Nattuvangam - Smt. Hema Rajagopalan

The art of conducting an Indian dance recital is known is as nattuvangam. The conductor is known as the nattuvanar. To provide the beat structure (Thalam) for the performance, the nattuvanar plays a small set of cymbals and recites Solkattu (spoken rhythmic patterns).

Vocal - Smt. Susheela Ramaswamy

Bharatanatyam is traditionally accompanied by a trained Carnatic (classical South Indian) vocalist. The lyrics of the music are sung by this artist as the performer interprets them through dance. Each song is set to a specific ragam (analogous to a key in Western music) and talam (analogous to a time signature). Smt. Ramaswamy will be singing compositions in various South Indian languages (Malayalam, Tamil, and Telegu), as well as in the classical language of Sanksrit.

Smt. Ramaswamy, a disciple of T.M. Tyagarajan, is well known as a leading vocalist. She has performed on All India radio, and has accompanied many well-known dancers in India. She has been a valued member of Natya Dance Theatre's orchestra since 1989, and has composed several original works for the company.

Mridangam - Mr. G. Vijayaraghavan

This percussion instrument plays an indespensable role in the accompanying orchestra. It not only provides a structural rhythmic framework for the dancer to utilize, but also contributes intricate embellishments to the basic beats.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan, a disciple of Madurai T. Srinivasan and Kumbakonam T.V. Balu, is one of the leading percussionists in India. He has performed frequently on All India Radio and at the Sangeet Sammelan festival. In addition, he has been honored by the President of India three times, released a cassete and authored a book (Nritya Ganamrudam). A highly acclaimed artist, he has performed around the world. He also has a rare gift for writing poetry and lyrics for Bharatanatyam. This is his twelfth year as a member of the NDT orchestra. 

Flute - Mr. T. S. Sankaran

The pullanguzhal (bamboo flute) plays an integral role in Carnatic music and is distinctively different from the Western flute. It has eight finger holes, but is keyless. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the flutist to remain in tune with the other musicians. Mr. Sankaran does this with great ease and skill.

T.S. Sankaran has received the highest honor bestowed on an artist by the government of India: Kalaimamani (the "diamond" among artists' designation). He is the disciple of the maestro Mr. T.R. Mahalingam. He has been giving solo concerts for the past 60 years at various venues around the world. An accomplished artist, he has performed on All India Radio, national television in India, and at the prestigious Sangeet Sammelan festival.
He received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 2003. He has accompanied Natya Dance Theatre since 1980, and has composed several works for the company.

Violin - Srikanth Venkataraman

The South Indian violin is almost identical to the Western violin, but differs from it in tuning and playing position.  It is traditionally played, sitting cross-legged, with the scroll placed on the artist’s right ankle, the back of the violin resting on the artist’s left shoulder, thus giving the performer an unencumbered left hand with which to play.

Mr. Venkataraman is an accomplished Carnatic violinist. He has been trained by renowned teachers and has an impressive record of performance with numerous appearances in the U.S., Canada, and India. He has accompanied top artists in the field, is a regular performer at the renowned Cleveland Music Festival and other significant dance and music events in the U.S., and has performed in prestigious Chicago events such as the World Music Festival and the opening of Millenium Park.