T. P. Kuppiah Pillai

I present to you, Sir, Shri Thanjavur Panchapakesa Kuppiah Pillai Shri Panchapakesa Kuppiah Pillai was born in 1887 in Tiruvidaimarudur, Tamil Nadu. Coming from a family of noted Nattuvanars, he received training in the art of Bharatanatyam from his father Shri Panchpakesa Nattuvanar and Shri Tanjore Kanniah Nattuvanar. Shri Panchapakesa Kuppiah Pillai is the leading representative now of the Tiruvidaimarudur tradition of Bharatanatyam.
Shri Panchapakesa Kuppiah Pillai has been honoured with the Kalaimamani award of the Eyal Isai Nataka Manram, Madras. He has had the privilege of presenting on several occasions the Sarbhendra Bhupala Kuravanji in the Brihadeswara temple, Thanjavur, before the tradition went out of vogue some forty years ago. He founded what has become one of the largest and oldest institutions for teaching Bharatanatyam, Shri Rajarajeswari Bharatya Natya Kala Mandir, Bombay. He is the author of a book in Tamil on the art of dance, ‘Abhinaya Navaneetham’, published by the Music Academy, Madras. He has trained a number of pupils in Bharatanatyam, many of whom are now leading dancers or teachers.
For his eminence in the field of dance and his contribution to its enrichment, Thanjavur Shri Panchapakesa Kuppiah Pillai has been elected Fellow of the Akademi.