Surendran the founder and managing trustee of Dharani
School of Performing Arts, set up 'Dharani'
to impart authentic training in Bharatha Natyam, Mohiniyattom, Veena
recital and Carnatic music.
Shyamala Surendran, married to Captain Surendran, could feel the
innate urge to blend her inclinations with the poise and grace of
the world around. As she traveled around the world with her 'Navy
man', Shyamala could feel her pulses rhyming with the gentle waves
of the valorous seas. No wonder she identified her eurthymic qualities;
and nothing less than learning and performing Bharatha Natyam could
pacify her. Shyamala has kept her dance dormant for ten years after
her marriage. At an informal function, when she performed an item
for Guru Raghavan Nair, at Bombay, in 1981, he saw the talent in
her and asked her to take up dance seriously. This remark and the
call of dancing were so strong that Captain Surendran expressed
his willingness to sail alone, leaving Shyamala to pursue her inner
desire. With their only son in a residential school and her husband
on the high seas, she was able to give her full time for dancing.
Shyamala Surendran had her training in dance intermittently in the
school and college at Kannur under Chemencherry Kunhiraman Nair
and Natyakalarathnam Srinivasan. She took up dance seriously only
at the age of 34 years under Sri. C.E. Janardhanan in Kochi and
later under the world-renowned dancing couple Sri. V.P. Dhananjayan
and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan of Chennai, at Cochin in 1982. She gave
her Arrangetrom in the Guruvayoor Temple, in 1984 and has given
several performances in Kerala. In 1986, she went over to Chennai
to learn further from the Dhananjayans themselves. She learnt Abhinaya
from Padma Bhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. The detailed lessons
in Abhinaya has helped Shyamala to enter with all her heart into
the depth of Mohiniyattom. She is a disciple of Smt. Kalamandalam
Kalyanikutty Amma, the doyen of Mohiniyattom and her daughter Smt.
Shyamala has been performing all over India and abroad and has been
participating in seminars, workshops and lecture demonstrations.
The entire 'Lasya' (grace) in Mohiniyattom has captivated
this graceful dancer. She is able to execute the slow and undulating
movements of this dance form with ease and the Abhinaya that is
predominant in this style comes to her naturally.