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Born1 May 1949
Died30 November 2013(2013-11-30) (aged 64)
Other namesRaghuram Master
Years active1949-2001
ChildrenSuja Raguram
Gayathri Raghuram

Raghuram (1 May 1949[citation needed] – 30 November 2013) was an Indian dance choreographer, who choreographed more than a thousand songs in Indian films across various languages.[1] He was born into a Tamil Brahmin Iyer family and is the grandson of actor Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam.


Raghuram began learning Kathakali, aged five from prominent dance expert Guru Gopinath, and then in 1956, he switched to learning Bharata Natyam under danseuse K. J. Sarasa. He learnt dance along with Jayaram Jayalalithaa, with the pair both having their arangetram (debut) in 1960.[2] It was during a duet performance with Jayalalithaa that Raghuram was asked to assist dance director A. K. Chopra for an M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) movie. He then started out on his own in 1974 and went on to choreograph Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi movies. He has worked on several films with Kamal Haasan, early on in his career, choreographing celebrated work in Sagara Sangamam (1983) about a classical dancer, and in the romantic Hindi film Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981).[3]

Raghuram also went on the direct the 1995 Bengali film, Bhagya Debata, starring Mithun Chakraborty and Rajinikanth. He then featured alongside Kamal Haasan in Dasavathaaram (2008) as Appa Rao, a comedy cop.[4] In 2000, he began work on a film on friendship starring Abbas, Vineeth and his daughter Suja Raghuram, but the film was later shelved.[5] In 2012, an event named Amma Appa Guru Deivam was held to felicitate Raghuram's fiftieth year in the film industry. The event, heralded a success by the media, featured dance performances from actors and speeches from other film personalities.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Raghuram was born into an Iyer family and is the grandson of Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam, a Tamil film director of the 1930s, while his aunt Padma Subrahmanyam is a prominent classical dancer. Raghuram married Girija, another choreographer, and helped her sisters Jayanthi, Kala and Brindha make their breakthrough in the industry. He has two daughters, who are also involved in the film industry. His first daughter, Suja, appeared in Kannada and Malayalam language films while also being a prominent television actress.[8] Gayathri Raghuram, his second daughter, has also appeared in films as an actress and a choreographer.


Raghuram died on 30 November 2013, following a heart attack at his Chennai home.[9][10]


As actor[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1996 Avvai Shanmughi as himself (special appearance)
2008 Dasavathaaram Appa Rao

As director[edit]

Year Film Language Notes
1985 Viswanathan Velai Venum Tamil [11]
1995 Bhagya Debata Bengali


Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Year Film Category Outcome Ref
1992 Thevar Magan Best Choreographer Won


  1. ^ "Veteran choreographer Raghuram passes away". Bollywoodlife.com. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  2. ^ S. SHIVPPRASADH. "Nattuvanar of rare calibre". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  3. ^ TNN 21 Apr 2012, 02.46AM IST (21 April 2012). "Man who gave Kamal his moves celebrates a milestone". Times of India. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Bhagya Debata (1995) : Cast And Crew Details | Bengali Tollywood Movies | Bengali Movies | Bengali Film | Bengali Cinema". Bengalitollywood.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20040302195309/http://cinematoday2.itgo.com/33Hot%20News%20Just%20for%20U4.htm
  6. ^ "Raghuram master honoured". Sify.com. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  7. ^ "A tribute to master Raghuram". The Times of India. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ "teacher of narthanashala". Narthanashala.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Raghuram Master dies of heart attack!". Sify.com. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Choreographer Raghuram passes away". The Hindu. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Choreographer Raghuram Passes Away". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 December 2014.

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