Born in 1939 in Cheruvattur village in North Malabar district of Kerala, Shri C. K. Balagopalan was initiated into stage-acting by his father Shri P. Koman Nair, a well-known actor of Kerala. At a young age he moved to Kalakshetra in Madras where he studied Bharatanatyam under the guidance of Shrimati Rukmini Devi Arundale and obtained a diploma in dance. From Shri T.K. Chandu Panicker he received training in Kathakali. Till he retired as Professor of Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra in the year 2000, Shri C.K. Balagopalan has served the institution in different capacities. A reputed teacher, Shri Balagopalan trained a number of students and assisted his mentor Rukmini Devi in her choreographic work. He has danced in almost all the produc- tions of Kalakshetra, taking lead roles in many of them, and has performed all over the world with the troupe. Hanumana, Krishna, Kannappa are some of the memorable roles he has played. He has also a few dance-dramas to his credit. Shri C. K. Balagopalan recei- ves the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Bharatanatyam.