Born on 7 April 1931 in Madras, Shrimati M.K. Saroja was groomed in Bharatanatyam by Guru Muthukumara Pillai of Katumannar Koil. She gained early fame as a young dancer, giving solo recitals and performing for Ram Gopal’s famous troupe. She became well known in south India for her Bharatanatyam sequences in Tamil films. She also trained in Kathak dance, receiving lessons from several gurus.
Shrimati Saroja is regarded as an outstanding Bharata- natyam artist, and the foremost representative of her guru’s style. Her performances have been widely acclaimed for her adherence to the best in the traditional technique and her intense devotional fervour. Besides performing Bharata- natyam she has taught and conducted workshops at centres of dance including M.S. University, Vadodara, and Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta. She has also been imparting regular training to young dancers for several years. She has collaborated with the dance scholar, Shri Mohan Khokar, in producing a manual on Bharatanatyam: Dancing Bharatanatyam.
Among other honours, Shrimati Saroja has been bestowed the title Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram in 1977.
Shrimati M.K. Saroja receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Bharatanatyam.