
  • Thrice at Naada Neerajanam at Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam which was live telecasted across 30 countries in TTDC channel,
  • Charity concerts in Kapar, Shah Alam and Penang, Malaysia
  • Twice at SIFAS Music and Dance Festival at Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Singapore
  • Nalanda Nrithyotsava, Mumbai
  • Nrithyabharathi Dance Festival, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Ninad Concert Series, Mumbai
  • Vasundharotsava, Mysore
  • Cuttack International Dance festival, Cuttack, Orissa
  • Kinkini Festival, Mumbai
  • Natya Vizha by Dept. Of Art and Culture,Pondicherry
  • SPRING FESTIVAL at India International Center, New Delhi

Awards and Credentials[edit]

In Hyderabad
  • Graded artiste of Chennai Doordarshan
  • NATYA KALA VIPANCHEE conferred by VIPANCHEE trust received from Dr. Balamuralikrishna for outstanding contribution to Indian classical dances.
  • "WORLD DANCE DAY PURASKAR" by Natraj Music and Dance academy, Member of International dance council UNESCO, Vishakapatnam.
  • Parichay's NATIONAL EXCELLENCY AWARD 2012, from the Hon'ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Odisha and the Hon'ble Minister of Culture and Tourism, Odisha
  • Was honoured with the title 'Naattiya Thilagam' in Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Was Conferred the title NARTHANA SHIRONMANI by SALANGAI OLI TRUST, Chennai in 2012.
  • Was Selected to be promoted by TAMIL NADU IYAL ISAI NATAKA MANDRAM as one of the young talented dancers for the year 2006.
  • Best Performer Award from Parthasarathi Swami Sabha in 2012, during their 112th Year
  • Was selected as one of the best dancers in the SOUTH ZONE MUSIC AND DANCE CONFERENCE conducted by THE INDIAN FINE ARTS SOCIETY.

Theater Actor[edit]

Murugashankari played the lead in Stage Image's latest Tamil Drama Neruppu Kolangal. This play was very well received in Chennai, with articles in the press commending the play and Murugashankari's acting in it. This play incorporates in it, the classical dance and a song both rendered by Murugashankari which is its unique attraction.


  1. Official website
  2. Friday Review, The Hindu, Bangalore, May 8th, 2015
  3. City Express, Supplement of The New Indian Express, Chennai, Jan 13th, 2014
  4. Friday Review, The Hindu, Chennai
  5. Friday Review, The Hindu, Tiruchirapalli
  6. Performance Glimpse
    Afternoon D&C, Mumbai
  8. Friday Review, The Hindu, Andhra Pradesh, Jan 3rd 2014
  9. TedX Talk Video of Murugashankari
  10. Interview of Murugashankari in Kalaignar Television
  11. Murugashankari featured in the News segment in Vasantham Television, Singapore
  12. Murugashankari featured in the show 'Talam-Indian Beat' in Vasantham Television, Singapore
  13. Review/Report of one of Murugashankari's recitals.
  14. Murugashankari's performance review in Friday Review of THE HINDU, 25 July 2014.
  15. Murugashankari's performance review in Friday Review of THE HINDU, 7 May 2015.
  16. A Report about Tamizharasi Kuravanci by Murugashankari and her disciple (students of Kalai Koodam) in the Indian Express on 12th May 2015. A Report about Tamizharasi Kuravanci by Murugashankari and her disciple (students of Kalai Koodam) in the FRIDAY REVIEW, THE HINDU, on 15th May 2015.

Further reading[edit] Website featuring leading exponents of Bharatanatyam Interview in a Website which contains information of Indian classical dancers.

External links[edit]